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My speech from Yesterday’s press conference

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 7 months ago

My speech from Yesterday’s press conference

 

 

Thanks for coming out today! It feels great to be a free man again and I hope that the 9th circuit’s decision to grant me bail is indicative of the court’s outlook that that I should not be held in contempt for asserting my constitutional rights as a journalist before the Federal grand jury. They’ve concluded that my appeal is not frivolous or simply for delay, so that’s a positive sign, and I have confidence that these vital rights that are, at the core, essential to the practice of journalism will eventually be recognized at the Federal level; if not through the courts than at least through congress.

 

As the late Senator Paul Wellstone once said, “Significant social change comes from the bottom up, from an aroused opinion that forces our ruling institutions to do the right thing.” I think that history demonstrates this to be true and it is an honor that I’ve been given the opportunity to help ignite what I hope will eventually cement the rights of both the independent and the established media.

 

It should come as no surprise that I felt pressured from many people to comply with the US Attorney’s demands and although the support I’ve received has been incredible and have received many wonderful letters while I was incarcerated – there were times that I did feel alone in my struggle. Many people simply could not understand why I refused to yield in the face of being sent to prison; I realize that there are those who will never understand but this quote from Naton Scharansky, a man who fought valiantly for civil liberties inside the Soviet Union describes my own motivations beautifully and I’d like to share it with you in the hopes that it will help some people to see my perspective. It reads,

 

“In addition to Newton’s law on the Universal gravity of objects, there is also a law of the universal gravity of souls, of the bond between them and the influence of one soul on the other. And it operates in this manner, such that with each word that we speak, and with each step that we take, we touch other souls and have an impact upon them. So why should I put this sin on my soul? If I already succeeded once in breaking with the difficult two-faced approach called for by this intolerable situation, closing the gap between thought and word, how is it possible to take even one step backwards towards the previous status?”

 

I’m sure that many of you are curious about my experiences being imprisoned in Dublin; I have been very fortunate and much of my time incarcerated was actually quite positive. While locked up, I met many fellow prisoners who are truly stellar individuals and a observed a community which is actually one of the healthiest that I have ever lived in. To my friends in Unit J2, thanks for everything and I wish you all the best of luck.

 

In an effort to help get the stories of those incarcerated out into the world, I have started to develop a not-for-profit organization which will be known, for now, as prisonblogs.net – the project is dedicated to giving a voice to the voiceless, and is something that I am very excited about. Expect more details about this initiative in the coming weeks.

 

Once again, I’d like to thank you all for coming out, and to thank everyone who has been there to support me in any way; you all made it a lot easier to get through this and I will be eternally grateful. Thanks.

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