March 17, 2012

RE: open letter from Rose Collins via @youranonnews

In response to an open letter from Rose Collins, the mother of arrested Anonymous hacktivist Jeremy Hammond, @YourAnonNews issues the following remarks:

First, we do not presume to speak on behalf of the entire Anonymous movement. No one can speak for everyone in Anonymous. However, when we saw the open letter from Jeremy Hammond’s mother linked above, we knew we had to issue a response of some sort.

This response encapsulates the personal views of the YourAnonNews team and in no way is meant to be reflective of Anonymous as a whole. Second, Hammond was a true friend and ally in Anonymous—a fellow compatriot at electronic arms, so to say.
His fierce convictions and inner strength could be strongly sensed even over nothing but text on a screen. If we can in any way help his mother understand the strongly held convictions of her son and the movement he is involved in, we will do our best.
Here goes…

(1) Please Rose, for the sake of all that is good in this world, don’t EVER attempt to speak “Internet” again. Please. Don’t. (We kid, of course. We appreciated the attempt.)

(2) If you do some basic research, you would find that Anonymous has a strong legal network, with close ties to various legal organisations, including the NLG and EFF, as well as various criminal defence law firms. Your son is represented currently by attorney Liz Fink, with the NLG. We suggest that you reach out to the attorney and establish contact, if you have not done so already.

(3) Your son also has a legal defense fund and a dedicated site with constant updates on his legal proceedings. You can learn more about it here:

(4) Some of us here knew Hammond closely online. His arrest is a great loss to us, not only as Anons, but also on a personal level. Your son is an amazing person and has a big heart. We sorely miss his online presence.

(5) We will not presume to know what your family’s personal situation is like, but whatever your political differences may be with your son, it’s probably best to reach out to him at this time. Be there for him. Support him. He believed in what he was doing. Honour that.

(6) What will we do if we meet up with Sabu? We’ll listen to his side of the story. Because we strongly believe that every story has multiple sides and each deserves a fair hearing. Perhaps many in the community were too quick to rush to judgment. Perhaps not. Only time will tell once all of the facts get laid out and properly sorted.

(7) Please get a manicure. And why are your nails poisonous? Just curious. That’s probably not a good thing…

(8) You actually make some interesting points about the feds and Sabu and raise some good questions that all of us should have asked ourselves before we hastily jumped to conclusions. It is interesting that you, out of all of us, are the one to most vocally question the how and why the feds burned Sabu as their informant asset. Thank you for reminding us of the need to remain critical and curious. We strongly encourage all Anons and other individuals to do their own research and analyse mainstream-media disseminated stories before jumping into them head first and making assumptions. We cannot say it enough: Facts, facts, facts. Research, research, research.

(9) How does one “spit a rat”? Wait…don’t answer, we don’t want to know!  D:

(10) You ask, who are we to decide that all government secrets must be exposed? You should actually be asking, who are we NOT to demand this? The People have a right to know what is going on within the depths of THEIR government. The government is there to serve us, not politicians’ self interest, corporate profits, or special interest groups. If it fails in its singular goal of preserving liberty and freedom, and instead starts to impinge onto our essential rights, who are we to NOT stand up to it? Who watches the watchmen? WE DO, because frankly, no one else will.

(11) No one’s trying to force you to wear a burqa. How does ending capitalism lead to you wearing a burqa? Lady, we’d love to get inside your head and understand your  reasoning.

(12) We’re not a group. Stop thinking of us as such. It seems that your arguments directed at us are actually directed at your son’s political views. Why don’t you take some time to hash them out with him? Or at least try to understand how he conceptualises Anonymous and sees himself in it?

(13) Anonymous actively works toward contradictory aims. What can we say? We’re just a bag of convoluted contradictions. But don’t you see? That is the beauty of the idea and movement. Anonymous has been pro choice and pro life. Anonymous has fought for uncensored Internet and yet conducts vigilante attacks on pedophile websites. Anonymous is comprised of tens of thousands of people from all schools of political thought. And yet, despite all of that, there exists a common fibre that is woven through the social fabric within Anonymous—We care about change and we exist to challenge the status quo. We have a remarkable degree of ability to work together on common causes where they exist because we know that we are working to create a better future not just for ourselves, but for generations to come. We hope you can understand this.

(14) We’re glad that you’re just as mad at the economic situation as us. You actually raise a good point—that perhaps the economic crisis is not any one specific segment’s fault more than another, but rather, a multi-faceted endemic systemic failure of the current capitalistic economy and its supporting structures. Thank you.

(15) We are doing what we can to help your son. And we hope you are as well. Reach out to him. Be there for him. Support him. Stay strong for him. Try to understand him. Try to put his actions in context. Help him. Love him. You can do this better than any of us. :)
We sincerely hope we provided some sort of insight in answer of your queries. Please feel free to reach out to us or any other Anons should you have additional questions or concerns.

The YourAnonNews Team

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