Speech at “Peace Day Rally: Truth not War! Free Julian Assange!”

By Davey Heller, September 18th

On September 18th, a “Peace Day Rally: Truth not war! Free Julian Assange!” was held. The rally was timed to be part of the UN global Peace day events and was hosted by Melbourne 4 Assange, PEN Melbourne, Anti AUKUS Vic and Extinction Rebellion. Around 100 people braved a wet cold day to assemble outside the State Library in Melbourne listening to speeches before marching to the UK Embassy.

I spoke on behalf of Class Conscious and used the opportunity to discuss how the fight for Julian Assange’s freedom is at its heart a struggle against US imperialism.

Footage of my speech can be seen at about the 33 minute mark of this live stream from the Melbourne4Assange Facebook page


Julian Assange is in jail because he exposed the war crimes of US Imperialism. Therefore, the fight to free Julian must also be the fight against imperialist war. The reason Julian Assange is in jail, the reason successive Australian Governments have sold Julian out and the reason the world is on the precipice of a new world war are all the same – US imperialism.

Julian Assange and Wikileaks made the courageous decision twelve years ago to release documents that exposed US imperialism’s war crimes. They dared to let the public see the real unfiltered truth of US imperialism so-called “War on Terror” which was of course torture and mass civilian death.

The Australian capitalist ruling class is neck deep in these crimes having given military support to every post WW2 US imperialist bloodbath including Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. It does so because they calculate their own profit interests will be best protected by a “World Order” dominated by the US.

This is why it makes no difference whether it is the Liberal or Labor Party in power for Julian. Both parties have pledged loyalty to US Imperialism.

The US Empire also ensures its control over countries through a network of spying and intrigue. Australia is no different. As Wikileaks State Department cables revealed, the US cultivates informers at the highest level of Australian politics. The coups against the Whitlam and Rudd Governments had US fingerprints all over them. Whilst the Australian ruling class has pledged loyalty to their US masters, Washington is taking no chances.

Just as the Australian ruling class is united in its determination to sell out Julian they also line up with the insane efforts of US imperialism to maintain global hegemony. This involves preparing for war with the rising economic and ideological competitor China. War plans that involve the signing of AUKUS and the billions pledged for nuclear submarines.

However, the US must also take out Russia to achieve full dominance over Eurasia. This is why the US and its NATO allies have been expanding ever closer to borders of Russia since 1991. This is why advanced weapons systems are being placed in countries surrounding Russia which could help the US win a nuclear first strike war.

This is why the US is involved in Ukraine. The US intervened in Ukraine in 2014 to help orchestrate a pro-US coup. It then armed Kiev including fascist forces to wage war against the Russian speaking Republics in the Donbass the (Donestk and Luhansk Republics) in the bloody civil war that erupted after the coup.

Its goal was to turn Ukraine into a NATO member and a spearhead for war against Russia. Once Russia responded to this provocation by launching military action to stop Kiev retaking the eastern Republics and Crimea and become a member of NATO, the US has tried to ensure the war is as expensive as possible for Russia. This is costing tens of thousands of both Ukrainian and Russian lives.

The ALP Albanese Government has signed up to the war on Russia just as it has on China. It increased Australia’s military contributions to the Ukraine armed forces to 385 million dollars. It is sending 60 Bushmasters and 28 M113AS4 armoured vehicles. It is the largest military contribution outside NATO. To put this in some perspective, the Australian Government recently donated just 2 million dollars to Pakistan after 1/3 country was flooded by climate changed induced floods.

In addition to flying to Kiev, Albanese jetted off to the NATO Summit in Madrid in June. He was there as NATO declared China to be a strategic threat for the first time. It is clear NATO will be the driver of imperialism’s dual war plans against Russia and China and Australia is now a virtual defacto member.

So what do we need to do?  We need to understand why it is so hard to win over politicians in Australia to Julian’s cause and why moral pressure over the last twelve years has not worked. We need to understand who the enemy is in the campaign to free Julian and stop the drive to World War. Once we understand and clearly label the enemy, we need to build a mass movement in Australia to defeat them. On its banners we must inscribe – Free Julian Assange and stop the wars!

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

4 thoughts on “Speech at “Peace Day Rally: Truth not War! Free Julian Assange!”

  1. Thanks for your outstanding activism in defense of Julian Assange.

    The allegations of sex offences against Assange are history.
    Regardless, in some Marxist groups (of which Class Conscious is not one) his case keeps being referred to as allegedly demonstrating a conflict between anti-imperialism and anti-sexism. From a Marxist feminist perspective, there is no political conflict, though there might be a moral one.

    In 2012, Assange was not granted political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy to allow him to evade lawful prosecution for sex offences in Sweden, and in 2019, his asylum was not revoked on the ground that he had evaded lawful prosecution.

    If a person is guilty of any criminal offence, this does not warrant extraditing him to a country by whose government he is being politically persecuted and is facing torture or the death penalty.

    On the one hand, the victim of a crime is perfectly within her rights, legally as well as morally, to seek to bring the perpetrator to justice, irrespective of how the latter might be affected thereby. On the other hand, if she is aware that his being prosecuted is going to be politically or juridically instrumentalized to the effect of his human rights being violated, she may intelligibly experience a moral conflict, i.e., the necessity of weighing conflicting legitimate interests.

    Acknowledging this necessity is a very different matter, however, from trivializing the wrong done her in comparison to what is considered the greater evil, and dismissing her interest in being done justice as subordinate to some greater good.

    In my view, allegations of sex offences cannot legitimately be dismissed on the grounds that they will be instrumentalized, juridically against the accused, and politically, against a just cause.

    Generated and systematically fostered by the ruling class, sexism and racism are forms of oppression enacted within the ruled classes. Dismissing the struggle against their individual manifestations in the name of class struggle and anti-imperialism makes no sense.

    1. Dear Karin, Please read this below article to understand more about the sexual misconduct allegations against Julian Assange in Sweden and the clear evidence they have been leveraged in highly irregular ways for purpose of persecuting Julian Assange. Read further and you will learn that Julian Assange tried to answer the allegations before leaving Sweden (staying weeks longer that planned and getting permission to leave) and on many other occasions. Assange won Asylum only for the the purpose of avoiding extradition ot the US the dangerous precedent it sets for us all. https://www.republik.ch/2020/01/31/nils-melzer-about-wikileaks-founder-julian-assange

      1. Dear Carrie,
        Thanks for bringing this illuminating article to my attention.

        In case my position is in need of clarification, judged by the media coverage of this issue that I’m aware of, I do not believe that Assange is guilty of any sex offences. And I don’t think my previous comment suggests otherwise.

        In my view, the fact that Swedish authorities refused to question him in the embassy but insisted he return to Sweden for questioning was an obvious plot to get him into custody in order to ultimately extradite him to the U.S. by whose government he is being politically persecuted.

    2. There has been much said about Julian Assange. Much of which is untrue. Go grab a copy of UN Rapportuer on Torture Nils Melzer’s new book “The trial of Julian Assange” from the bookshop or your local library (also available on audio book) and arm yourself with a factual historical account of an alarming political persecution which leads to striaght to tyranny. The criminals are making it a crime to report on their crimes. All of our causes are lost with this precedent.

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