Protests around the world to coincide with Assange’s court appearance on June 14th
Photo of arrest in Melbourne by Anthony Snowden
By Davey Heller, June 17th 2019
Classconscious.org put out a call for protests around the world to coincide with Julian Assange’s court appearance. Originally scheduled for June 12th, the hearing was moved to June 14th. Between June 12th and 14th protests occurred in Melbourne, San Francisco, Auckland, Dusseldorf, London and Marseilles. The protests were organised decentrally and not all were associated with the classconscious.org call out.
At the court in London, only a summary of the US charges were read out, with a full contested extradition hearing being set down for eight months time in February 25th 2020.
During his appearance via video link from Belmarsh Prison Julian managed to break through his gagging to speak directly on a handful of occasions. He stated, “its important that people aren’t fooled into believing that WikiLeaks is anything but a publisher. The U.S. government has tried to mislead the press.”
When the US lawyer representing Washington alleged Assange had cracked a US defence network password, Assange said: “I did not break any password whatsoever”. He also stated that as a result of the case “175 years of my life is effectively at stake”.
Police aggression results in 2 arrests in Melbourne outside UK Consulate – June 14th
In an act of blatant police aggression and harassment two key organisers of the Melbourne protest were arrested before the protest even began after attempting to hang a small banner between two poles. One of the protesters had been involved in an occupation of the UK consulate two weeks previously, lending credence that these arrests were targeted acts of intimidation. After police attempted to confiscate the banner, protestors peacefully demanded its return by briefly standing in front of a stationary police vehicle. One protester was arrested immediately and another after she had voluntarily returned to the footpath. She was roughly arrested by 3 police and cuffed face down on the footpath.
Despite these acts the protest continued and about 20 protesters rallied. A speech by Joanna Mogilevska of classconscious.org can be seen here. The movable billboard demanding Julian Assange be “brought home” also paid the protest a visit.
San Francisco Bay Area – June 12th
The Bay Area Action Committee to Free Julian Assange organised a protest outside the Federal Building which 40-50 people attended.
Marseilles Protest – June 12th
A demonstration was held outside the UK Consulate in Marseille organised and attended by the PCF (French Communist Party), France Insubordinate, peace protestors, and yellow vests. Leaflets were distributed to passers-by and dock workers. One protester stated . “This society is running on the head, it locks Assange and leaves free war criminals”.
New Zealand – Wellington – June 12th
A rally occured on June 12th in Wellington. The following description was posted on Facebook of the day
“Journalism is under global attack! We may be the last generation with any semblance of free press. We must fight!
Info pamphlets handed out then we marched (with band!) and signs through town to the British High Commission.”
A report of the rally can be found on the wsws.org
New Zealand Auckland – June 12th
A small protest was held outside the UK Consulate in Auckland on June 12th
Duselldorf Germany – June 12th
On June 12th the Free Assange Committee Germany organized a protest in front of the UK and US in the North Rhine-Westphalian city of Düsseldorf to demand the immediate and unconditional freedom of Julian Assange.
Report on wsws.org
Free Assange Demo in Düsseldorf Teil 1
Posted by hello-democracy.com on Wednesday, 12 June 2019
London Australia House Protest – June 12th
A protest occurred outside the Australia House, the location of the High Commission of Australia in the UK.
London Magistrates Court – June 14th
Protestors organised by the Julian Assange Defence Committee also gathered outside the Westminster Magistrates court on June 14th as Julian case was heard inside.
#FreeAssange demonstration #NoExtradition!
Posted by Socialist Equality Party (Britain) on Friday, 14 June 2019
New York City – June 12th
A protest was held in Union Square in NYC on the 12th by supporters of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning