Let’s get Real – Life as an activist is pretty solitary

Let’s get real.

The life of an activist can be very solitary.
You may have hundreds, even 1000s of people who are fans or working with you. However, you would be … alone.

Let’s take an example – Ed Snowden. I consider him somewhat of an activist. I mean let’s get real again.

For so many years. SOOOOO Many years, we were trying to get information regarding whether M$ was working with the government and there were small memos and documents released. As soon as those were released, there was an effort to censor.

As a free speech advocate, I would say Snowden did exercise his freedom which allowed us to know the truth.

Some people seek the truth. Others run from it. Activists – embrace it.

Knowing the truth, now there are efforts to assist people in their freedom. Freedom begets freedom?

Freedom = more freedom?

However, again… look at Snowden.
He will live a very different life now.
Who can he trust is really his friend or lover?
Who can he trust… period.

Regardless of trust. Who will sincerely admire him and who are his fans?
Does it matter to him?
Maybe… maybe not.

I suppose most people embrace it. They roll around in the attention. Others might not appreciate attention and want anonymity. At one conference, I did call out one of our number. At the time, he seemed upset and distressed. However, after, he made some amazing strides to make the world a better place. So, bringing the truth into the open can really be a great thing.

The problem is the being alone thing. I was not entirely honest with my ex. When I told him I was speaking at the Last Hope, he asked, “Why would they want *you* to present”.

Those words still ring in my mind. Why would they want me? That’s true. I mean, that really must have been a shock to him. After being together for only 2 years, there I was… speaking to hackers with Jello, Mitnick and Anonymous.

No wonder things didn’t really work out. You know, the years I had with him… were really amazing. I lived, like a “normal” person. I went to restaurants for dinner and I met with friends. I attended plays and went to the art museum.

I still felt alone. Seriously, it was like I was living a lie. I was hiding my true nature. I was alone. If it weren’t for the monthly meetings and work toward freedom I still do, I would be alone. I was alone at night hanging out with Anons. I felt guilty for moving forward my work in silent, in secret.

I think the ultimate sorrow for me was seeing another of our number die. When Aaron allegedly committed suicide, I was upset. With myself. We thought – he had it. He had a lawyer, he had support, he had friends and even a gf. Where were our efforts for him? After all, weren’t we the ones who encouraged this type of action that some thought radical. Weren’t we the ones who cheered people on for making a statement?

The laws were too young and our faith in the system too great. After 20 years, can we say – there is justice in our world?
Or can we say – we need to make sure there is justice by joining forces and fighting for justice.

In this almost 20 year journey, I have had some amazing adventures. Sometimes, though, it would be nice to reunite with some of my old friends… those who are now too far away or far up to reach… and just break bread or have a beverage. I miss them. I reach out to them and they are not there or they are buried beneath thousands of emails that they never get to mine.

I know that they are busy with ICANN, writing articles for Wired or other big media, making movies, negotiating with the EU, or teaching courses at some IVY…
I still miss Junger. He was always there. I do feel alone. That is the honest truth. I am glad, though, to have the freedom to say it.