In this episode, I speak with Birgitta Jónsdóttir — former Icelandic politician, anarchist, poet, and activist. Birgitta is the co-founder of the Pirate Party of Iceland (in which she served as a representative of from 2013 to 2017), and is well known for her collaboration with Wikileaks in the production and release of the “Collateral Murder” video, as a result of the courageous leak by whistleblower and former U.S Army private Chelsea Manning.
I ask Brigitta to describe the role she has played in some of the most historic and impactful political moments this past decade — including the founding of the Pirate Party and her time as a member of the Icelandic Parliament from 2013-2017; her collaboration with Wikileaks and its controversial co-founder and editor Julian Assange, leading to the release of the Collateral Murder video in 2010 (which depicts the murder of several citizens and journalists during the U.S. military occupation of Iraq in 2007); and her involvement in the high-profile legal case “Hedges vs Obama” in the United States (which challenged the legitimacy of the National Defense Authorization Act authorized by former U.S. president Barack Obama) during her term in Parliament. Brigitta’s activism has challenged the legitimacy of the rising global surveillance state and its corporate counterpart “surveillance capitalism,” has contributed to the unveiling of the true face of the so-called War on Terror around the globe, and has continuously defended the rights of whistleblowers (like Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Reality Winner, and more) within the context of upholding the freedom of press and human rights. I ask Birgitta to explain her anarchist principles and philosophy and how this has informed her activism and political career. I ask her to express her opinion on the severe crackdown by the U.S. and its allies on whistleblowing over the past decade, as well as the troubling trends we are seeing in the rise of powerful tech corporations and their influence on individual human behavior and societies at large (as exemplified in the practices of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and more). Our discussion is wide ranging, and these topics are just some of what we explore in this episode.
Birgitta Jónsdóttir is a Poetician and a former parliamentarian for the Civic Movement and Pirate Party in the Icelandic Parliament and chairman for IMMI (International Modern Media Institute). She has helped create two political movements since 2009, the Civic Movement and the Pirate Party 2013 — both parties have successfully entered the Icelandic Parliament. She specializes is 21st century lawmaking with a focus on direct democracy, freedom of expression, information and digital privacy. Birgitta is long time activist and was a WikiLeaks volunteer when the largest leak in human history was dropped into the digital black box of the organization by the courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning. She played a crucial role in WikiLeaks release of the Collateral Murder video, released in 2010.
- The first 45 minutes of our discussion on Patreon: http://bit.ly/2VokdEn
- Learn more about Birgitta: http://birgitta.is
- Watch the infamous Collateral Murder video: https://youtu.be/zYTxuW2vmzk
- Follow Birgitta on Twitter: https://twitter.com/birgittaj
- Aris Chatzistefanou documentaries were mentioned: https://moviementa.com
- The introduction features the poem ‘Wake Up’ written and performed by Birgitta.
- The song featured in this episode is “Aquarium” by Nosaj Thing from the Views/Octopus EP.