The Blog of Karwalski

I'm on twitter – @karwalski

The road to understanding

I grew up in Canberra, 3 hours to the south of Sydney, and for the last 9 years I have lived in the Sutherland Shire. I would visit family in Canberra a couple of times a year, and almost always drive the same route, the shortest route according to my GPS was via the small towns of Appin and Wilton before joining the Hume Highway. I grew in love with this section of the trip, the country towns, the farms, surrounding by national parks, and a windy section of road called Broughton Pass. I would convince anyone I knew to drive via Broughton Pass (-34.228894, 150.742659) for the experience. Something drew me to this location, the huge rock faces and tight corners as you wind down to the bridge crossing the river, several metal pipes reached up the rock face to the pump station on top.

Broughton Pass was one of my favourite trips to drive, that was until I learnt of the history of the location, the dark dark history of Broughton Pass.

It was the collaborative book titled ‘Dharawal’ by Les Bursill and Mary Jacobs, an amazing resource on Indigenous people of my area, that raised my awareness to the tragic events of 1816.

“Between 1814 and 1816, relations between Aborigines and Governor
Macquarie’s government broke down. Macquarie felt compelled to ‘inflict
terrible and exemplary punishments’ on the ‘natives’ by ‘punishing and clearing
the country of them entirely, driving them across the mountains’ (Macquarie’s
Diary, 10th April, 1816.) When Captain Wallis came across the Dharawal men in
Appin, he had them killed and their heads removed. Others were sent to hunt
down the women and children. A massacre occurred by ‘shooting and trampling
them under their horses’ hooves and driving them over the cliffs of Broughton
Pass’ (Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews, ‘Genocide’). Nearly all the three thousand
Dharawal speaking people had now been killed or driven off their land.”

– Extract from Dharawal (Les Bursill, Mary Jacobs)

The world famous Sydney Opera House is on Macquarie Street in Sydney, named after Governor Macquarie, streets, suburbs, buildings and business’ throughout Australia use Macquarie’s name.

I was lost, I had to research further, and the more I did, the more real the events became. In 2008, NSW member for parliament’s Phillip Costa read into the hansard a recount of the events, they were not only real, they were recorded in our houses of parliament.

Around 1814, the areas around Appin and Campbeltown had been cleared of its native flora and fauna for farming, however drought conditions were limiting food supply. Indigenous Australian’s were treated as Animals, given rations after their homes and food supplies had been cleared for farming. Tensions became worse with the drought conditions, and fighting between the European settlers and Indigenous Australians sparked to new levels, one possible trigger was a teenage Indigenous Australian boy shot dead for stealing from a farm. Violence flared with loss of life for both groups.

It was Governor Macquarie, who in his own words called for the genocide of Indigenous Australian’s in the area.

200 years ago… An Australian Government called for the mass killing of an entire race. Just 200 years ago.

Macquarie’s troops were sent to the area with clear instructions to kill, the first and most documented event was the murder of several Elders, they were shot and beheaded, with their heads sent back to Governor Macquarie as trophies… Australian’s beheaded, right here, 200 years ago. Their skulls were sent to Scotland, where they remained for 175 years, and have been since returned to the National Museum of Australia.

The troops didn’t stop with death of the elders, all Indigenous Australian’s in the area were targeted, women and children were shot and trampled by horse and cart. A final group had been chased to the top of the cliffs at Broughton Pass, women and children of all ages, they were forced off the cliff and fell to their deaths. To this day, the total number of deaths is still unknown and some estimate it could be in the hundreds.

It has been 200 years, and over the last few years a ceremony has been held in remembrance of the Appin Massacre at Cataract Dam.

To honour the Dharawal people, the Winga Myamly Reconciliation Group is hosting a memorial to mark the 200th anniversary of the Appin Massacre.

Time: 11:00am, Sunday 17 April 2016

Location: Cataract Dam Picnic Area

Me the racist – reflecting on Cronulla 2005

It has been 10 years since the Cronulla riots, racist fights and mob mentality on Sydney streets. A lot has changed in 10 years, I have opened my mind and learnt a great deal… however I am ashamed to share that in December 2005 my 19 year old self wanted to attend the Cronulla riots ‘for a fight’.

I will jump back even further and briefly mention some other background; I went to a private high school in Canberra where I both lead and encouraged bullying behavior towards other students, at multiple occasions in relation to race. I attended Summernats festivals in Canberra, where I would cheer and encourage the musicians and comedians making racist jokes in the years prior to the Cronulla riots, I purchased a sticker which said ‘fuck off we’re full’ on an outline of Australia.

I cannot pinpoint individual influences within family or friends that encouraged or inspired my racist behaviour. After years of reflection I can only identify as been a social problem in much of Australian society, in every day activites it is not uncommon to hear ‘casual racism’ (aka ‘racism’), I recall numerous racist jokes – I must have learnt them from somewhere/one.

Years past, I married, had children, divorced and got involved in online activism before I really started to understand what racism was, and I promised myself I would make the best effort I could to be the best person I could be in every aspect of my life. Social media, in particular twitter, really opened my eyes to the rest of the world which was otherwise previously summerised on the evening television news – or ignored completely. I heard stories, I watched first hand experience, and as my online activism turned to a presence on the street, I met amazing people with a huge scope of backgrounds. I also started to realize what I was missing, the former work college who fled war in horrific conditions and family who sought asylum in Australia… I new parts of their stories.. but I hadn’t truly listened.

My activism starting in 2010 was a key turning point, my world view changed as I became engaged in geo-politics. It wasn’t that I had a bleeding heart, rather I just stopped and listened to my beating heart.

I started standing for many causes for equality, in particular the treatment of those seeking asylum in Australia which had and still has a heavily racist debate surrounding it. I saw instances of racist abuse being recorded and uploaded to youtube, I asked myself what I would do in the situation, I told myself I would stand up and say no to racism, in 2013 I came through with my promise to myself and stood up to racism I witnessed on a train.

Australia has what is believe to be the oldest living civilisation, the Indigenous Australians, yet we have a terrible history of mistreating the original inhabitants and owners of this country. I have recollections of many occasions where racist jokes would be shared about the Indigenous Australians. What I have researched and learnt about the treatment should see all Australians coming together and working to heal our relationship with the Indigenous people. I will cover this in greater detail in another blog post soon.

Australia is ranked as one of the best countries to reside in, we are also the least dense with less than 50 people per square Km of arable land. Arguably low intake of refugees, resettling just one refugee per 1,500 people annualy. Which equates to just one refugee per 37km2 and 8 migrants for the same area. We have a high demand for overseas skills In many industries, yet I ask, has our nation throw out the national anthems line to share our land with those who come by sea, ignoring our 50,000 year history of migration by sea to become an exclusive club full of hatred towards asylum seekers, sending them to horrible conditions in island prisons with no chance of a fair go.

To say I was just young and naive ignores the real problem.

I often blame society in general for the problem of racism in Australia… but on reflection I contributed to the problem, and for that I hope to heal the wounds I have caused and work on addressing the issue with the greater Australian community.

I am sorry for my racist past.

I have a pet dog

I have a pet dog. My dog is 15 years old. My dog does not have a name.

My black dog is not pet, it has followed me since I was a teenager and never strayed far from my side. My black dog is depression. I have never wrote about my depression, and I have rarely spoken about my depression; until now.

I visited my local GP earlier this year and told him I was aware of my depression, I had been handling myself over many years and that I had just come out of a stint of some darker days. I was cheerful and quiet relieved in discussing with he doctor, he seemed confused as I was in a happy mood and talking of a sadness. The GP probed and looked for specific triggers or events that started each depressive period. My GP gave me a sheet of paper to complete and return at a follow up appointment (K10 checklist), I guess I scored well and he advised no referrals required. I was satisfied as I believed I was able to manage for myself.

In this video ( ), they use a black dog to describe depression in a way I can associate with, a strong message and great coping techniques.

In this video psychiatrist and philosopher Dr Neel Burton ( ) gives a different view of the depressive position, and highlights some of the great minds in history who had depression.

Could depression be a could thing for the mind? Allowing deeper thought and understanding.

Last year I attempted to raise $1 Million to purchase a sea vessel which would be dispatched to help asylum seekers attempting to reach Australia by sea. The project had a great start, and quickly reached over $20k of pledges. But something happened, I had paid advertising to reach ‘humanitarians’ on facebook, people who had liked organisations like Amnesty International etc. But the comments to these adverts were hhorrific such as calling for the death of the asylum seekers. The project failed to meet the $1M target, I had failed. It triggered a depressive position which lasted a couple of months. I had other hings going on in my life, but I had no emotions, I was lost without a solution to a major humanitarian crisis and it seemed like nobody cared for these human lives.

To be continued…

(This article was written on 20/05/2015, however first publicly published on 10/12/2015)

I have listed below Australian services that can assist you if you are suffering from depression.

Lifeline on 13 11 14

Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800

MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978

Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467

Using beer to explain tax and equality


The political focus in Australia is on the Abbott Goverment’s budget which was released on Tuesday this week, and the Governments Treasurer Joe Hockey was yesterday quoted saying  “You can spend just over $3 on a middy of beer, so that’s two middies of beer to go to the doctor” in reference to a reduction in Medicare benefits many Australian’s receive.

Is it right to bring beer into the debate? It has triggered social media sharing of an article which went viral on email chains several years ago.

This morning I read the article titled ‘The Tax System Explained in Beer by David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D. – Professor of Economics.’. Kamerschen however denies writing this article and the original author is unknown. Article Statement from Kamerschen


The story starts off with a share of the beer tab divided up the same way the population pay taxes

“The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.”

The anonymous author then struggles to equate equality over a population within the global ‘sweet spot’ taxation rates on incomes.

In Australia, assuming we are using the whole population and not just talking a luxury item such as beer which would also be restricted to 18+.

If each of people at the bar (5 men and 5 women) accounts for 10% of the population each, their share of a $100 beer tab (the hypothetical tax on their income) would be as follows;

The first 7 people (the poorest) earn less than $18,200 and pay nothing, the 8th person would pay $20.80, the 9th $33.55 and the 10th (the richest) would pay $45.70.

If the bar tab was reduced to by $20 / 20% to $80 for each day I have calculated the split to be as follows

The first 7 people still pay nothing, the 8th person would pay $14.25 (saving $6.55 / 31%), the 9th $25.00 (saving $8.55 / 25%)  and the 10th $40.75 (saving $4.95 / 11%)


But how have I worked this out?

Rather than taxing the income earners a higher percentage on each dollar they earn, I did what a smart government would do and adjusted the income level thresholds for each tax rate.

For 2013-2014 tax year Australian income earners pay tax depending on their income level as follows;

For the first $18,200 any Australian resident earns they pay no tax, for every dollar they earn between $18,200 and $37,000 they pay 19 cents tax, for every dollar between $37,001 and $80,000 they pay 32.5 cents tax, for every dollar between $80,000 and $180,000 they pay 37 cents tax, and for every dollar over $180,001 they pay 45 cents tax.

The tax brackets are cumulative, A resident earning over $180,001 still receives their first $18,200 tax free, but as each of their dollars are taxed in the intermediate brackets they pay $54,547 tax in addition to the 45 cents taxed on every extra dollar they make over $180,001. To summarise someone earning exactly $180,001 would pay 30.3% ($54,547) tax on their income.

About two thirds of the Australian population either do not earn an income or are below the taxable income threshold of $18,200 (Half of which are either under 14 or over 65) – The remaining third of the population earn various incomes above the threshold.

In the story of the bar tab, we split the population into 10% groups represented by 1 person each, just 3 people at the bar are income earners who pay a taxable income. For my modelling I used the 2011-2012 ATO statistics on taxable incomes, and I have calculated an average wage for each of them as follows;

Persons 1-6 earn no taxable income, Person 7 earns $6,000 a year (tax free), Person 8 earns $37,000 ($3,572 / 10% tax on their income), Person 9 earns $50,000 ($7,797 / 16% tax on their income), and Person 10 earns $75,000 a year ($15,922 / 21% tax on their income).

Using the above taxes paid and distributing across a $100 bar tab, we come up with the first figures;

“The first 7 people (the poorest) earn less than $18,200 and pay nothing, the 8th person would pay $20.80, the 9th $33.55 and the 10th (the richest) would pay $45.70.”

The tax revenue of the 10 people (3 tax payers) was $27,291 – in our hypothetical bar tab situation ($100), be now only need to collect 80% of this. We need to now raise $21,832 a year in tax… but who gets the tax cut?

I go back to the tax rates paid in Australia, not changing the cents per dollar but rather focusing on adjusting the thresholds for each bracket – to do this properly we need to perform a balancing act looking at various factors like the cost of living, government benefits and where the taxable income earners fall into a bell curve. I have made some rough estimates to outline the strategy to achieve this.

The current tax brackets previous stated are as follows;

“For the first $18,200 any Australian resident earns they pay no tax, for every dollar they earn between $18,200 and $37,000 they pay 19 cents tax, for every dollar between $37,001 and $80,000 they pay 32.5 cents tax, for every dollar between $80,000 and $180,000 they pay 37 cents tax, and for every dollar over $180,001 they pay 45 cents tax.”

An estimated proposal would be as follows; (Grant me at least a +/- 0.3% tolerance for working with round numbers)

For the first $24,500 any Australian resident earns they pay no tax, for every dollar they earn between $24,500 and $40,000 they pay 19 cents tax, for every dollar between $40,001 and $90,000 they pay 32.5 cents tax, for every dollar between $90,000 and $200,000 they pay 37 cents tax, and for every dollar over $200,001 they pay 45 cents tax.

There is no change for persons 1-7 and they still pay no taxes. Person 8 who earns $37,000 now pays $2,375 / 6% tax on their income, Person 9 who earns $50,000 now pays $5,624 / 11% tax, and Person 10 who earns $75,000 now pays $13,749 / 21% tax. A total tax revenue of $21,748 (Just $84 / 0.3% shy of the target).

Each person’s share of the tax revenue makes me arrive at the following statement.

“The first 7 people still pay nothing, the 8th person would pay $14.25 (saving $6.55 / 31%), the 9th $25.00 (saving $8.55 / 25%) and the 10th $40.75 (saving $4.95 / 11%)”

Fair share of the $80 bar tab? I think so.

Further food for thought: In the original article it was 10 men, I corrected using Australia’s almost 50/50 population of Females and Males, however in the scenario due to the unfair distribution of incomes in Australia they would likely be distributed as follows. Persons 1-7 have a 57% chance of being female, Person 8 has 40% chance of being female, Person 9 has 36% chance of being female and Person 10 has just 30% chance of being female.


We still have a long way to go to achieve equality!






The Day We Fight Back

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Crypto Beer

I stumbled across a tweet today – the three keywords that stood out were ‘beer’ – I enjoy beer, ‘bitcoins’ – anything crypto is cool.. and even better if it is a revolutionary currency, and the final keyword ‘Sydney’ I live there!

Mind starts racing – CryptoBeer!

The multiple comments in recent weeks/months about running another Sydney Crypto Party all came to front of mind, Hopefully we will have one organised soon and details posted at

In the meantime, I will head to the Old Fitz tomorrow evening (maybe a bit late for the talks) and hopefully buy and enjoy a CryptoBeer.. in the interest of the online audience and this first for the CryptoCurrency in a Sydney Pub I will hopefully livestream at

If you want to shout me a CryptoBeer donate about 0.05BTC to 1CVShW3RGjsojen8mUVHwogRrefNvEpjnv

If you want to track my bitcoin wallet tomorrow evening you can watch the transactions at

From a Government run events page I found the following details about the Old Fitzroy Hotels move to accept bitcoins:

Proprieter, Garry Pasfield, will be launching the new payment option at a special Beer for Bitcoins event on Sunday 29th September from 3pm. The afternoon will allow those unfamiliar with bitcoin to learn about the currency, buy some bitcoins off other people to start using them, and of course, to purchase a beer or two with bitcoin.

Anyone with a smartphone and a bitcoin wallet will be able to buy drinks with bitcoin, simply by using their phone to scan a QR code, which will be generated at the till.

Sydney artist, Gustaf Van Wyk, will be launching and selling copies of his new book, An Idiot’s Guide to Bitcoin, at the event and will be giving a brief introductory and explanatory speech about the currency. Members of meetup group, Bitcoin Sydney, will also be attending to help answer any questions.

Despite being steeped in history, The Old Fitzroy is embracing the new technology and our publican, Garry has already adapted the Point of Sale device so he can start taking bitcoin at the bar. He hopes to benefit from the advantages it can offer business, such as lower transaction fees, and also to make the most of being one of the first acceptors of bitcoin in the Sydney marketplace.

“I am interested in bitcoin because it is progressive,” he says. “I know a lot of people will like the opportunity to steer away from the big banks and [bitcoin] will have a lot of legs if it can establish itself.”

Beer for Bitcoin

What I did after witnessing racism on public transport

I boarded the 10.02pm Train from Central to Waterfall on the Sydney Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line. Within 10 minutes I had started to go to sleep as I normally do on trains. I was awoken around 10.20pm by a Caucasian female (aggressor) who made a very loud statement along the lines of ‘Why do you dress like that when you are pregnant’ .. I instantly awoke and it was clear the comment was directed to an Asian female (victim) and her Asian partner (victims partner). As I rubbed my eyes and sat up to understand what was going on, it was clear the victim was intimidated by the comment, possibly looking away and ignoring at first. A verbal exchange involving the aggressor, victim and victims partner than began. The victims partner repeatedly stated ‘leave us alone’. The situation quickly escalated and the aggressor started using offensive language and commenting on the victim and partners race, lines about the ‘immigration problem’ and suggesting the victimised couple were the ‘problem’. At multiple occasions during the couple of minutes the exchange the aggressor looked to me as if I should be either approving or encouraging her actions.. I shook my head in disbelief.. I stated something along the lines of that’s enough or stop it, to which I received a response yelled back at me, I cannot recall what was said but something about minding my own business. I then proceed to turn my phone camera on and made a comment about the aggressor wanting to be on YouTube (reference to the recent videos that went viral and made the news). The footage lasted 83 seconds, and mainly involved the aggressor telling me to stop filming, then trying to grab the camera off me by reaching over the top of me. I stopped recording on request. The verbal attacks then started on me as well as the victim and partner as the aggressor resumed her seat. I opened ustream in an attempt to continue filming so that the footage could not be deleted etc. I only got about 12 seconds, of which I explained ustream recording live .. the footage was cut short as I must have bumped the screen or one of the buttons as the agressor argued with me whilst standing beside my seat, then went to grab the camera.. the image is also mostly frozen as only the audio was streamed for the last few seconds.

I was then subjected to a 30 second long attack where the aggressor attempted to grab my phone.. and even tried to put her hand in my pocket containing my wallet at one stage. As she backed off, I noticed a man (off duty police officer – not identifying himself at this stage) standing near the carriage doors. I asked him calmly to press the red/orange button.. be began to walk up the stairs towards us, I said no need for him to be involved just wanted someone to press the red/orange button that notifies the guard. The man asked if I knew the aggressor, I stated no, he suggested I move to another carriage, I agreed, and immediately moved to the next carriage as the train pulled into Hurstville station.

Upon the doors opening the aggressor then entered my carriage, confronted me and started yelling about the earlier recordings. I did not answer, pressed the nearby red/orange button to notify the guard and stood in the doorway to wave at the train guard 100m away. As the train guard arrived and the aggressor started to yell about the footage, I calmly said to the train guard that I will help him get the train moving, I will either sit off this train and wait for next if she boards, or I will board train if she waits on platform.. she refused.. at which stage the off duty police officer stepped into the conversation and quickly flicked out his NSW police badge, he was wearing thongs and looked like he had spent the day at the ANZAC celebrations. He explained he wouldn’t normally intervene but he is off duty on his way home, and the situation had escalated to a point where he must, he advised he had called for on duty officers and the train guard also advised he had called for transit officers.

I again offered ways to de-escalate the situation, by one of us boarding the train and the other waiting for the next one.. the aggressor refused until I deleted the video footage. I declared I did not feel comfortable deleting the footage showing an attack at this stage, and that I understood my right to film people in a public place. The off duty officer asked the train guard to take his train and leave, I apologised to the guard for inconvenience, and agreed the train should leave as it had already been delayed. The off duty officer remained with us as I looked away and ignored the aggressor  and for the most part he did not talk much either. Within 5 minutes of the train leaving about 30 police officers together came running down the stairs to the platform, shocked I waved to them to call their attention to us. I discussed with one of the more senior officers (not the 2 in captains hats or dress clothes keeping their distance) I explained the situation, similar to above.. and also stated I am not looking to take further or file assault charges, simply I would not stand for this type of behaviour. When the officer asked me to delete the footage stating ‘you cannot record people..’ I declared I would not delete the footage once again, as I did not feel comfortable at this stage. Another 2 officers turned to us and joined an argument, citing a wiretap recording law, I stated I disagreed, showed my press pass for ‘photo journalism’ and said I have the right to film people in a public place, what I do with the footage is a different story re. publication etc. I also explained part of the reason was for the publicly safety, but mainly for raising awareness to such attacks on Australian public transport. The 2 additional officer disengaged from the conversation once I had made my intentions and understanding of the law clear.

Whilst the questioning officer went and spoke with a second officer whom was questioning the aggressor, I had a quick chat with the 2 officers who previously disengaged, they revealed the reason for the 30+ (all units) call was that it was called in as officer being assaulted (for a moment it sounded like she was going to say ‘officer down’). The officers also stated their displeasure at being called to the station as they off shift as well. I sympathised and said I understood it is a big day for the force with major events on etc. I also offered a personal apology to the female officer who had stated she was tired and ‘wanted to go home’.

I was told by the questioning officer in the presence of 3 other officers to at least pretend to delete the footage on their request, i acted along and made the hand gestures as I saw the benefit in de-escalating the situation and getting everyone home.. including me. I was then asked to sit at the other end of the platform and wait my train whilst they continued to talk to the aggressor (raising her voice at the police at this stage). At no stage was I even asked my name, let alone for ID, although if they were quick readers may have read on my press pass.

I then started tweeting and uploading videos.

My thoughts on this and other occurrences of every day racism in Australia… Stand up and say NO to racism.

What would you do in this situation? Would you risk the attack turning on you and possibly becoming violent? Why are NSW Police STILL telling people to delete mobile phone footage? Should we film these events to name and shame, drive the message on the 6pm news? Should we ignore and mind our own business? Do we need to educate Australia and stop the hate messages on immigration from major political parties?

I leave you with a quote that forever sticks in the back of my head and drives me to such actions.

“First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Martin Niemöller (disputed origin)

Note on videos, if you would like to republish I suggest pixelating the aggressors face.. I am supplying un edited without pixalating, I accept this risk however believe that raising awareness to this issue is more important than a legal threat. dispute at

Bradley Manning & Sydney Mardi Gras float

When faced with a question of morality one may push themself to rule right from wrong, based on traditions, laws and of course fear of being punished for doing something wrong. To suggest one’s religion, race or sexuality ‘increases’ their ability to tell right from wrong is not a valid argument, we all have the ability to tell right from wrong.

If questioned on your morality, due to a decision, you should respond to the questioner asking why they believe their ability to tell right from wrong is superior to yours. Just as you cannot conclude someone is immoral due to being a homosexual, you cannot use their sexuality to conclude they have higher morals.

In 2008 a United States soldier Bradley Manning stood in the rain with hundreds of protestors in Syracuse, New York showing support for Californians who lost their newly gained marriage equality and the future from the new surge in activism by the community. Bradley Manning held a hand written placard stating ‘Equality, @ the house, @ the classroom, @ the workplace, @ the battlefield = everywhere’. Bradley was openly gay in his personal life and serving in the military under the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy which did not allow openly homosexual persons, only those who didn’t tell.

Bradley Manning was stationed in Iraq as an army intelligence analyst; Bradley had access to hundreds of thousands of documents for his work. In late 2009 he was using WikiLeaks documentation as source material for his work with the Army, at which time he would join the WikiLeaks IRC Channel (Internet Relay Channel – Online Chat). Bradley became interested in WikiLeaks release of the September 11 pager messages, and he came to the conclusion they were authentic. Bradley stated he was in contact with ‘Nathaniel Frank’ whom he believed was from WikiLeaks, starting in late 2009 and continued to communicate for approximately 6 months in which time Bradley said he provided the Collateral Murder Video, US Diplomatic Cables as well as war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to release documents to WikiLeaks Bradley said that had contacted the Washington Post, New York Times and Politico to release the Iraq & Afghan war logs however he believed they were not taking him seriously. Bradley stated in court that no one from WikiLeaks has pressured him into releasing the documents.

Bradley saw wrong, and decided to do the right thing. Bradley used his moral judgement to determine the best action.

Bradley Manning wanted the information to be in the public domain; he believed that it would spark a “domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general,” for the people of the United States. He also stated that he believed it was setting the path for the future of open diplomacy, by embarrassing the US, however I stated he did not believe they would cause “damage to the US” as the cables contained “statements of cliques & gossip,”.

“The most alarming aspect of the video to me was the seemingly delightful bloodlust the aerial weapons team happened to have,” Bradley Manning said as he compared the soldier’s in the Collateral Murder video to the act of “torturing ants with a magnifying glass”.

Since 2007, WikiLeaks has had a clear message on their website about its commitment to source protection, with the secure file uploads and recommendations for source protection. Secure leaks via a HTTPS ‘post’ action ensured the uploaded content was sent over an encrypted channel, however for Medium and High Risk submissions further techniques such as not using your own computer where recommended whilst using the Tor Anonymity Networks Hidden services, a method of encrypted rendezvous pointes to assist the two computers communicating over the internet are unable to know each other’s location. From 2007-2009 WikiLeaks supplied a postal address around the world for ‘Truth Facilitators’. The WikiLeaks website stated “For the highest levels of protection you may wish to use our postal submission network.” “Wikileaks truth facilitators will then upload your submission using their fast internet connection.” “..and then destroy the mailed package.”

The WikiLeaks website boasted for years that their sources had never been revealed; unfortunately over recent years alleged sources have been jailed. Earlier this year Internet activist and computer programmer Aaron Swartz committed suicide; many have blamed the aggressive prosecution by the United States Department of Justice as a major contributing factor to his suicide. The official WikiLeaks twitter account, questioning the aggressive prosecution by the department of Justice and stating that Aaron Swartz had been in contact with Julian Assange , also revealed they had “strong reasons to believe, but cannot prove, that Aaron Swartz was a WikiLeaks source”.

In May of 2010 Bradley made contact with a computer hacker Adrian Lamo who had previously made news over high profile hacks. Chat logs supplied to Wired Magazine by Adrian Lamo suggest that Bradley trusted Adrian enough to not only share information of his ‘gender identity disorder’ but also to confess releasing information to WikiLeaks. Adrian Lamo turned the chat logs into the FBI which resulted in Bradley Manning being arrested the same week of May 2010. He was detained for over one thousand days, charged for releasing classified information. According the UN special rapporteur on torture Bradley’s treatment during his detainment was cruel and inhuman.

Today Bradley has read a thirty-five page statement he himself typed and signed, Bradley explained why he released the documents to WikiLeaks and pleading guilty to some of the charges which could have a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The case is awaiting the Judge to accept the plea, and decision to be made about the further charges.


Bradley Manning reading his plea in court February 28 2013 – Clark Stoeckley

Julian Assange the editor in chief of WikiLeaks was arrested over 800 days ago, spent over 500 days under house arrest and most recently over 250 days in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Julian Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over allegations of sexual misconduct, whilst Julian has publicly stated he would be happy to answer questions in London, or return to Sweden under conditions ensuring his rights and guarantee of no onward extradition, the UK & Swedish Governments have not honoured his request. The Ecuadorian Government has acknowledged his genuine fear of persecution by the United States Government and granted him political asylum. The Australian Government has also failed to represent Julian Assange’s requests to the UK and Sweden. The United States Government has not ruled out that it will be seeking to extradite Julian Assange. Earlier this week on Australia’s ABC television show Q&A, Australia’s Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr and the United States Ambassador to Australia Jeffery Bleich both claimed the US is not trying to get their hands on Julian Assange, despite being presented with documents showing the WikiLeaks Grand Jury number. Senator Carr called it a “CIA Conspiracy” – timely given yesterday Freedom of Information documents from the Bradley Manning trial showed the CIA investigation into Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

A quote by Martin Niemöller which is commonly substituted reads “First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”

We will speak out for Bradley Manning on Saturday the 2nd of March in Sydney Australia the Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition, (SAWC) will have a float in this year’s Mardi Gras parade not only in solidarity with Bradley Manning’s stand for Marriage equality of those in California, also for Bradley Manning the American Hero and his fight to set the truth free through revolutionary methods like WikiLeaks secure dropbox which allowed him to show how the first world exploits the third and horrendous war crimes that are otherwise hidden under government classification.

One hundred supporters dressed in rainbow colours will march in the annual Mardi Gras Parade in support of Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

More Information on the Mardi Gras event and Media contacts at

Read the full transcript by Alexa O’Brien at Pfc. Bradley E. Manning’s Statement for the Providence Inquiry

Or listen to the text-to-speech of the statement


What next for CryptoParties? Rebuilding and Thriving

CryptoParty ( was born in August 2012, personally I was unplugged and off grid at the time ( Several twitter users from around the world had been discussing the Australian Cybercrime legislation and the National Security Inquiry, led to the birth of a series of decentralised skill sharing events with the common goal of sharing and discussing tools, methods and best practices for online anonymity and privacy, specifically using encryption methods.

The CyberCrime Bill which passed in August, amends the existing laws including multiple Criminal, Telecommunications Acts. But also extending to global cooperation via the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime. Of course the government used the usual excuse of for your safety from the evil Terrorist Pedobear Pirate Scamming BoogeyMans.

The National Security Inquiry, on the instruction of the Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon is yet to be drafted, however several concerns have been raised from the discussion papers, most well known the data retention, which would see Internet Service providers required to hold onto your data/or metadata, depending where you read it, for an extended period of time somewhere between 2 years and indefinitely.. The national security Inquiry is to protect you from the evil Tax Cheat Insider Trading Murdering Rapist Terrorist Pedobear Pirate Scamming BoogeyMans. Reference stolen from CCedRoxon video (

Without going into the specifics of the CyberCrime Bill ( or National Security Inquiry ( at this stage, I invite you all to raise any questions or concerns you have about them, as they both raise serious concerns for the privacy of every internet user and the threats to freedom of expression.

CryptoParty went viral – Whilst not a ‘new’ concept, taking the online world ‘offline’ has escalated in the past few years and is achieving revolutionary things. The speed, clarity and consistency of the message simultaneously reached every corner of the planet.. within weeks of the first tweet, CryptoPartys had been held in 40 odd countries, some hitting hundreds of people, some off-the-record private versions as well as online versions of CryptoParties.

As well as all these meetings a CryptoParty Handbook has been crowdsourced, and the first edition released with over 400 pages, If you have not already started reading, I do recommend you download a copy from the website and start reading, in addition if you have the skills and knowledge please also contribute with new material and corrections. Whilst only in the first addition it already contains information on tips, security and encryption for email, internet browsing tips, security and tools, Anonymous publishing, secure and encrypted phone calls and sms, encrypted file sharing, keeping your passwords safe and encrypting your computer’s hard drive.

A bit more on why we CryptoParty, Online anonymity and privacy isn’t an elaborate series of tools and methods to stop the police catching criminals.. rather groups such as Journalists and their sources, activists, computer coders/hackers and includes whistle-blowers and citizens of repressive regimes. The tools, methods and best practices discussed at CryptoParties are the same methods the could be the difference between history in China being erased, a citizen journalist in Syria being killed for publishing a video or an everyday Australian who is simply concerned about their online privacy, when things like their private diary, which they record their thoughts, is easily accessible to any single law enforcement officer in the country, with little to no judicial oversight or accountability.

I personally spend my spare time as an internet rights activist, mostly defending the WikiLeaks organisation. The reason I bring this up, is their model of a right to know information from Governments and Corporations raises a question, which again I hope will be discussed further tonight, about the difference between Government transparency and personal privacy. The protection of whistleblowers using off-the-record, private and anonymous methods are a key pillar in ensuring a civilised society, and put simply, keeping the bastards honest.

In contrast with personal privacy.. arguments like “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide” are easily dismantled… may favourite is incredibly simple, respond with “Do you have curtains on your bedroom window”
The right to anonymity could potentially start a debate.. and we could end up talking about them nasty trolls.. I personally support everyones right to free speech, even them trolls, and I support their right to anonymity… and I respond to these arguments with the Oscar Wilde quote “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth”.

There are very important threats to understand when using the internet, and a basic understanding of keeping yourself secure is a requirement, even if your only checking emails. Malware, keyloggers, hidden cameras and most importantly (in my opinion) social engineering. Social engineering is basically manipulating a person to release confidential information, weather it be a password, credit card number or an endless list of ways of accessing your devices or online services. We should all use common sense at CryptoParties, and this also goes for spotting snake oil, honeytraps etc.

CryptoParties have open agendas; a combination of speakers addressing the group both in person and via live video and audio links and group discussion, teach, share, learn.. You can also break off into smaller groups to discuss specific topics, beginners can learn the basic software they need, and have someone guide them through installing it on their laptop on the spot… Whilst the techies can collaborate and continue to improve the tools and resources to encrypt the internet.
Most importantly…

CryptoParty’s are about having fun, party like its 1984!

Late December of 2012, whilst the Chaos Computer Club was hosting 29C3 in Hamburg, Germany ( Twitter commentator and internet rights activist Asher Wolf, who was instrumental in the idea of CryptoParty turning into a global movement (, raised serious concerns about misogyny, sexism, harassment and as Asher put it ‘down-right douche-baggery.’ On Asher’s blog post ( several people were named and shamed. An unfortunately for them, they were all accused as being sexist as this was the key title the article went viral using. I do not want to write-off this issue as it is definitely something that does need to be address in all groups, organisations and communities. However, I want to focus on rebuilding CryptoParties to be bigger, stronger and more open to everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion or technical ability.

Jacob Appaulbaum was named in Asher’s blog post, Jacob is a hero to many in the community as has achieved great things, notably his work with the Tor Project ( discussed during his key note speech at 29c3 (, he discussed spilts in community groups and the damaging impact it can have. Jacob made a great reference to a single ‘binary blob’ in a persons actions like a single wrong line of code in an open source software, we shouldn’t get stuck on one thing when people have contributed great things to the community. I believe private dialogue should be used as a first step to address this to avoid smearing the names of people who otherwise have achieved great things, as we all know the beast that is the internet can have huge ongoing ramifications.

I call for more discussion on improving CryptoParties and helping reach the movements goals. And local groups forming organisations like Tor Servers ( or even just running a Tor Relay of your own or talking to your friends about encryption software that is user friendly. What can we do next, we have had many wins and the opportunity for more are on the internet are on the horizon, can we continue to thrive on the good spirit of our communities and not let movements destroy themselves from the inside.

“Respect, Honesty, Kindness, Politeness…. These four characteristics are the root of all good and bad people. I feel that the lack of these main attributes are the seeds of many others. When you lack respect, politeness, kindness and honesty; you open the doors for greed, hate, distrust and violence. When you have these four characteristics, you open the door for happiness, love, and peace.” ~unknown

Beat The Blockade – Extra gift ideas and donation options

Today has launched its new Christmas gift idea campaign, with multiple items and e-cards for donation gifts to your friends and family.

Visit the site at

I have come across a few other gift ideas and donation options which support WikiLeaks related groups and individuals.

Bradley Manning Support Network – Stickers, Badges, T-Shirts and banners with proceeds to the Bradley Manning Support Network and Defence

The WikiLeaks Tapes – The DVD created by Cathy Vogan with interviews with WikiLeaks supporters including Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Mary Kostakidis, John Pilger and MANY more. Proceeds help fund the travelling costs, filming and producing of these and future interviews

The WikiLeaks Truck – Stickers, Prints and Customer Guy Fawkes Masks to cover help the cost of the WikiLeaks Truck and expanding the WikiLeaks Fleet around the world –

Alexa O’Brien – Donations to cover Alexa’s expenses of reporting on Bradley Manning’s historic, ‘secret’ trial at Fort Meade

Kevin Gosztola – Donations to cover Kevin’s (FDL) coverage of Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearings.

Jeremy Hammond Support Network – ‘Hear Us Now’ compilation CD with proceeds going to defence funds for Jeremy Hammond and the Free Anons Network

Undergound – Book by Suelette Dreyfus & Julian Assange

Julian Assange Action Figure – part of the proceeds of the 12 inch action figure go to Wikileaks

If I have missed any, please responded in the comments and I will update the page.