12.05.2010

daniel ellsberg calls for boycott of amazon over wikileaks

Daniel Ellsberg:
Open letter to Amazon.com Customer Service:

December 2, 2010

I’m disgusted by Amazon’s cowardice and servility in abruptly terminating today its hosting of the Wikileaks website, in the face of threats from Senator Joe Lieberman and other Congressional right-wingers. I want no further association with any company that encourages legislative and executive officials to aspire to China’s control of information and deterrence of whistle-blowing.

For the last several years, I’ve been spending over $100 a month on new and used books from Amazon. That’s over. I ask Amazon to terminate immediately my membership in Amazon Prime and my Amazon credit card and account, to delete my contact and credit information from their files and to send me no more notices.

I understand that many other regular customers feel as I do and are responding the same way. Good: the broader and more immediate the boycott, the better. I hope that these others encourage their contact lists to do likewise and to let Amazon know exactly why they’re shifting their business. I’ve asked friends today to suggest alternatives, and I’ll be exploring service from Powell’s Books, Half-Price Books, Biblio and others.

So far Amazon has spared itself the further embarrassment of trying to explain its action openly. This would be a good time for Amazon insiders who know and perhaps can document the political pressures that were brought to bear – and the details of the hasty kowtowing by their bosses – to leak that information. They can send it to Wikileaks (now on servers outside the US), to mainstream journalists or bloggers, or perhaps to sites like antiwar.com that have now appropriately ended their book-purchasing association with Amazon.

Yours (no longer),
Daniel Ellsberg

Powell's, by the way, is an excellent bookseller. The company supports progressive causes and their employees are unionized.

7 comments:

M@ said...

A unionized bookstore!? I had no idea that such a thing existed.

johngoldfine said...

abebooks.com is also very good, and, if I'm not mistaken, is based in Canada.

deang said...

My immediate response to hearing that Amazon had dropped Wikileaks was to cancel my account. Glad to hear others are doing so as well. And, yes, Powells is great.

deang said...

And more Wikileaks solidarity activism, as reported in Foreign Policy blogs:

"In a bid to stay one step ahead of the governments, companies, freelance hackers trying to shut down its operations, WikiLeaks mobilized its vast base of online support Saturday by asking its Twitter followers to create copies of its growing archive of hundreds of classified State Department cables.

By late afternoon Eastern time, more than 200 had answered the call, setting up "mirror" sites, many of them with the name "wikileaks" appended to their Web addresses. They organized themselves organically using the Twitter hashtag #imwikileaks"

redsock said...

L says abebooks is owned by Amazon.

johngoldfine said...

L says abebooks is owned by Amazon.

Yep, according to wikipedia, that is the case. Powell's it is then.

L-girl said...

Apparently AbeBooks was started by some folks in Vancouver, but since 2008 has been owned by Amazon.

http://www.abebooks.com/books/CompanyInformation/

Oh well!

Plus I just double-checked: Powell's is still your Union Bookstore.

Dean, thanks for that link. I had heard there was some Twitter action
around Wikileaks but I didn't know the details.