Heather Marsh

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Heather Marsh is a human rights and internet activist, programmer and political theorist. She is the author of Binding Chaos, a study of methods of mass collaboration.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

In 2010 she became administrator, editor in chief and domain holder for the Wikileaks endorsed[8] news site Wikileaks Central. 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.

As editor in chief and administrator of Wikileaks Central she used the media attention on Wikileaks in 2010 to 2012 to shine light on human rights and transparency issues and support revolutions around the world.[9] "As Georgie she has been writing about the revolution since before the beginning, starting with A Stateless War[10] in September 2010."[9] She wrote the first article referencing what became the US Occupy movement on the day it started, March 10, 2011,[11][12] and covered many other day of rages within hours of their beginnings.

A Canadian activist, she created Take the Square Canada and worked with activists around the world to "encourage and facilitate connection and communication for the revolution".[12] 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 movement and the US Occupy movement.[12]

She began writing A Proposal for Governance in November 2011 and was invited to the Berlin Biennale from April - June 2012 to work with other hackers on creation of the Global Square. She represented the Berlin Biennale hackathon at the World Free Media Forum in Rio in June 2012.


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"[13] and working towards the Wikileaks model of scientific journalism.

WL Central rapidly became an internationally very widely read news site,[14] broke several important stories such as the secret CIA prisons in Poland[15] 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."[16]

Her writings on the site covered investigations of leaked material, both from Wikileaks and other sources such as al Jazeera and anonymous, coverage of revolutions and protests in live blog and investigative format, and coverage of individual human rights cases, including interviews. 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.[17] 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?,[18](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[19] and Zimbabwe election, Reuters and the troll who accidentally won the Internet.[20]

She resigned as editor in chief, administrator and domain holder of Wikileaks Central on March 8, 2012.[21]

Political theorist[edit]

She has been primarily associated with concepts such as approval economy, stigmergy as a system of mass collaboration, concentric user groups, epistemic communities with knowledge bridges and other political theories which relate to horizontal collaboration. She has also written a great deal about global power structures and what she sees as the "ponzi schemes" of power, celebrity and wealth, how they are created and upheld and the roles which contribute to oligarchy.

She rejects Lockean libertarianism[22] as "societal self destruction"[23] and is in favour of individual rights, governance by user group and overlapping societies with clearly defined social contracts. She is against all forms of trade economy including peer-to-peer and gift economies. She advocates an economy with societal approval as currency. She calls both democracy and communist government "failed concepts" and recommends stigmergy, concentric circles and knowledge bridges as methods of mass collaboration.

Through Global Square she formed a partnership with the Tribler and other projects to code her ideas for mass collaboration. In 2011 she began "A Proposal for Governance"[24] and from there developed concepts which were the foundation for the Global Square, a technological solution to the problems outlined in A Proposal for Governance[24][25][26] and the subsequent Governance and Other Systems of Mass Collaboration.[27][28][29] Through Wikileaks, the project went viral in the international media.[30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66] She gave a keynote speech on approval economy at the Alternate G8 summit in 2013[67] and represented the Berlin Biennale hackathon at the World Free Media Forum in Rio in June 2012.[68] She is the author of Binding Chaos, a study of methods mass collaboration.

Human rights activist[edit]

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.[69] She has been associated with Guantanamo activism,[70] primarily for Canadian POW Omar Khadr,[71] and Anonymous activity, particularly human rights issues.[27][72][73][74][75][76][77] She has reported and campaigned extensively against human trafficking and violations committed by global resource corporations.[78]

She has written extensively on her activism including investigative reports and interviews [79] on Canadian juvenile Omar Khadr, one of the youngest prisoners of Guantanamo Bay. Her popular blog is well-received globally.[80] She is the national spokesperson for the Free Omar Khadr[81] group in Canada, spending her time writing, speaking, advocating for Omar's release.[82] One of her most recent interviews were published in The Diplomat[83] related to her work about Omar Khadr.[84]

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.[85][86] She brought global awareness to topics such as the Rohingya genocide in Burma[72][73][87] and ritual killings in Gabon[75][76][88] as well as many other individual and group cases through both activism and journalism.[89]

She began a research project to map connections between the people behind resource corporations, militias, spies and prisons ”to remove the corporate boxes and see who is behind everything and what else they are involved in,” in response to a fracking protest in New Brunswick.[90][91] She started the OpDeathEaters campaign to inform the public of high level complicity in the human trafficking and 'paedosadism'[92] industries with a goal of independent inquiries to investigate and a change in public discourse around these crimes.[93][93][94][94][95][96][97][98][99][100][101][102][103][104][105][106][107][108][109][110][111][112][113][114][115][116][117][118][119][120][121] 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." [122] She has frequently called for the abolishment of NGOs which she considers part of the "systems of dissociation" which stand between people and prevent creation of healthy society.[123]

Privacy, free Internet activist[edit]

She has been "active in human rights and freedom of information for years".[9] She is known to use many online identities, and has said they are ""usually sexually ambiguous or male"" to circumvent online sexism. She asserts that anonymous identities allow for ""pure thought exchange ... unclouded by preconceived judgements based on unrelated data.""[124] Her work on WL Central advocated transparency for actions and organizations that affect the public and privacy for individuals. She was an early supporter of CryptoParty and provided an international message of support by audio to the first events.[124][125]

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.[126]


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External links[edit]