Heather Marsh, Cuba, 2016
|Known for||Horizontal governance theory|
Heather Marsh is a philosopher, programmer and human rights activist. She is the author of Binding Chaos, a study of methods of mass collaboration and the founder of Getgee, a project to create a global data commons and trust network.
She gives talks about mass collaboration, democracy, economy and other societal issues. She has spoken about Getgee and the need for a global data commons at various software conferences. She gave a keynote speech on approval economy at the Alternate G8 summit in 2013. She was invited to the 2012 Berlin Biennale as part of their Occupy art exhibition. She represented the Berlin Biennale hackathon at the World Free Media Forum in Rio in June 2012. As a journalist, she has written many freelance articles and from 2010 to 2012 she was the sole editor and administrator for the Wikileaks sponsored news site, Wikileaks Central. As an activist, she has started many very successful human rights campaigns. As a philosopher, she has given many interviews to media and academics, written books and essays and given talks in many countries. In 2018 she was invited to speak at the Oxford Union, which claims to be "the world’s most prestigious debating society" and "the last bastion of free speech". The video of her talk was censored on order from a former CIA operative and director of the US DIA.
Internet and Journalism
Since 2015 she has been working to initiate a global data commons project with Getgee, a universal database and trust network. Getgee seeks to allow global collaboration on research and information without control by a specific platform. This is a continuation of her earlier viral project called the Global Square. and a continuation of years of writing about mass communication including open journalism and scientific and academic research.
Her own journalism has covered investigations of leaked material and individual human rights cases as well as breaking coverage of global events. In one unpublished interview with Guantanamo defence attorney Dennis Edney, the two discuss blackmail attempts of witnesses by the FBI and the possibility that Omar Khadr's plea deal was signed without legal counsel. The interview was subsequently leaked to Cryptome. The interview discusses the delaying of publication until after Edney returns from Guantanamo; when he returned from Guantanamo he was fired from the case and forbidden to speak of it.
As both a journalist and a media critic, she has often combined the two in articles such as The Guardian: Redacting, Censoring or Lying?, (the topic of an interview between Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger and Julian Assange in the documentary Mediastan), Toronto Star Coverage of Omar Khadr since his trial week and Zimbabwe election, Reuters and the troll who accidentally won the Internet.
She has advocated for both transparency for actions and organizations that affect the public and privacy for individuals. She is against control and ownership of knowledge by copyrights and patents but writes "Privacy and ownership of personal stories are closely related to human dignity" and credit (although not ownership) for ideas and intellectual labour is essential in an approval economy.She has been active in freedom of information, anti-poverty, justice related cases and all forms of 'human dignity' as well as advocating for individual rights ahead of all systems of governance. She has been associated with Guantanamo activism, primarily for Canadian POW Omar Khadr, and Anonymous activity, particularly human rights issues. She has reported and campaigned extensively against human trafficking and violations committed by global resource corporations.
She has written extensively on her activism including investigative reports and interviews on Canadian juvenile Omar Khadr, one of the youngest prisoners of Guantanamo Bay. Her popular blog is well-received globally. She is the national spokesperson for the Free Omar Khadr group in Canada, spending her time writing, speaking, advocating for Omar's release. One of her most recent interviews were published in The Diplomat related to her work about Omar Khadr.
She wrote the first English media articles about Abdulelah Haider Shaye, a Yemeni journalist ordered imprisoned by Obama, a year and a half before any report appeared in the US. She brought global awareness to topics such as the Rohingya genocide in Burma and ritual killings in Gabon. She began a research project to map connections between the people behind resource corporations, militias, spies and prisons in response to a fracking protest in New Brunswick. This became opCanary which seeks to form alliances between local groups fighting the same multinational resource corporations. She started the OpDeathEaters campaign to inform the public of high level complicity in the human trafficking and 'paedosadism' industries with a goal of independent inquiries to investigate and a change in public discourse around these crimes. Her opGabon and opDeatheaters campaigns were the subject of a book, Crime, Justice and Social Media by Australian criminologist Michael Salter which asked "How is social media changing contemporary understandings of crime and injustice, and what contribution can it make to justice-seeking?" and featured extensive interviews with her.
She started Gaza Rebirth, "a new paradigm for recovery activism" to establish direct aid to Gaza in 2014 and "to start a dialogue about this cycle of destruction and 'rebuilding' where corporate empires are feeding off real human torment as a growth industry to enrich themselves." She has frequently called for the decentralization of NGOs which she considers part of the "systems of dissociation" which stand between people and prevent creation of healthy society.
WikiLeaks, Anonymous, Occupy and more
In 2010 she became administrator, editor in chief and domain holder for the Wikileaks sponsored news site Wikileaks Central, "a global news site which was requested, announced, promoted, endorsed and hosted by Wikileaks but run autonomously and separately" by Marsh. As editor/administrator of WL Central, she created a community for 70+ activists around the world to provide a new hard news organization, covering only "the news people require in order to govern themselves". She used WL Central to tie Wikileaks releases to current events and advocate for social change under the slogan "News, analysis, action." The Action section contained protest calendars, petitions, and information for activists. The site published in 16 languages and protests were listed for over one hundred countries.
WL Central rapidly became an internationally very widely read news site, broke several important stories such as the secret CIA prisons in Poland and provided the most in depth coverage of many uprisings. Influential net critic Geert Lovink called WL Central the fourth website he visits every day: "WL Central turned into an alternative news aggregator and a kind of alternative CNN a.k.a. follow-up of Indymedia in the good old days of 2000-2001. it's gone down a bit but still can up with amazing stories from its own correspondents. WL Central shows what the Web is capable of doing beyond the 140 characters of Twitter and the informal chit-chat on Facebook."
She resigned as editor in chief, administrator and domain holder of Wikileaks Central on March 8, 2012.
She used the media attention on Wikileaks from 2010 to 2012 to shine light on human rights and transparency issues and support activist movements around the world. Some of those groups were the South Korean Hope Riders, the North African Day of Rages, the Chinese Jasmine revolution, the Spanish Indignados/Take the Square/15M movement and the Occupy movement. She wrote the first article referencing what became the US Occupy movement on the day it started, March 10, 2011, and covered many other day of rages within hours of their beginnings. A Canadian activist, she created Take the Square Canada in association with the Spanish movement.
She has received frequent international support from Anonymous for her human rights campaigns since 2010 and she calls them "old friends". She has referenced them as a method of collaboration, not a movement or group, and says the method they use is stigmergy. She says Anonymous follows ideas and actions instead of personalities, a form of organization she recommends for mass movements.
- Burl Hall. "Article: Binding Chaos: Meditations on the Work of Heather Marsh". OpEdNews.
- "'Binding Chaos': a compassionate vision for a future society - ROAR Magazine". roarmag.org. December 12, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- "Getgee Universal Database". www.getgee.xyz. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- "Berlin radio 2012-05-29 talking about Global Square". SoundCloud. May 29, 2015. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- Knowles, Jamillah (February 22, 2012). "Outriders". BBC. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- "Would you join a Facebook-style Occupy social network?". CBC.ca. CBC. December 28, 2011. Archived from the original on December 29, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
- Chanda, Devin (December 29, 2011). "'Occupy' Protestors Building Activist-Only Facebook". Complex Tech. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- Cоциальная сеть "The Global Square" от движения "Occupy Wall Street" [The social network "The Global Square" from the movement "Occupy Wall Street"]. Massimo (in Russian). December 29, 2011. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013.
- "Сеть оккупантам". Коммерсантъ (Citizen K) (in Russian). February 6, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- "How Canada Has Hidden the Truth About Omar Khadr: US War Crimes, Institutional Racism and Media Failures". February 11, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- Heather Marsh (July 20, 2012). "Toronto Star coverage of Omar Khadr since his trial week (Oct 25, 2010)". GeorgieBC's Blog. WordPress. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- Jeb Boone (May 6, 2013). "Myanmar: Anonymous rallies around Rohingya, prepares for online operation". GlobalPost. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- "How Anonymous gamed Twitter to shed light on a hidden massacre". The Daily Dot.
- Lorraine Murphy (December 11, 2015). "Anonymous challenges crisis in West Africa with OpGabon". The Daily Dot. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- Jeb Boone (April 16, 2013). "OpGabon: Anonymous attacks Gabon government sites in protest of ritual killings". GlobalPost. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- "Mu 83: Podemos". Lavaca. December 18, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- Sonya Rehman, The Diplomat. "Freeing Omar Khadr: An Interview with Guantanamo Bay Activists". The Diplomat.
- "VICE - United States - The Definitive Guide to Enlightening Information". VICE.
- Lorraine Murphy (November 29, 2013). "Anonymous' OpGabon returns ahead of Gabon's municipal elections". The Daily Dot. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- "OpFrackOff: Anonymous pledges support to Canada anti-fracking protesters". GlobalPost.
- Patrick McGuire (January 15, 2015). "Behind Anonymous's Operation to Reveal Britain's Elite Child-Rape Syndicate". VICE. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- "Anonymous hackers turn fire on global paedophile menace". Telegraph.co.uk. January 23, 2015. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- Michael Salter (October 12, 2012). Crime, Justice and Social Media. Routledge. ISBN 9781138919679.
- "An interview with #GazaRebirth: a New Paradigm for Recovery Activism". The Cryptosphere. October 20, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- "Contact". WL Central. Archived from the original on November 23, 2010.
- "CIA prison in Poland". wlcentral.org. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- Marsh, Heather. "To Whom It May Concern". WL Central. Archived from the original on October 22, 2015. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
- "2011-10-25 Thoughts on revolution from Take the Square, WL Central and a member of US Day of Rage (AUDIO)". WL Central. Archived from the original on October 26, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- Dorling, Philip. "Building on WikiLeaks". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on October 29, 2011. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- GeorgieBC. "@USDayofRage is on facebook #USDOR". WL Central. Archived from the original on March 14, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
- Peter Foster (January 23, 2015). "Anonymous hackers turn fire on global paedophile menace". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- "OpDeathEaters: Anonymous Gearing up to Expose Global Pedophile Networks". HackRead. January 25, 2015. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- "Inteligencia Colectiva para la Democracia. Viernes 18. Tarde", Medialab-Prado, YouTube, November 18, 2016, retrieved November 16, 2017
- GeorgieBC's Blog - personal website
- Wikileaks Central, the Wikileaks endorsed news site as it appeared under Heather Marsh. at the Wayback Machine (archived September 18, 2016)