Photo from https://twitter.com/people4assange
My name is Pietro Mascetti and I participated in the Free Julian Assange event in Sydney, Australia on 28 September, 2019. This is my account of the day’s proceedings:
Between fifty and a hundred people gathered in central Sydney today to support Julian Assange and demand his freedom from the British, American and Australian regimes and their attempt to extradite him to the United States. The campaign was visible, heard and made an impression on the shoppers, holidaymakers and passersby of the financial capital of Australian imperialism.
The gathering met at the Town Hall, on Sydney’s busiest of streets, George Street in the heart of the city. Banners, chants, placards, speeches and t- shirts all combined to raise the profile of Julian’s freedom and his criminal treatment to an audience that is being denied the truth every single day. I began the chanting by declaring that Julian Assange is an innocent man who by his actions of revealing the gigantic crimes committed by American imperialism in Iraq with the murder of Iraqi citizens by an Apache attack helicopter, drew the hatred of the criminals in Washington DC who have conspired to organise a vendetta against him and his source, Chelsea Manning. Others continued the chanting and raising of the issues including denouncing Morrison and the Australian government as not providing protection for an Australian citizen who has committed no crime.
Chants included, “Free Julian Assange, don’t shoot the messenger”, “Free Julian Assange and gaol the war criminals and torturers”, “Journalism is not a crime, torture is”, “Bush walks free, Julian Assange does not; Dick Cheney walks free, Julian Assange does not; John Bolton walks free, Chelsea Manning does not.”
T-shirts were abound. As usual, I wore my “Free Julian Assange t-shirt” developed by the Socialist Equality Party. Others included the face of JA with an American flag plastered over his mouth to prevent his speech.
Young people responded powerfully to the demonstration. One in particular came up and applauded our efforts, imploring this author to assume a prominent position in the centre of the street. He liked the loud voice being projected across the centre of Sydney. Others came and took pamphlets and information sheets.
Marching down the footpath from the Sydney Town Hall to Circular Quay, we did not let up on our sloganeering. Chanting ‘Free Julian Assange, don’t shoot the messenger without pause” we raised the issue among thousands of people and ensured that JA’s case is not forgotten.
The Julian Assange movement is growing. However, it has to tap into the world public on a grand scale. Just as importantly, it must develop along a revolutionary path in unison with the growth of the working class movement organised around a Marxist program. It needs revolutionary politics.
Pietro Mascetti is a Sydney based Marxist and supporter of the Free Assange campaign. He has contributed the above article as a guest contributor to classconscious.org