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Assange, Manning, and Snowden (as Statues) Challenging War in Geneva

The whistleblowers and government secrets revealers Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden are not free to travel. But, this week — in the form of a sculpture including their life-size bronze statues — they are standing in a Geneva, Switzerland plaza near the European headquarters of the United Nations. The sculpture’s message is antiwar, says its Italian sculptor Davide Dormino.

“The statue pays homage to three who said no to war, to the lies that lead to war and to the intrusion into private life that helps to perpetuate war,” Dormino explained when the sculpture, which is on tour, had its original unveiling in a Berlin, Germany plaza in May.

Assange has stayed since June of 2012 in the Ecuador embassy in London to prevent his extradition for prosecution by the United States government. Snowden left America in May of 2013 for Hong Kong and has, since a month later, stayed in Russia, also to avoid US prosecution. Manning, convicted in a US military court in July of 2013, is serving a 35-year prison sentence at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Says Dormino, “They have lost their freedom for the truth, so they remind us how important it is to know the truth.”

The sculpture features four chairs, with Assange, Manning, and Snowden standing on each of three chairs. The fourth chair is empty, available for anyone to stand on and say what he chooses. Thus the sculpture’s title “Anything to Say?”

Watch here a six-minute video of the previous installation, unveiling, and display of the sculpture in Berlin:

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