Milestone Supreme Court Decision for WikiLeaks Case in Iceland
The decision marked the most important victory to date against the unlawful and arbitrary economic blockade erected by US companies against WikiLeaks. Iceland’s Supreme Court upheld the decision that Valitor (formerly VISA Iceland and current Visa subcontractor) had unlawfully terminated its contract with WikiLeaks donations processor DataCell. This strong judgement is an important milestone for WikiLeaks’ legal battle to end the economic blockade that has besieged the organisation since early December 2010. Despite the effects of the blockade having crippled WikiLeaks resources, the organisation is fighting the blockade on many fronts. It is a battle that concerns free speech and the future of the free press; it concerns fundamental civil rights; and it is a struggle for the rights of individuals to vote with their wallet and donate to the cause they believe in.
If the gateway to WikiLeaks donations is not re-opened within 15 days Visa’s Valitor will be fined 800,000 ISK ($6,830) per day.
WikiLeaks publisher, Julian Assange, said:
“This is a victory for free speech. This is a victory against the rise of economic censorship to crack down against journalists and publishers”
“We thank the Icelandic people for showing that they will not be bullied by powerful Washington backed financial services companies like Visa. And we send out a warning to the other companies involved in this blockade: you’re next.”
“We hope that the that the European Commission also acknowledges that the economic blockade against WikiLeaks is an unlawful and arbitrary censorship mechanism that threatens freedom of the press across Europe. If it fails to do so, the Commission must be regarded as failing to live up to the founding European principles of economic and political freedom.”
Today’s verdict strengthens other fronts in this battle. There is an active legal action in Denmark against a Danish sub-contractor for VISA, equivalent to Valitor. The decision will also buttress the pre-litigation work already under way in various jurisdictions against the international card companies and financial services companies – VISA and MasterCard, Western Union, PayPal and Bank of America, and other payment facilitators that teamed with these giants to form a concerted, and equally unlawful economic blockade against the organisation.
In November the European Parliament passed a resolution which included a clause drafted specifically in relation to the economic blockade against Wikileaks. The resolution called on the European Commission to draft regulations that will prevent online payment facilitators from arbitrarily denying services to companies or organisations, such as WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks has also launched a formal complaint to the European Commission on the basis that VISA and MasterCard, which together take up 95% of the European market, have unlawfully abused their dominant market position. The European Commission is still evaluating whether it will open a formal investigation but documents already submitted by the companies reveal that the credit card companies were in talks with powerful figures in the US Congress and Senate (Senator Lieberman and Congressman Peter T. King). http://wikileaks.org/European-Commission-enabling.html
Although it is still not possible to donate directly to WikiLeaks via credit card, freedom of press campaigners including Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Elsberg, the actor John Cusack, and the Founder of the California-based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) John Perry Barlow, have set up the Freedom of the Press Foundation to collect money for WikiLeaks. It allows donors to make anonymous, tax-deductable donations. http://t.co/qpW57qquOf
This and similar mechanisms for Europeans are available on http://shop.wikileaks.org/donate
Freedom of the Press Foundation:
Julian Assange asylum (one year, June 19, 2013)
Bradley Manning (trial June 2)
By Thomás O Cléirigh
The Union bosses are the mafia that keeps the government in power and not the troika .These wolves in sheep clothing are nothing more than the real collaborators doing the biding of the faceless moneymen that allow the union bosses to extract enormous funds from their members and suck the country dry as they or their pals sit on the various guanos boards of course for hefty fees. The Union bosses are taking salaries equivalent to the Minsters of government and they have the perks and pensions to match. These sell-outs have betrayed the workers and the Irish workers are still like sheep following these leaches as they milk the insider system for all they can get.
Workers of Ireland wake up don’t you see these union bosses are part of the problem and are in no way going to rock the boat. They are out for themselves! Get out of these unions or kick out these puppets of the Labour party now.
These same union bosses have stood ideally by as our health services were dismantled ,over the last 5 years they have done nothing for the ordinary man in the street they have watch and done nothing as new taxes were imposed on families to pay for private debts of corrupt bankers .These unions are nothing more than puppets of the political system , a extra insurance the government of the day has against workers going out on to the streets and demanding true democracy just like they have in Iceland. We need people power and not hidden planted insiders who run the unions on behalf of the government of the day.
The unions have abandoned the unemployed and they are out to keep themselves in their plumb top jobs! It is totally immoral that workers should be accepting Austerity while these sell-outs continue to pay themselves lottery salaries. When I hear of old folk dying in each other’s arms because they cannot afford to heat their homes I say it’s time to take the fight to the streets and kick these leaches off our backs now .Every decent worker should down tools and go on a general strike with or without the unions now. No more Austerity do as Iceland did tell the Government and their Union insider pals to get stuffed we don’t need their permission to take back our country from gangsters!
Have you ever wondered why Irish workers are not joining other European Workers in demonstrating against the imposed austerity that is paying the gambling debts of hidden faceless moneymen?
Simple: The union bosses are bought and paid for by the real power brokers who rule over us now!
While Ireland hums and haws over bank debt we learn from Transport Minister Leo Varadkar that “difficulties” remain in the talks with the ECB on refinancing the bailout, though he remains hopeful a solution will be found. I would guess that eventually a deal will be made that will be nothing more than a dressed up comical illusion.
So we are now refinancing the bailout, does this mean we pay double?
In the meantime we hear
Iceland’s refusal to repay depositors legal
Iceland was within its rights not to repay billions of euro to the United Kingdom and Dutch governments, who were forced to compensate depositors after an Icelandic bank collapsed at the height of the global financial crisis, a court has ruled.
The decision was taken by the court of the European Free Trade Association (Efta), which ruled that Iceland had not broken depositor protection laws by refusing to compensate people who had invested in Landsbanki’s Icesave online banking accounts.
What a shame the Government of Ireland lack the courage of of our friends in Iceland.
Why do the lack the courage …in simple terms the ECB says pay up or else…No more funding
1 Recall The Bailout, 2 Remove The Corrupt Politicians, 3 Pay NO Taxes Until 1&2 Are Completed!! Follow Iceland!! « Political Vel Craft
Icelanders who pelted parliament with rocks in 2009 demanding their leaders and bankers answer for the country’s economic and financial collapse are reaping the benefits of their anger.
Iceland Continues To Grow Using ‘Startups’ By Replacing ‘Banks’: Iceland Refused To Bailout Rothschild’s Corrupt Banking Cabal.
Executives At Collapsed Iceland Bank Jailed For Fraud.
Since the end of 2008, the island’s banks have forgiven loans equivalent to 13 percent of gross domestic product, easing the debt burdens of more than a quarter of the population.
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power (of money) should be taken away from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.” – Thomas Jefferson
The island’s steps to resurrect itself since 2008, when its banks defaulted on $85 billion, are proving effective. Iceland’s economy will this year outgrow the euro area and the developed world on average, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates.
Iceland’s approach to dealing with the meltdown has put the needs of its population ahead of the markets at every turn. Once it became clear back in October 2008 that the island’s banks were beyond saving, the government stepped in, ring-fenced the domestic accounts, and left international creditors in the lurch. The central bank imposed capital controls to halt the ensuing sell-off of the krona and new state-controlled banks were created from the remnants of the lenders that failed.
“Europe can learn from Iceland”
Iceland’s special prosecutor has said it may indict as many as 90 people, while more than 200, including the former chief executives at the three biggest banks, face criminal charges. That compares with the U.S., where no top bank executives have faced criminal prosecution for their roles in the subprime mortgage meltdown. The Securities and Exchange Commission said last year it had sanctioned 39 senior officers for conduct related to the housing market meltdown.
History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance. – James Madison
AT A conference in Dublin on Monday, an academic from Iceland, , showed a chart contrasting the impact of the crisis measures adopted by governments in Iceland and Ireland on real disposable earnings of couples by income deciles (that is the poorest tenth of earners, the next poorest tenth, through to the richest tenth).
It showed that the poorest tenth of earners in Iceland suffered a drop of 9 per cent, whereas in Ireland the drop was 26 per cent (the data for Ireland was for the period 2008-2009 and for Iceland 2008-2010).
For the second-poorest 10 per cent of earners, the drop in Ireland was 14 per cent, in Iceland, 9 per cent. For the second-richest tenth in Iceland the drop was 17 per cent, in Ireland it was just 2 per cent. But, the most revealing figure of all, for the richest 10 per cent in both countries, in Iceland the richest had a drop in earnings of 38 per cent, in Ireland the top 10 per cent showed an increase of 8 per cent.
Quite simply, the left-leaning Icelandic government chose to focus the impact of the adjustments necessitated by the crisis on the richest sectors of Icelandic society. In Ireland, the right-leaning government did the opposite (it was a Fianna Fáil-Green government during the relevant period but its prescriptions have been followed by the right-leaning Fine Gael-Labour Government).
As in Iceland, there were and are clear choices for an Irish government in dealing with the crisis: whether to focus the impact on the adjustments on those best able to bear the pain, ie the richest sectors of society, or to focus the impact on those least able to bear the pain, ie the poorest.
Perhaps the cruellest measure introduced here has been the universal social charge. Initially, everyone being paid €4,004 and above had to pay the charge. Amid a flurry of self-congratulation, the current Government increased the threshold to €10,036, but with a vicious sting retained in the tail.
Anyone getting even a single euro over €10,036 has to pay the charge on their entire income. But not just that, whereas a levy of 2 per cent applied on earnings up to €10,036, those between €10,036 and €16,016 were levied at 4 per cent and everything above that attracted a levy of 7 per cent.
In other words, people living on slightly over the minimum wage (€8.65 per hour) were catapulted into the highest levy bracket (€8.65 multiplied by 38 hours a week, multiplied by 48 weeks, equals €15,777.60).
Since the crisis broke in 2008, there have been reductions in child benefit; carer’s allowance; disability payment and blind pension; jobseeker’s benefit; jobseeker’s allowance for those aged 18-21 years; supplementary allowance for those aged 22-24; one-parent family payment; and earnings disregard (by €16.50 to a weekly amount of €130).