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For an effective Australian campaign to free Julian Assange!

The article below has been adapted from a leaflet I printed and handed out to many of those who attended the meeting last night at the State Library in support of Julian Assange. Whilst speakers at that meeting showed that the outlook for a broader and more effective for Julian Assange now seems better than what my leaflet below indicates, the fact remains that because of errors of judgement in many cases, time has been lost, and Julian Assange's very life may well be at stake now. Those who want to participate in the Melbourne campaign to free Julian Assange could visit https://twitter.com/Melbourne4Wiki, https://www.facebook.com/Melbourne-4-WikiLeaks-2301719993184488/ or e-mail Melbourne4Wikileaks@gmail.com.

The United States' government's plans to imprison Julian Assange, against international law, Australian law, and even its own constitution, is a threat to every one of us. In Australia, what could possibly be more urgent than to build a campaign to demand that the Australian government act now to require an end to the illegal detention of Julian Assange? In the unlikely event that the U.S. and the U.K. were not to accede to such a demand, the government could instead act through the United Nations, the International Criminal Court or other international bodies.

Given that no reporting by Julian Assage's Wikileaks news service has ever once been shown to be untrue and given the staggering scale of the criminality of Julian Assange's enemies as has been revealed to us by that reporting, a public campaign in support of Julian Assange should have little difficulty raising the profile of this case to such an extent that the Australian government would soon see no choice but to act to save Julian Assange.

Yet, as we approach the end of 2019, the campaign to free Julian Assange, since the protest of 18 June outside the Sydney Town Hall addressed by John Pilger, has barely grown at all in Australia, let alone anywhere near the extent necessary to win Assange’s freedom. Even with the support of Roger Waters, the campaign has not grown. How is this possible and how can we change this?

In my own experience, the most visible components of the Australian campaign to free Julian Assange are that of the Socialist Equity Party (SEP, which publishes wsws.org) and of Australian blogger Caitlin Johnstone (Debunking All The Assange Smears (20/4/19) by Caitllin Johnston, my post was twice deleted by this avowedly impassioned advocate for Julian Assange and free speech. This post (A copy of which is included below as an Appendix) included a link to an article on my own web-site, How Will the candidate seeking your vote for the Australian federal elections of 18 May act to prevent the U.S. plans to kidnap Julian Assange? (19/4/2019). Because of this censorship, my efforts to raise Julian Assange's profile was obstructed. A chance to more effectively use the elections to hold to account politicians who had betrayed Assange and to pomote those who were willing to help, was lost.

Clearly if we are ever to win this campaign, we must do something different. (See below for a proposal to build a campaign for Julian Assange.)

Proposal: Establishment of an open campaign, similar to the Vietnam Moratorium campaign of the 1960's

An open committee, to campaign for Julian Assange and to defend free speech in general, should be established. Anyone who is willing to act in support of these goals to be welcome to attend meetings and make proposals and to argue for or against other proposals for the campaign.

The campaign should try what has not, so far, been systematically attempted in Australia:

    Regular public protests for Julian Assange and effective publicity for each of those protests with widespread leaflet distribution, Twitter posts, Facebook posts, phone calls to talk-back radio and on-line journalism (one example being https://candobetter.net/JulianAssange).
  • Protests at the United States and British embassy in Canberra (and their consulates elsewhere) where we will put to those countries' representatives with statements and questions, before video cameras if possible, the illegality of their countries' actions towards Julian Assange.
  • Raise demands that Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence and Donald Trump be extradited to face justice before the International Criminal Court for their actions revealed to us by Wikileaks and that the U.S. pay reparations to all countries whose sovereignty they have violated.
  • Enshrine in Australia's laws provisions to guarantee free speech for all, including news services like Wikileaks.

Appendix: Copy of post which was twice deleted by Caitlin Johnstone

The following is a copy of my post in response to Debunking All The Assange Smears (20/4/19) by Caitllin Johnston, before it was deleted for the second time.

(Caitlin, I thought I had published this comment onto this page. My apologies if I posted it on another page on this site – James)

HOW WILL THE CANDIDATE SEEKING YOUR VOTE FOR THE AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL ELECTIONS OF 18 MAY ACT TO PREVENT THE US PLANS TO KIDNAP JULIAN ASSANGE?

WHO TO VOTE FOR ON 18 MAY

Even now, it is not too late for the Australian government to act to end the imprisonment of Julian Assange. They could loudly demand of the UK government to refuse any extradition request from the United States. They should immediately dispatch to England a contingent of Australian Federal Police to escort him back to Australia and demand that he be immediately released.

However, in all probability, the Australian government will, instead, persist with its shameful complicity with the UK and US governments. In this case the issue must be given utmost priority in the forthcoming Federal Election. Every candidate seeking your vote on Saturday 18 May must be either held to account for his/her shameful treatment of Julian Assange or asked what he/she intends to do for Julian Assange, and free speech, democracy and human rights, should they win office.

Few existing members of Parliament have spoken up for Julian Assange. As far as I am aware only Liberal Democrat Senator Duncan Spender and One Nation’s Senator Pauline Hanson have spoken up for Julian Assange [1]. Unfortunately Senator Hanson seems to have nothing further since 2016. Former Greens Senator Scott Ludlum has also been outspoken for Julian Assange. [2]

The Socialist Equity Party, which has organised a number of rallies to demand freedom for Julian Assange, are fielding candidates in this election (https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/04/16/sepa-a16.html).

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS SENATOR DUNCAN SPENDER SPEAKS UP FOR JULIAN ASSANGE (1:01 minute video)

Footnote[s]

I may have omitted to include footnotes [1] and [2] when I posted this for a second time to CaitlinJohnstone.com . Whilst I saved an off-line copy of the article after I made the second post it seems that I did not save an offline copy after I had made that same comment the first time. So I cannot be sure what they contained - JS