THE INFORMATION LOCKDOWN

(A future fiction… with a real heroine.)

“Did you hear the latest?”

“No, what?”

“They took out Kim Iversen now. She’s gone too.”

________________________________________

After the double dramas involving Russia and China that occurred in quick succession in the Spring of 2022 the information lockdown began in earnest.

One of the first to go was Jimmy Dore.

It was clearly a warning to everyone else dealing in the free expression of opinions that things had changed so significantly that such activity helped our enemies and could no longer be tolerated.

There had been rumblings in the house and senate for months following the election of Joe Biden as president voicing concern about those spreading misinformation. Misinformation was increasingly defined as anything that did not conform to the official narrative on certain defined issues.

It had begun earlier as a social media owner initiative. In mid-2020 they had begun to tune out voices that in any way contradicted the official narrative on the response to Covid-19. Platforms we de-monitized and many of the less popular platforms were de-platformed entirely, their voices effectively silenced across Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

As time went on these three major platforms could quite appropriately have been given the communal name of OurTribe. If you did not belong to their tribe you were first effectively ostracized and then exiled.

But even in 2022 there still remained a number of prominent free voices, that of Jimmy Dore included.

Then The Trump Party began to attract major followers and many of those began using massive financial backing to create channels that attracted millions. The diversity of viewpoints started to resemble a veritable Tower of Babel and much of it rang to the sound of vitriol against the Biden-Harris administration.

By the end of 2022 the draconian hammer of OurTribe was coming down multiple times daily.

Still they refrained from pulling the rug out from under the longest-lived and most popular people still surviving across their three networks, Jimmy Dore and Kim Iversen among them.

It seems to have been the incidents in the South China Seas and Moscow that put them over the edge.

Jimmy Dore was cancelled. The uproar on Twitter was enormous and didn’t seem destined ever to end despite cleverly worded statements by Jack backed up by several prominent figures in the house and senate. Demonstrations of support for Jimmy hit the streets and a new movement arose, ‘Save Our Voices’. Kim Iversen spoke eloquently and angrily in several editions of her show daily. Kim had been warning about the trend she had clearly seen from the very first days of the Biden presidency and her back catalog of shows was in high demand. Kim left YouTube after receiving final warnings from YouTube management that her shows contravened their standards and if she continued there would be consequences.

Kim’s final show on YouTube was a straight fifteen minute diatribe directed full blast at YouTube management specifically and the dictatorial cabal that had criminally decided they would be the arbiters of what was allowed in terms of free speech and what was not. Her parting shot received a record fifteen million views. From the final moments of her last show Kim was available only on Rokfin, through her podcasts and privately through her email service.

Things proceeded to worsen. The president responded to the continuing chaos on the streets, much but by no means all, helped along, promoted and fomented by the most fervent members of The Trump Party, through a broadcast on the subject to the nation. He spoke of the need for national unity in a time of crisis. He evoked the spirit shown by the American people during the Second World War when everyone pulled together for the good of the nation. He alluded to the succor America’s enemies received whenever critics attacked his democratically elected presidency and administration and how there was no certainty America could win out and did they really want to be ruled by Russians or Chinese. He made the case for a temporary period of silence where the inalienable rights of dissent, protest and freedom of speech be suspended for the national good.

As the broadcast neared its end he hesitated, looked directly into the camera lens in silence for a few moments then delivered the statement that was to make headlines across the USA that evening and the following day.

“I am announcing with immediate effect that due to the urgent need for absolute unity in this our hour of greatest national threat and where we must be at our absolute strongest to fight against the powerful enemies that threaten us, certain emergency measure MUST be taken.

There will therefore be a moratorium on the right to protest, to criticize national policy, to contradict any aspect of policy by government, military and all those who assist in the project to save America from harm.

This measure is taken with a heavy heart, it is not taken at all lightly and will, as I say, be a purely temporary circumstance lasting no more than six months in the first instance. At the end of this period the situation will be looked at once more comparing the international situation and its compatibility with the norms of America as guaranteed by the first amendment.

I am fully aware of the gravity of what this signifies in respect of the first amendment and I assure you we would not be taking this step unless it was totally necessary for the sake of our nation.

God Bless America.”

Of course most of us knew the eruption of protest that would ensue and knew also that the attendance would be huge and composed of individuals from every strata of society.

What we did not know, indeed could not bring ourselves to contemplate, was the extent, violence and methods which were used to crush the protests.

Twenty nine people lost their lives on the first night alone. However, the resulting even larger protests in response saw no backing down from the White House. CNN and mainstream media as a whole were put in a quandary. They had fulsomely welcomed this administration after the Trump heretic was finally removed from power. They had invested heavily in reporting any successes they could and gushed continually in praise of every one they found or could conjure into existence. But how to deal with this?

The boardroom and editorial suite meetings were fractious affairs where all gave vent to their feelings and inevitably the requirements of their owners and advertisers. Ultimately they came down in favor of constructing a narrative which favored both corporate and political imperatives over those of freedom of speech. This didn’t come easy and some few resigned unable to stomach this decision... but ultimately such men and women of integrity came to a very few indeed.

And so the corporate mass media of America fell into line behind the president, the administration, the military and inevitably they feel in line also behind the entire U.S. military industrial complex.

The final indignity for the 99% had arrived. And the 1% remained entirely unaffected, in fact their fortunes were much enhanced. All elites except for those working for entities such as The New York Times whose editorial task became much more laborious as they sought to eliminate anything looking like a criticism of any government policy and had to search around for other acceptable content to fill the gap. CNN, MSNBC and their fellow channels of a liberal mentality changed little. Fox News however went through a virtual revolution... finally resolved through the use of heavily coded references such as those which had been used by various outlets in the Soviet Union at the height of Cold War censorship.

Wall Street soared and soared and soared. Especially Raytheon, Boeing and every corporate entity even peripherally associated with the M.I.C.

In those first few days Twitter follower counts began dropping like a stone as a whole new batch of contractors were hired to pore through every tweet posted in the last twelve months with instructions to “execute” anyone who had delivered an unacceptable opinion during this time period. This exceeded the policy Biden had laid out in his broadcast but OurTribe owners were taking no chances and were thinking ahead anticipating what may be still to come.

Then many Twitterati who had built sizeable followings through criticisms of establishment narratives and figures began to disappear without a trace joining Jimmy Dore on the streets rather than on personal computer and cell phone screens. Of course they did not remain long on those streets. All their faces were known, their personal details long-logged and held ready for the day. That day came very quickly after their being excised from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and elsewhere. New jails were required very soon after the ‘Clean Up’ began, as it was called by those to whom critical free speech had been branded ‘Dirt’.

So it was that the final sweep included Kim who had been railing longest and warning loudest about what was now a living nightmare. She was shut down.

But Kim saw what had happened to her colleagues and knew she was needed elsewhere than on the streets if she was to stay free and begin the fightback to regain what was lost, the right to live free and speak free.

The fightback would go underground and though they knew Kim’s views well they also knew she had become the main figurehead as her prediction of this very situation had born out precisely as she had said. Millions now looked to her and they could not touch her or risk a conflagration which they were simply not geared up to handle. It had been bloody so far... but adding this new situation could potentially be much worse. Kim was therefore immune but closely monitored.

No monitoring system is foolproof however. No such system can cover every single base.

Free speech went underground.

The ‘New Samizdat’ revolution began. 'The Weekly Samizdat’ swept the nation moving from hand to hand, each edition read hundreds, perhaps thousands of times till its surface was tinted, tainted, black, creased, crumpled, tattered and torn but crucially still legible.

What would be a new America began in those moments.

And with it the one all owed for the possibility of future real freedom to come... the heroine of Free Speech, Kim Iversen.