Snakes and Ladders, an obtuse reflection on the precariousness of press freedom

Jude Fleming
2 min readJul 25, 2020


You roll the dice. You’ve picked your “token” (plastic piece) and now you are on the board of the boardgame, Snakes and Ladders.

If you arrive on a square with a ladder you go up it. If you arrive on a snake, you slither back. It’s like a fast forward or rewind on a video.

What has happened to Julian Assange is a bad game of Snakes and Ladders. He has been perpetually thrown amongst the greasy, black, slimey, muscular snakes of various judicial systems in multiple countries and anytime he lands on a ladder, the “system(s)” fling him back down, careening backward, without due process, in a straightjacket among vipers.

He is currently stuck in a jail cell in England (ie. UK, Britain, the Queen’s country, pillar of democracy). How did he get there? Why is he there? How does he get out?

The next “pieces” on the board in this game are Greenwald, Snowden, Blumenthal, Goodman and Kennard. Craig Murray is partially on the board right now. These truth tellers, persons of intellect and the gift of teaching are about to be thrown into the “random” game of chance which has actually been rigged against them. They will have some headway and progress, then slide back into a courtroom and then slide back further, into the den of vipers in which Assange now dwells. He exists. He cannot defend himself. He is stuck. He has no access to his lawyers. The public is shut out. His family is shut out. And he has about 5 weeks until he will be moved from his cell to a kangaroo court room in the U.K.. (just like hitting a snake on the board). Then he will be transported back to his cell and do it all again the next day.

Picture Snowden in Belmarsh. Greenwald. et. al. It is unthinkable.

How can we tolerate Assange being there?

He is in the grip of a boa constrictor.

We need a snake charmer and a lot of public uproar.