In December 2010, two days after the start of the Cablegate releases, Wikileaks tweeted: "WikiLeaks is the first global Samizdat movement. The truth will surface even in the face of total annihilation."
The original samizdat, an underground network of cheaply- or hand-printed texts, passed hand-to-hand by Soviet dissidents, was designed to evade censorship, bypassing official channels. It relies on a network of people who care; one of the most noticeable early reactions to Wikileaks in the media was boredom. The instinct was to deny that this information was interesting. As Work Without Dread noted: “Maybe, then, it’s actually the vastness of such uncaring that WikiLeaks brings to light, in so doing giving it the chance to be otherwise.”
Uncaring is the enemy of protest. And for those of us who have done things to get noticed; who marched, for example, a million strong through the streets of London against a war, and were ignored, uncaring is a very big enemy indeed.
So: an experiment. A return to samizdat. 200 newspapers, printed with a selection of the released cables, vetted for libel and D-Notice infringements (the two things that can still definitely get you into trouble if you republish them), distributed on the London Underground during the morning rush hour of December 15th 2010. Standard newspaper format, a bit of celebrity gossip (Andrew) and sport at the back.