Support growing for Melbourne Free Assange Vigil as speakers announced

Support is growing internationally and within Australia, united around the demand to bring Julian Assange home! Protests have been called in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane and in six other countries to demand his freedom around the date of June 19th, which marks the sixth year of Assange’s detention in the London Ecuadorean Embassy.

The Melbourne Vigil will be attended by family members of Julian, including his father John Shipton.  Since March 28th, Julian has been totally isolated by the Ecuadorian Government acting under U.S. pressure. John made the following statement:

“Julian’s total isolation from his bereft children, anxious brothers, sister and parents and worried friends had best, for Julian urgently, end. Bring him home”

It is only in recent days that the Australian Government has sent officials into the Embassy to offer Julian the consular assistance he is entitled to as an Australian citizen.

There is a growing chorus amongst Australian’s and globally for the Turnbull Government to act immeditately and move to ensure Julian can leave the Embassy and return home to Australia with a guarantee that he will not be extradited to the U.S. on trumped up charges of Espionage.

Greg Barns, Australian Barrister and advisor to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, who is speaking at the Melbourne vigil stated:

Julian Assange is an Australian citizen.  He is an Australian citizen who finds himself to be threatened by the prospect of torture and cruel and unusual punishment by a foreign power, in this case the United States.  Australia, like the UK, is a signatory to a number of international agreements that prohibit the use of torture on their citizens.  Both these nations have an opportunity to say no to dangerous US rhetoric by its leaders calling for the arrest of Julian.

  He does not deserve to be spend years more in detention or even the death penalty in the U.S. for exposing war crimes, corruption and imperialist machinations. Journalism is not a crime!  Defence of Julian’s freedom and freedom of speech is inseparable from the broader campaign to defend democratic rights of the working class and oppose censorship.

Joining the Melbourne Vigil is a powerful group of speakers to demand freedom for Julian. These include:

Greg Barns : Greg is a distinguished Australian Barrister and political figure who is an advisor for both Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Here is a link to a recent article he wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald on Assange.

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).

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 internationally. They have also called protests in Sydney, Tamil Nadu and Columbo and are publishing many articles on the campaign on the World Socialist Website.

Tuesday June 19th 12 PM – 2PM

British Consulate, 90 Collins St, CBD

Details of Other Australian Protests: here

Full Global List of Protest : here

Davey Heller

Davey Heller is a Trotskyist from Melbourne and long-time campaigner for Left-wing causes including anti-war, refugee rights, environmental protests and workers' struggles. He is a former secondary teacher who studied history at Monash University and currently works in the environmental field. You can follow him on Twitter at @socialist_davey

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