International whistleblower support group the Courage Foundation launched a “Stand with Snowden” campaign in Berlin last night to garner support for Snowden as the end date for his temporary asylum fast approaches. The campaign asks Snowden supporters to upload photographs of themselves (or their friends, family and colleagues) holding a sign saying where you are from and that you “Stand with Snowden.”
The hope is that the campaign will go viral to show worldwide support for Snowden in an attempt to secure new offers of asylum. Courage says that his safety “lies in the hands of governments who have the power to make the offers of asylum he needs – but political leaders will not act unless they feel the popular pressure to do so.” Courage has promised to formally approach the governments of those countries where the public support for Snowden is strongest to ask them to act.
In addition to the viral campaign, Courage will also dedicate its activities to protecting other whistleblowers from persecution. The advisory board has the requisite experience – it is made up of former whistleblowers who worked for government spy agencies, including the NSA, MI5 and the CIA. Courage intends to organize fundraisers for the legal and public defense of whistleblowers who are subject to serious prosecution or persecution.
At the Berlin launch, Sarah Harrison, acting director of Courage, said “I think anyone that speaks truth to power whether it’s a whistleblower, publisher or journalist that those are heroic acts and they should be supported.” Snowden appeared at the launch via video to support Courage, saying that “[e]nough is enough…[i]f the government won’t protect whistleblowers… we will protect them as a global society.”
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