The confinement of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has prompted a new form of protest. Supporters have organized a political rally in the metaverse, set to take place within the Wistaverse in the Sandbox metaverse. The event is planned by the ‘Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign’ and will feature speeches by notable figures.
Virtual Speakers and Event Details
The virtual rally will showcase a pre-recorded message from Assange himself, who has been confined in London’s Belmarsh Prison since April 2019. Joining him will be his wife, Stella Assange, WikiLeaks co-founder Kristinn Hrafnasson, and former leader of the U.K.’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. The speeches will be given as avatars or via filmed contributions inside the event.
The virtual rally is scheduled to unfold in a digital auditorium, fashioned after the Royal Courts of Justice in London where Assange is expected to undergo his final appeal within the U.K. court system. The Sandbox is a virtual world that’s run by its users, where people can make their own games and experiences. Inside The Sandbox, you can buy something called LAND, which is like a piece of property in the digital world. You can use this virtual land to build games, items, and even whole experiences.
The rally is set to occur at 5 p.m. BST on August 26, 2023. It aims to protest against Assange’s extradition to the U.S., where he faces potential imprisonment for up to 175 years on espionage charges. These charges stem from his leaking information about the U.S. government’s wrongdoings in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Wistaverse lets each person at the rally have an avatar. This avatar can listen to speeches, watch videos, and talk to other avatars at the virtual rally. The Wistaverse also keeps the users’ real identities safe and allows anyone to join in.
A Modern Intersection of Politics and Technology
WikiLeaks, founded by Assange, has been known to publish classified and sensitive information against various government wrongdoings. However, this journalistic work has made him a target for several agencies, especially in the United States.
Assange’s connection to the tech world extends beyond this virtual rally. He has previously dabbled with Web3 technology, raising approximately $50 million through the sale of NFTs to assist with his WikiLeaks case. An ‘Assange DAO’ and $JUSTICE token were also created as part of the fundraising effort.
This virtual rally represents a convergence of politics, activism, and technology. By utilizing the metaverse and blockchain technology, supporters of Assange are leveraging modern tools to voice their protest and draw attention to his cause. The event highlights how the digital age continues to influence and reshape political engagement, bringing people together in new ways to rally around shared beliefs. It reflects the evolving landscape of activism, where traditional boundaries are crossed and innovative methods are employed to make a stand.