Join us on Tuesday June 19th in a solidarity vigil outside the British Consulate in Melbourne to demand the immediate release of Julian Assange. This day marks the sixth anniversary of Julian Assange being trapped within the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Julian sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid life in prison or worse at the hands of the U.S. Government for exposing their crimes.
Conditions are rapidly worsening for Julian. Since March 29th, the new Government of Ecuador has kept Julian in virtual solitary confinement, blocking all communications and visitors.
Julian’s father, John Shipton and other young member of Julian’s family will be in attendance at the Melbourne Vigl. Julian is totally isolated and cut off from his friends and family. John made the following short statement:
“Julian’s total isolation from his bereft children, anxious brothers, sister and parents and worried friends must stop. Bring him home”
The Ecuadorian Foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa recently stated that the Ecuadorean and British Governments were both moving to “resolve” the situation. It is clear Assange is in imminent danger. Julian faces this threat despite being granted citizenship of Ecuador and the fact he has been charged with no crime.
Julian refuses to leave the Embassy because there is a conspiracy by the UK and U.S. Governments to get him into custody and extradite him to the United States. In the U.S a Federal Grand jury has been laying the ground work to charge him with espionage. The first attempt founded with the dropping of the Swedish investigation into trumped up allegations of sexual assault. However, the UK Government is still vindictively pursuing Assange over breaches of his bail conditions arising from the now dropped investigation. The Australian Government also bears responsibility for Assange’s ongoing persecution. Former Labor PM Julia Gillard in 2010 labelled Wikileaks as “illegal” and declared that Australian authorities were cooperating with the United States to prosecute him. Likewise the Turnbull Government has done nothing to advocate for an Australian citizen facing persecution.
It is obvious that the real “crime” of Assange was his journalistic work with Wikileaks which in 2010 led to the exposure of U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and thousands of documents exposing the machinations of the U.S. State Department.
Assange had continued his journalistic work from within the Embassy and has used social media to continue to campaign against censorship and speak on international issues. Wikileaks also famously exposed Democratic Party corruption in 2016 and Hillary Clintons links to Wall St. Now Ecuador is silencing Asssange under pressure from the U.K and U.S. Government.
The attack on Assange’s liberty and freedom of speech is part of a global assault on democratic rights, net neutrality and a drive towards imperialist war. For the ruling class to advance their war plans, prominent anti-war voices must be extinguished. This is why the working class cannot stand by whilst Julian Assange is silenced or extradited. The campaign for his freedom is inseparable from the broader struggle against imperialist war, dictatorship and capitalism.
In Australia, the demand must be made by the working class the Australian Government immediately move to have Julian escorted safely to Australia with a guarantee against extradition to the United States. Julian must be brought home to safety to his family and friends in his home country.
RELEASE JULIAN ASSANGE! DEFEND DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS! OPPOSE IMPERIALIST WAR!
MELBOURNE SOLIDARITY VIGIL
TUESDAY 19TH JUNE , 12PM-2PM
Outside British Consulate, 90 Collins St, CBD
Speakers include :
Greg Barnes : Greg is a distinguished Australian Barrister and political figure who is a advisor for both Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Here is a link to a recent article he wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald on Assange.
James Cogan: National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP): The Socialist Equality are playing a leading role in the campaign to defend Julian Assange and fight internet censorship. They have also called protests in Sydney, Tamil Nadu and Columbo and are publishing many articles on the campaign on the World Socialist Website.
Shirley Shackleton:whose journalist husband Greg was murdered by Indonesian forces in Balibo on the eve of the Indonesian invasion of East Timor. Shirley fought for decades for the East Timorese and against the Australian government’s cover up of her husband’s murder(& four other journalists).
Protests have now spread to six countries and sixteeen cities. Check out the full list here : Global List of Protests: If you would like your city added message via the Class-conscious contact page or join the Free Julian Assange at UK and US Embassies Worldwide Facebook page where events are being coordinated.
OTHER AUSTRALIAN FREE ASSANGE PROTESTS
June 17th – 1pm, Sydney Town Hall Square. Speakers include John Pilger and James Cogan. National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party. Endorsed by Julian Burnside and other prominent Australians.
June 19th – Sydney Vigil 9AM – 1PM British Consulate Gateway Building, 1 Macquarie Place