What do you get the person who has everything – and a creepy crush on Julian Assange – for Christmas? The answer to that ungoogleable question is finally here. On Friday WikiLeaks announced on Twitter it was holding the first of four fundraising auctions. “All items have been donated to WikiLeaks by Julian Assange or the guests to his 40th birthday party,” they claimed, and that the money raised from the sales would be used “exclusively to support WikiLeaks’ right to publish”. They conclude their statement with a justification for the auction, saying that since 2010, WikiLeaks had been subjected to an “unlawful financial embargo by the Bank of America, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Western Union”, which they claimed was blocking 90% to 95% of the donations they could otherwise be raking in.
So what’s up for grabs? Well, there’s a sachet of prison coffee Julian smuggled out, “signed and fingerprinted”, reserve price £235 (about R2,700). If you think that’s not quite enough Julian for your buck, you can snap up a signed photo of the great man for a mere £640 (about R7,500). Or how about the very computer they used to leak all the cables? You can buy that historic laptop for £6,000 (R71,000). Alternatively, get yourself a piece of history in the shape of the framed cable describing the USA’s spying orders against the UN (also signed and fingerprinted by Julian, obviously). That one will set you back £2,100 (R25,000).
You only have until 23 September to make your offer, but don’t panic. As of Monday, most of the items for sale had received 0 bids. DM
"We are surrounded by story." ~ Alice McDermott