Resignations from The WikiLeaks Party: Statements

August 21, 2013

WACA Statement


WACA was formed as a response to the Australian Government’s hostility towards Wikileaks and our government’s complicity in the United States of America’s agenda to criminalize Julian Assange and the work of WikiLeaks. We believe we have a responsibility to ensure our human rights and civil liberties are not further eroded by legislators under the guise of ‘terrorism’, ‘national security’ or ‘cyber security’.

With the revelations by Edward Snowden of the NSA PRISM program and Bradley Manning’s conviction, WACA believes now more than never, we need to grow stronger as a global community and movement and continue to resist with all our force the global surveillance state and the corporate elites that wish to continue to plunder our future on this planet with a state of continuous war designed to fuel their own corporate greed and political machinations.

There have already been many casualties in the globalised assault on our civil liberties and right to live free of prosecution for dissent and these include; Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, Barrett Brown, Edward Snowden, Jeremy Hammond, Aaron Swartz, Glenn Greenwald and many more activists who have risked their life and liberty to protect our future rights and liberties.

For over three years members of WACA have campaigned, put our bodies on the line and risked arrest to hold those to account who wish to crush Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and all of us under the boots of global tyranny in this country and around the world. It was this commitment to our shared desire for freedom, truth, humanity and justice that led the co-founders of WACA to join in forming The Wikileaks Party in Australia.

In respect to the recent submission of Group Voting Tickets by The WikiLeaks Party in NSW and WA, this has created much sorrow and heartbreak for members of WACA as it has for other supporters. The co-founders of WACA (Sam Castro and Kaz Cochrane) as National Council members have fought hard to get an independent review into NSW and WA’s failure to follow the National Council’s directives.

As National Council members we have fought long and hard to hold the democratic process within The WikiLeaks Party and on the National Council. However after clear attempts today to subvert this democratic process we no longer believes it is possible to hold the internal democratic process and this makes our involvement in The WikiLeaks Party untenable. Our commitment to the movement and our core values cannot be shaken and we will not compromise ourselves any further.

One of WACA’s staunchest supporters and allies in this work has been Senator Scott Ludlam who has an uncompromised record of defending the citizenry against nefarious powers and corruption within government. We urge supporters in WA to vote for Scott Ludlam and keep this fine Senator in the Australian parliament.

We will continue to fight for the rights of Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and all whistleblowers who reveal the truth to the people. We will continue to fight for our own civil liberties and those of others but we will not tolerate abuses of power on this planet whether that is the USA Government or the National Council of The WikiLeaks Party.

As Julian Assange so eloquently stated in Cypherpunks:

“It is time to take up the arms of our new world, to fight for our- selves and for those we love. Our task is to secure self-determination where we can, to hold back the coming dystopia where we cannot, and if all else fails, to accelerate its self-destruction.” (Julian Assange, London, October 2012)

So it is with heavy hearts and a deep commitment to the ongoing work of WACA that we must resign from The WikiLeaks Party Campaign team and The WikiLeaks Party National Council as does David Haidon (Victorian volunteer coordinator) and Sean Bedlam (WikiLeaks Party social media team)

Solidarity to all in our global network who continue to fight for truth and justice.


Sam Castro
Kaz Cochrane
David Haidon
Sean Bedlam




Collective Statement


We the undersigned, several volunteers and national council members announce their resignation, effective immediately, from the Wikileaks Party. Victorian Senate candidate Leslie Cannold announced her resignation earlier this afternoon, and several further people now announce their resignations:

Sam Castro, National Council member
Kaz Cochrane, National Council member
Luke Pearson, National Council member
Dr Daniel Mathews, National Council member
Sean Bedlam, social media captain
David Haidon, Victorian volunteer Coordinator

To be a serious political contender, The Wikileaks Party must be what it claims to be: a democratically run party that both believes in transparency and accountability, and operates in this way.

Over the last few weeks, those of us resigning and others have been struggling to make this true. Amidst vigorous debates over preferences, there have been consistent challenges to the rights of the National Council, the 11 person democratic governing body of The Wikileaks Party. The job of the Council is to make democratic, transparent and accountable decisions.

We are concerned that where disagreement exists with the decisions Council makes, these have been white-anted and resisted, forcing Council to re-affirm these decisions and assert their right to make them.

The failure in WA and NSW for the National Council’s instructions for the Group Voting Tickets to be implemented exposed problems with the capacity of the party to sustain its democratic processes. Several within the National Council called for an immediate and independent review of this process, which was opposed by some National Council members, candidates and staff.

Despite this resistance, and after days of battle, this morning a review and a commitment to make the results transparent was announced.

Today, after hours of soul-searching, we decided that we would battle on. How else could we ensure the review had proper terms of reference and that the results were produced expeditiously and released to the public?

But then, an attempt was made to go outside the party’s formal structures, denigrating the Council and attempting to set up a parallel group taking direction from other than the National Council. The consequence of the proposal was that the National Council and other managers would be bypassed. Further, the independent review would be delayed until after the election and would not be done independently.

This is the final straw. As long as we believed there was a chance that democracy, transparency and accountability could prevail in the party we were willing to stay on. But where a National Council member begins openly subverting the party’s own processes, and asking others to join in a secret, alternative power centre that subverts the properly constituted one, this is not an acceptable mode of operation for any organization but even more so for an organization explicitly committed to democracy, transparency and accountability.

There are wonderful people in this organisation. People who joined put their heart and soul into making it into what they believed, and we believed it could be. We have more respect for these people than we can possibly express.

Some are leaving today. Others are considering their position. We respect any decision they make. We each have to do what we must to keep faith with ourselves and those who trust us.

We remain committed to the movement that has grown up around WikiLeaks. We will continue to work to support Julian Assange and the work of WikiLeaks. We also acknowledge the support of those who have supported WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, including Senator Scott Ludlam of WA. The candidates that the party has nominated for election are without exception remarkable people, highly qualified, experts in diverse fields, committed, hard-working, outstanding, talented human beings. We continue to support them.

Sam Castro, National Council member
Kaz Cochrane, National Council member
Luke Pearson, National Council member
Dr Daniel Mathews, National Council member
Sean Bedlam, social media captain
David Haidon, Victorian volunteer Coordinator




Dr Leslie Cannold Resigns from The Wikileaks Party


Today I am resigning from my role as the second Victorian Senate candidate for The Wikileaks Party. My understanding is that others will also resign today.

This statement reflects my own reasons for resigning. Because we have different roles in the organisation we all have slightly different reasons why we can no longer stay. However, the core of our concerns are essentially the same and so some of what is in this statement may also appear in others statements.

To keep being a candidate feels like I’m breaking faith with the Australian people, and those in the media who assist me to communicate with the public, many of whom I’ve had a long and respectful professional relationship with. This is because by being in this role I am implicitly making a statement that The
Wikileaks Party is what it claims to be: a democratically run party that both believes in transparency and accountability, and operates in this way.

Over the last few weeks those of us resigning and some others have been struggling to make this true. Over the course of the vigorous debates that have taken place over preferences there have been consistent challenges to the rights of the National Council, the 11 person democratic governing body of The
Wikileaks Party, to do it’s job: to make democratic, transparent and accountable decisions.

Since June when I joined the campaign, I have been concerned that where disagreement exists with decisions Council makes, these have been white-anted and resisted, forcing Council to re-affirm these decisions and assert their right to make them. At one point, there was a direct challenge to the Council’s democratic right to decide and implement decisions about preference and instead proposed that it become a rubber stamp. This was rejected by Council.

The failure in WA and NSW for the National Council’s instructions for the Group Voting Tickets to be implemented exposed problems with the capacity of the party to sustain its democratic processes. I joined with many of those who are resigning today and others to get an immediate and independent review of this process, something that was opposed by some National Council members, candidates and staff.

Despite this resistance, and after days of battle, we prevailed. This morning a review and a commitment to make the results transparent was announced.

This victory came at a cost. Those who fought for the review felt tired and disillusioned. We met this morning and after hours of soul-searching decided that we would battle on. How else could we ensure the review had proper terms of reference and that the results were produced expeditiously and released to the public?

But then, the bombshell. A member of the party rang two key volunteers in succession and requested that they join with him in going outside the party’s formal structures. In these phone calls, the Council was denigrated and a proposal made to each volunteer in succession that they join with select candidates and Council members in taking direction from other than the National Council. The consequence of the proposal was that the National Council and two of the campaign coordinators – also National Council members who have been actively involved in pushing for the preference review – would be bypassed.

An additional call was made to a campaign staffer. In direct contrast to the public statement The Wikileaks Party put out this morning in which we promised the public that we would have an immediate independent review of the preference outcomes, this person said that the review would be delayed until after the election and that it wouldn’t be done independently. The caller would run it. This is the final straw. As long as I believed there was a chance that democracy, transparency and accountability could prevail in the party I was willing to stay on and fight for it. But where a party member makes a bid to subvert the party’s own processes, asking others to join in a secret, alternative power centre that subverts the properly constituted one, nothing makes sense anymore. This is an unacceptable mode of operation for any organization but even more so for an organization explicitly committed to democracy, transparency and accountability.

Even if I stop campaigning this minute, remaining in my role implicitly invites voters to trust The Wikileaks Party. By staying in this role I am implicitly vouching for the worthiness of this party to receive the votes of the Australian people. I can no longer do this because I no longer believe it is true, and so I must resign.

There are some wonderful people in this organisation. People who joined it and have put their heart and soul into making it into what they believed, and I believed, it could be. I have more respect for those people than I can possibly express.

Some are leaving today. Some are considering their position. I have respect for any decision they make – we each have to do what we must to keep faith with ourselves and those who trust us.


Dr Leslie Cannold


Media contact Sam Castro 0439 569 289

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