International freedoms and what the US can learn

11 Mar

Andy Lee Roth presents humanistic censored stories that represent the citizen’s voices making a difference in their societies. When the people of Iceland faced an economic collapse in 2008, they made sure corrupt bankers and executives behind their downfall would be held accountable. The “kitchenware” revolution began a chain of events after the collapse including the nationalization of the Icelandic bank, government officials’ resignations, and the election of The Social Democrats. The citizens of Iceland and the European Trade Associate agreed the country of Iceland did not have to pay the debt of those who contributed to the economic collapse.

Around 900 randomly chosen people of Iceland proposed a draft for a new constitutional bill of rights proposing they have just as much power in societal decisions as the members of Parliament. Although many citizens were for the referendum, it was shot down at the April 2013 elections, due to relatively new laws concerning the Icelandic Parliament. The electoral rules call for 80 percent of voter turn out to have passed which made it more difficult. Corporate media covered Iceland’s elections, and failed to mention the potential of a new constitution.

Iceland is also known for its safety protections in investigative journalism. The FBI traveled to Iceland to investigate WikiLeaks’ operations after Edward Snowden defected. Yet Iceland is one of the safest places for whistleblowers, as it has organizations such as the Associated Whistle-Blowing Press founded in September 2002. The AWBP is an international network for journalists, researchers, lawyers and media activists who analyze information brought to light that was previously censored.

In contrast to the US, Obama claims to help any whistleblowers, as long as it doesn’t interfere with national security. In the case of Bradley Manning, there were no signs of protections or corporate media coverage like Snowden, and some even question if Manning was given a fair trial. With these stories of optimism taking place abroad, it is evident that some countries other than the US, are progressing towards freedom while the US trails behind when it comes to certain policies, such as whistleblowing.

Source:

Roth, Andy Lee. Censored 2014. “Iceland, the Power of Peaceful Revolution, and the Commons.”

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