Room 1001

Extraordinary meeting between writer Arundhati Roy and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden

The "Moscow Un-Summit" consisted of Dan Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, Arundhati Roy and John Cusack. (Picture by Ole von Uexküll/Facebook/John Cusack)

In a wide-ranging first-person piece extracted in The Guardian, Indian author Arundhati Roy has described an extraordinary meeting between herself, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and movie star John Cusack, that took place in Room 1001 of the Moscow Ritz-Carlton hotel last winter. Also present was Dan Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War, and Ole von Uexküll from Sweden’s Right Livelihood Foundation.

The Guardian story is part of a longer conversation between Roy and Cusack, told in a series of linked articles published in Outlook India. The God of Small Things author wryly dubbed the “incongruous gathering” the Moscow Un-Summit. “We talked about war and greed, about terrorism, and what an accurate definition of it would be,” she writes. “We spoke about countries, flags and the meaning of patriotism. We talked about public opinion and the concept of public morality and how fickle it could be, and how easily manipulated.”

Of the hotel-room rendezvous, Roy observed: “The Un-Summit cannot be written about in the detail that it deserves. Yet it definitely cannot not be written about. Because it did happen. And because the world is a millipede that inches forward on millions of real conversations.”

Read the full stories at The Guardian and Outlook India.

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