January 27, 2011

How to Donate to Wikileaks (Using Flattr or Other Means)

The old info power structure has mobilized to destroy Wikileaks and Julian Assange. Through proceedings probably contrary to law, Sweden has secured Assange's arrest. Amazon and others kicked WL off their servers, and PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, Bank of America, and other major banks are working to strangle the organization financially (even though it has yet to be charged with any crime under the law of any nation).

As a result, there's a lot of confusion about how to safely donate to Wikileaks.

"We have been losing more than 600,000 [Swiss] francs a week since the start of the publication of the diplomatic cables," Assange has told a Swiss newspaper. "To continue our business, we would need to find a way to get this money back."

Here's how you can help:

1. You can donate to Assange's defense fund through his lawyers' PayPal account, here. Whatever you may think of Assange, he's been a driving force in founding WL and creating its successes so far – I personally believe he's one of few people on the planet who understand the strategic challenges – and given the chance, I believe he'll continue to contribute to human advancement. Plus, it's worth it if only to help give the oligarchs a little h*ll.

2. You can donate to WL by mailing them a check. This may be the most fool-proof method. HOWEVER, it probably won't work if your checking account is with Bank of America or one of the other banks that's refusing to process payments to WL (another great reason to move your money to a local credit union); so confirm with your bank that they'll process it. Checks can be mailed to:
WikiLeaks (or another name likely to avoid interception in your country; say, Sunshine Products)
BOX 4080
Australia Post Office - University of Melbourne Branch
Victoria 3052
3. You can find instructions here for wire transfers to WL. (Again, make sure your bank isn't one of the ones refusing to process payments to WL.)

4. (UPDATE: I cannot recommend attempting to donate to Wikileaks using Flattr at this time. After repeated efforts during the last week, the fate of the money I deposited with Flattr remains uncertain. Also, the way the interface is designed, it's easy to think you're donating to Wikileaks when you're really donating to someone who submitted a post mentioning Wikileaks. If you'd like more details, please feel free to contact me.)

You can find a summary of the case for Wikileaks plus more ways to help here.

FURTHER UPDATE: Ten mos. after my original post, someone submitted a comment with a link to a page where you can donate to Wikileaks using Flattr; I've published this comment below (click on "comments" below if the comment isn't showing up). The link yields a page with posts that can be "flattred" in order to donate to Wikileaks.

Now, I don't want to disparage what appears to be a generally well-intentioned enterprise. But when I tried to donate to Wikileaks using Flattr ten months ago, there were several issues. First, you had to set up an account with Flattr, and it seems that at least some of the info associated with the account and your use of it will therefore be public, and of course all of it will be available to the owners of Flattr, who may or may not be good guys now but later could be the Koch Bros. Second, the site denominated funds in euros, not dollars; so since my funds are all denominated in dollars, it was impossible to put funds into my Flattr account and end up with a round number that could be fully allocated to Wikileaks. Third, I ended up having to exchange emails with Flattr support to figure out how to make a one-time donation of most of the funds to Wikileaks, because the Flattr system is built for monthly donations, not a one-time donation, and the way to do it was not well-labelled. Fourth, any funds left in your account at the end of the month, whether because you had an odd amount that couldn't be fully allocated or for any other reason, would go to a charity of the Flattr owners' choice rather than yours. And, like, how do I know they actually did that?

Hopefully, Flattr has resolved some of these issues by now. But having already spent way too much time on Flattr without getting it to work all that well for me, I'd personally be inclined to just go here.

1 comment:

  1. is simple actually, using this link: