At the Sydney protest for Julian Assange last Thursday 25 May, David McBride, the former SAS officer who exposed the murder of unarmed Afghans by Australian troops, spoke alongside Stella Assange and Scott Ludlum. McBride's speech is included immediately below, whilst Stella Assange's speech is included further below.
Rally to “Stop the Great Wall of Frankston,” Saturday 13th May at 10.30 AM, Corner Wells St. and Kananook Creek Frankston. Planning Applications are at Frankston City Council for 14, 15 and 16 storey apartment blocks of up to 60 metres height on the beachside of Nepean Hwy, and only 200 metres from Frankston’s scenic beach. The towers would overshadow Kananook Creek, the beach, nearby homes, exacerbate wind tunnel effects and change the face of Frankston forever.
From 10am until 12pm tomorrow, on Thursday 6 April, outside the electoral office of the Attorney General Mark Dreyfus in the south-eastern Melbourne suburb of Mordialloc, supporters of Julian Assange will be protesting to demand that the Australian government act to end the British Government's imprisonment of Julian Assange.
Update 10 September: OfficeWorks no longer prints on the back side of an A4 sheet!? In just over a fortnight from today, at 12:00pm on Sunday 18 September, outside the Victorian State Library, 328 Swanston Street Melbourne, ther
The Federation University Branch of the NTEU has called a lunchtime protest this Thursday 1 Sept, 2022, to begin a campaign highlighting damage wrought by endless restructures, job cuts, and course cuts. Speakers will address the core issues of job security and mismanagement, protesting irrational and incoherent decisions, poor governance, poor student outcomes, and the undermining of regional communities.
From 12:30pm today at the Hiroshima Day protest in front of the Victorian State Library in Flinders Street in the Melbourne CBD, John Shipton, Julian Assange's father, will be speaking.
Filmed by James Sinnamon on 28 July 2022 at the Converge on Canberra Protest for Julian Assange.
No sign of Anthony Albanese at this brilliant event, although we know he was in parliament.
Update, Tue 26 July: A new larger PDF file which includes a duplicate of the first double-sided A5 page has been uploaded. Without this addition, the second page will be blank. I am about to find out if the problem is fixed. My apologies.
Meet at Vic State Library for 11am rally and march 3 July 2022, Julian Assange's birthday. Australia's award winning journalist, outstanding publisher, creator of WikiLeaks, and possibly the most famous, heroic, and persecuted person in the world, turns 51 years old. This is his 4th birthday spent locked away in Belmarsh prison, London. His previous 7 birthdays were spent locked away in the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Tomorrow (Friday 18 June) from 7:30AM until 9:00 AM outside the Melbourne British Consulate, Supporters of Julian Assange will be protesting against his illegal continued imprisonment by the British government. Apparently, Julian Assange, who has not been found guilty of any crime after more than two years imprisonment in solitary confinement 23 hours per day in Belmarsh Prison, is being kept there awaiting the lodgement of the United States' appeal against Judge Vanessa Baraitser's ruling of 6 January 2021 to disallow the extradition of Julian Assange - an outrageous abuse of procedure. Then from 6:30pm outside Flinders Street Station, other Melbourne supporters of Julian Assange will be holding their weekly vigil.
The inordinate length of time that the US prosecution is taking to lodge its appeal seems to be an indication that they are struggling to come up with any arguments that would hold any weight in the British Appeals court. That the British Judicial system has apparently not set a deadline for the US prosecutors can only be wilful negligence on its part. It is long past time that the Australian Government should have acted to bring this outrage to an end.
Please find the time to come to one or both protests which are being held in Melbourne tomorrow.
First event: Protest outdside the British Consulate - 90 Collins Street, 7:30AM-9:00AM
The details, from Facebook, for the first protest are:
Event by Melbourne 4 WikiLeaks
British Consulate Melbourne
Price: Free · Duration: 1 hr 30 min
Public · Anyone on or off Facebook
Father and half brother of Julian Assange, John and Gabriel Shipton, are currently touring the USA fighting to save Julian's life on the #HomeRun4Julian tour.
Right now, Chicago is feeling privileged to be hosting John and Gabriel as part of the national tour. Pressure is on the Biden administration to drop its drive to extradite and persecute Assange (www.AssangeDefense.org/tour).
Please join us in solidarity early Friday morning outside the British Consulate at 90 Collins St Melbourne.
John and Gabriel will be at the British Consulate in Chicago at the exact same time. For them it will be Thursday afternoon, for us, Friday morning.
If there is a live stream we will somehow screen it outside the British Consulate.
The movement to free Julian is growing. Freedom fighters of the world unite!
Love Is Our Resistance!
Second event: Weekly Friday evening Vigil for Julian Assange at Flinders Street Station
Melbourne supporters of Julian Assange will again be holding our weekly Friday evening vigil for Julian Assange in front of Flinders Street Station as we have been each Friday for well over a year.
Please come along, help us hold up our banners, hand out leaflets, listen to speeches and say a few words yourself, for Julian Assange, through the megaphone.
Stella Moris @StellaMoris1), the mother of two of Julian Assange's children, spoke today to a London protest in support of the Palestinian resistance to Israel's recent aggression against the Gaza strip. She told the large crowd how Julian had previously revealed secret communications amongst Senior Israeli officers in their planning of wars against Palestinian men, women and children.
Julian Assange’s partner @StellaMoris1 at the #Palestine Solidarity March in Hyde Park, London. “Julian published the words of Israeli government officials that were spoken behind closed doors.” #Gaza #londonprotest #assange pic.twitter.com/99mRaHUj58
Apologies for this very short notice.
At 1:30pm today, 1 May 2021, the International Workers' Day, the day on which Trade Unionists commemorate the struggle and sacrifices by trade unionists to achieve dignity and decent living standards for themselves and their families, supporters of Australian journalist and founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange will be marching as a contingent, behind Melbourne for Wikileaks' (@Melbourne4Wiki)'s large banner, pictured further below.
Julian Assange has committed no crime and has already served his outrageous 50 week sentence for the supposed misdemeanour of skipping bail back in 2012 when he sought political asylum at the London Ecuadorian embassy. Yet, two years after his imprisonment, he still remains behind bars in solitary confinement for 23 hours per day, as United States prosecutors pursue their appeal of Magistrate Vanessa Barraitser's ruling against the extradition of Julian Assange.
Were Julian Assange, who is not even an American citizen, to be extradited, he would face a rigged trial, before a jury of employees of U.S. intelligence services or their spouses, for supposedly violating the U.S. Espionage Act of 1917. Such a jury is expected to pay little heed to the arguments of Julian Assange's defence team before sentencing him to 175 years more imprisonment in solitary confinement - all for revealing to the world, facts about U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.
Please join us at 1:30pm, outside the Melbourne Trades Hall at the corner of Lygon Street and Victoria Street, South Carlton, to support Julian Assange. Please help us hold up that banner and distribute our leaflets. (A PDF file of a double-sided A5 leaflet, which has been adapted to become the article Uphold the Rule of Law - demand that the Australian government act to end the illegal imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange (11/2/2021) can be downloaded from here.
Where: Melbourne, Trades Hall, corner of Lygon Street and Victoria Street, South Carlton.
When: Today (Saturday, 1 May), 1:30pm
CORRECTION (10:20am, Friday): The march will be to the British Consulate at 90 Collins Street Melbourne and not to the State Library. - apologies
Join us at 3:30pm Friday 26 March (today) at Flinders Street Station, from which Melbourne For Wikileaks (@Melbourne4wiki) will be marching at 4:00pm from Flinders Street Station to the British Consulate at 90 Collins Street, Melbourne. This March is to show our support of Julian Assange.
We will be demanding that the Australian government act to stop the United States' attempts to illegally extradite, from the United Kingdom, Julian Assange, who is an Australian citizen and not a United States citizen. We will also be demanding that he Australian government act to end the United Kingdom's illegal imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange.
Come to help us carry our banner (pictured), help us distribute leaflets to fellow Melburnians and, listen to speeches for Julian Assange at the end of the march in front of the British Consulate.
On Friday 26 February, Julian Assange's father John Shipton (pictured), is to embark on his #HomeRun4Julian tour. He will be touring regional Victorian and New South Wales towns on his way to Sydney and Canberra to demand justice for his son, Julian Assange.
The rally will be addressed by John Shipton, amongst others. From there, John Shipton will be embarking on his #HomeRun4Julian tour of regional Victorian and New South Wales towns on his way to Sydney and Canberra to demand justice for his son, Julian Assange.
Indigenous activists and 3CR Radical Radio show hosts Robbie Thorpe and Viv Malo will open the send off with Jacob Grech as MC. Introducing John Shipton, father of Julian Assange and Jerome Small, long time Human Rights Campaigner and supporter of WikiLeaks and Assange.
At 6:30pm Following the send-off of John Shipton, there will be the regular weekly "Melbourne for Wikileaks" (@melbourne4wiki) Vigil for Julian Assange outside Flinders Street Railway station, also on Swanston street, 1 kilometer south of the State Library.
End the illegal detention and torture of this Australian hero.
Why won't the Australian government act to get Julian Assange out of the Belmarsh hellhole?
By its stated intention to imprison the visionary Australian journalist and publisher, Julian Assange, for 175 years, the United States government has confirmed the criminality and malevolance of those who are truly in charge of it. State officials, including Hillary Clinton, have also been recorded talking openly about assassinating Assange.
Because mainstream media now only reports what the US government tells it, the world needs the Wikileaks news service to reveal the truth behind the United States' and its allies' wars, over the last three decades and beyond. Wikileaks has protected the identities and the ability of people in the military, government spy agencies, government bureacracy, or private corporations, to get vital information out to all of us about repeated dangerous and criminal acts of states towards ordinary people.
The United States' deep state has been trying since 2010 to get its hands on Julian to punish him for revealing its war-crimes to the world, and for refusing to reveal his sources. The US wants firstly to prevent Julian Assange from resuming his own work for Wikileaks, and secondly, to set a precedent that would allow the US henceforth to kidnap any other journalist, whose reporting would reveal to us facts about other invasions of, and meddling in the affairs of countries throughout much of the world - in countries like Venezula, Cuba, Bolivia, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iran - that the US wants to keep hidden from us.
Julian Assange is not even an American. He is an Australian citizen. He has committed no crime - he has only been found guilty of the misdemeanour - skipping bail in 2012 to seek asylum in the London Ecuadorian embassy after the Swedish prosecutors had sought to extradite him for questioning over allegations of sexual assault by two Swedish women.
When the Swedish government refused to give Julian a guarantee that they would not allow the US to extradite him, he decided that the request for questioning could only be a ploy on behalf of the US. So, Julian skipped bail' and sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy. For thus acting to thwart US attempts to illegally kidnap him from Swedish soil 8 years ago, UK Judge Vanessa Barraitser sentenced Julian Assange to imprisonment alongside convicted terrorists and murderers in Belmarsh Prison for 50 weeks - the absolute maximum offence for the misdemeanour of skipping bail.
Even after Julian had served that outrageous sentence, Barraitser further extended his detention to allow more time for the US prosecutors to prepare their 'case' for extradition, which, after weeks of further kangaroo court proceedings, was denied to the US, whilst all the prosecution's smears against Julian were still upheld.
In spite of this unexpected ruling, Barraitser refused to release Julian. He is expected to spend many months in degrading conditions behind bars whilst various appeals by the US against her rulng are heard.
What you can do
- Attend the Melbourne for Wikileaks (@melbourne4wiki Twitter page) vigil for Julian Assange at Flinders St. Station every Friday at 6:30pm.
- Reprint this pdf file at /files/upholdTheRuleOfLawForJulian.pdf or linked to article on Julian Assange, Barraitser's 'compassion' towards Julian Assange a ploy to avoid judicial scrutiny of the United States' illegal war on journalism? (12/1/21)
- Seek the truth at candobetter.net/JulianAssange, rt.com, sputniknews.com, presstv.com, southfront.org and other alternatives to corporate newsmedia.
Another protest has been organised for today outside the Melbourne State Library to demand that the British government refuse the United States' illegal request to have Australian journalist extradited to the United States. (See Rallies in Australia and NZ to demand freedom for Assange and Manning. No to US extradition! (28/1/20). See also Protest Melbourne Friday 6:30pm to stop extradition of Julian Assange by outlaw Trump regime> (6/2/20) advertising the rally for Julian Assange held on Friday also outside the State Library). In the United States Julian Assange would face a kangaroo court and be jailed for up to 150 years for revealing to the world U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Title was: "Australian action to help Assange as extradition hearing approaches". Donations can be made to: gofundme.com/f/melbourne4wikileaks-bringassangehome.
Julian Assange’s extradition hearing starts on Monday 24th of this month. To mark the occasion and to help increase awareness in his hometown of Melbourne, Melbourne4WikiLeaks is holding a rally at the State Library of Victoria at 6:30pm on the evening of Friday 21st February.
We feel that it is important to keep pressure on the Australian Government to intervene with both the UK and US in order to stop the extradition and bring Julian home.
Additionally, we are aware from his legal team and his father’s visits that events supporting him in his hometown greatly lift his spirits.
Time is running out for Julian and it is vitally important at this time to step up the campaign.
You can help in a number of ways:
Firstly, you can come to the Rally where we will be joined by speakers including Caitlin Johnstone, Julian Hill and others as well as a live video cross to Julian’s father, John Shipton in London. There will also be music and a special video presentation.
You can find details of the No Extradition Rally at https://www.facebook.com/events/178087276737493/?active_tab=about
Please invite friends and share widely.
Secondly, you should write to your local Federal member and/or Senator. The best way to find who your local Member is via https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Parliamentarian_Search_Results?q=&mem=1&par=-1&gen=0&ps=0
Which also provides links to phone numbers, email and postal addresses.
Finally, but importantly, you can help us to cover costs of the rally by donating to our GoFundMe fundraiser at
We look forward to seeing you there.
Jacob & Simon
Melbourne4WikiLeaks on all social media platforms…. [email protected].
Snap Action Against Minister's North East Link Decision
Join Friends of Banyule for a snap action out the front of Minister Wynne's office today, Friday 5 Dec, 10am, Tenancy 2, Ground Floor, 188-196 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, VIC.
Planning Minister goes against own Planning Panel’s Advice to accept North East Link project as is
Thursday 5th December 2019
Environmental organisation Friends of the Earth and community group Friends of Banyule have expressed their extreme disappointment at today’s announcement that the Planning Minister Richard Wynne has approved the North East Link.
The project has been approved without extending the tunnel northwards, contrary to the Minister’s own Environmental Effects Statement Planning Panel’s advice and pleas of impacted families and community groups.
In the decision, Minister Wynne stated that “the project will produce significant environmental impacts, borne largely by the community of Melbourne’s northeast during a protracted construction period”.
Minister Wynne fails to report the permanent nature of this environmental and social damage and the long-term health impacts for those living along the 29km construction build, which includes 11 kindergartens, 12 schools and 5 aged care facilities.
“The State Labor Government values cars and toll road revenue over and above our children’s health and future. They are also prepared to destroy over 26,000 trees and two locals creeks, pollute the Yarra river and destroy the liveability of our beautiful green suburbs,” Friends of Banyule President Michelle stated.
“It's staggering that over 20 cherished homes in Yallambie will make way of the Tunnel Boring Machine Launch Site. This is additional to 37 homes already being acquired by the project. How many more homes in Watsonia and Greensborough will have to go via “voluntary acquisition” because they will simply be unliveable?”
“We don’t accept this greedy, undemocratic, sham consultation. The Minister has failed to listen to reasonable advice from his own expert Planning Panel and over 870 submissions by the public.”
The Minister admits that the project will produce ‘significant’ environmental impacts and lead to the destruction of valuable public open space. The project will impact as much as 175 hectares of open space during the 7 years construction period, with 18.2 hectares ‘required permanently’.
Friends of the Earth’s Sustainable Cities campaigner Claudia Gallois says “This will further entrench Melbourne’s reliance on cars for travel and have negative impacts on local communities and local business, increase greenhouse gas emissions and lead to the loss of valuable open space.”
“We welcome the state government’s investment in public transport, including the Metro Tunnel and Suburban Rail Link. But choosing a mega road over smart transport options like the Metro 2 tunnel is backwards thinking. Developing the North East Link will lock off development options for both Metro 2 and the long-promised Doncaster Rail Link, both of which are better ways of dealing with congestion on our roads, without destroying open space and damaging air quality”.
“In a rapidly growing city, it is simply not acceptable to be destroying public open space and sporting facilities.” (It's unfortunate that this media release doesn't challenge the idiocy of the Victorian Government encouraging further high immigration to this already overcrowded city (see LiveInMelbourne.vic.gov.au) - Ed.)
“There is no meaningful assessment of the rise of greenhouse gases associated with this project. In a time of climate change, this is unacceptable. It is also at odds with the government’s commitments under the Climate Change Act,” concluded Gallois.
Claudia Gallois, Friends of the Earth, 0448 752 656 [email protected]
Michelle Giovas, Friends of Banyule, 0409 179 121, [email protected]
‘Stop the Drop’: Ban Aerial Baiting with 1080 Poison, Treasury Gardens Melbourne (Lawn 4), November 24, 5 -8 pm. Since 2014, Victorian governments have been routinely dropping tonnes of cruel 1080 poison over vast areas of the Victorian natural environment from helicopters. Supposedly to protect farm stock from ‘wild dogs’, it is of virtually no benefit to farmers and nothing to do with ‘wild dogs’. The ‘wild dogs’ being killed are really Dingoes, the native Australian apex predator, a threatened species in Victoria and essential to the stability and health of Victorian ecosystems.
In October 2019, 26 prominent scientists, including some of the most respected, senior environmental scientists in Australia, wrote a joint, open letter to the Victorian Minister for the Environment, calling for the discontinuation of aerial baiting with 1080 poison.
Aerial baiting up for renewal - now is the time to step in to stop it
In December 2019 the Victorian government’s permission from the federal government to aerial bait with 1080 poison will expire. The Andrews Labor government must not seek renewed federal permission to continue this cruel and unnecessary assault upon Dingoes and Victorian ecosystems. This persecution has involved the deliberate mis-characterisation of Dingoes as ‘wild dogs’ by government bureaucrats, farm lobby extremists and the poison industry, thereby avoiding public scrutiny and potentially misleading government ministers.
SPEAKERS: Evan Quartermain Humane Society International, John Marsh Potoroo Palace New South Wales, Rohana Hayes Wolves Theatre
MUSICIANS: The Wild Orchids Chris Scheri Flautist and Robyn Youlten Guitarist
ART FOR EARTH: Candle Art installation by JORGE PUJOL “SAVE OUR DINGOES”
Sponsors: Bushland Dingo Haven Inc., Ron Holden; Anonymous; Jihrrahlinga Conservation Centre; Sime Validzic; Ernest & Robyn Healy, Marilyn Nuske
Shout Out for Peace and Climate Action - UN International Day of Peace
No Australian Support for U.S. wars
For an Independent and Peaceful Foreign Policy
Speakers on War and Climate; Iran; US bases and Independent foreign policy; West Papuan Independence; Human Rights in the Philippines; military spending, and more.
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the reasons behind Ecuador's Foreign Minister stating that they have no plans of revoking Julian Assange's asylum status.
After news broke that Ecuador was planing on expelling Assange from their London Embassy, people gathered in the streets of London, and online voices blasted Ecuador's decision to deliver Assange to UK authorities, with eventual extradition to the United States.
The Ecuadorian government was compelled to quickly release a statement refuting the news of Assange's expulsion.
Comment by James Sinnamon: In this otherwise insightful and informative discussion of 8:53 minutes, I think Alex Christoforou and Alexander Mercouris are far too kind to the UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn has had six and a half years to act to force the UK government end its illegal detention of Julian Assange. Corbyn, who purportedly supports Julian Assange, could have easily led many thousands of Labour Party supporters to protest at the Ecuadorian Embassy in support of Julian Assange. Such a crowd could easily have escorted Assange to Heathrow Airport and onto a flight back to Australia. Certainly, had he spoken more loudly in support of Julian Assange in all of these years, it would have been politically impossible for Theresa May to have persisted with her government's criminal and secretive collusion with the United States against Julian Assange.
Video: French demonstrate outside the Australian embassy in Paris, calling for the cowardly unprincipled Australian Government to help Julian Assange. "Where are the 'We are all Charlie' freedom of the press demonstrators?" they cry.
Translation of video
Whilst during the day demonstrators stood outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to support the whistleblower, another demonstration started an hour ago in Paris outside the Australian Embassy. Listen to what people are saying:
[MALE INTERVIEWEE] "Well, its quite a delicate situation. It's been seven years. It's inexcusable. It's incomprehensible. Knowing the United States claims to be a country of western liberties, it is very odd that he [Julian Assange] is prevented in this way from returning to his country.
We have to keep up this kind of demonstration, thinking of Julian Assange and all the journalists , freedom of the press, freedom of expression, freedom to exchange information, the right to transparency. So, regular demonstrations to remind us of what Julian Assange is going through."
[FEMALE INTERVIEWEE] "The dangers are immense. The danger of being expelled [from the Ecuadorian embassy], from one day to the next, one hour to the next. Therefore, it is very very important for us to join in protest now.
Candobetter Ed: Indeed, shame on our government in Australia. Shame on Britain, where if nothing else, Jeremy Corbyn could lead a rescue party, but he's just another sell-out. As for America, run by a corrupt elite that rejoices in war, it should never be allowed to get its hands on Assange. Note that this video was published by RT France.
Translation to English of some comments in French below the video:
(A troll's comments were left out.)
Véronique G, 10 hours ago: "Shame on Australia for abandonning him. Shame on all the other countries which do nothing as well, and shame, above all, on the United States. Best wishes to this Australian journalist. I hope with all my heart that he will soon be FREE."
Honte à l Australie qui l a laissé tomber....Honte à tous les autres pays qui ne font rien non plus....et honte surtout aux States ....bon courage à ce journaliste australien , j espère de tout coeur que bientôt il sera LIBRE.
Marc Dodane, 11 hours ago: "This man should be freed and protected."
Cet homme devrait être libre et protégé.
mooban1000, 10 hours ago: "We must do everything to help against all the political lobbies ... an extraordinary person ..."
Il faut tout faire pour l’aider contre tous les lobbies politiques... une extraordinaire personne...
Jean Vasquez, 10 hours ago: "Where have all the "Charlies" gone? The defenders of freedom of expression."
Ou sont passés les " Charlie" ?
Les defenseurs de la liberté d expression.
Jean Vasquez, 10 hours ago: "The United States a country of liberty? WTF!!!
Les etats unis un pays de liberte ? Wtf !!!
h, 1 hour ago: "If these countries were countries of freedom, Assange would already be able to walk around, but these countries are dominated by private interests."
Ci ces pays serait des pays de liberté Assange devrais déjà pouvoir y circuler or ces pays sont soumis à des intérêts privé.
Artaax 33, 7 hours ago: "Where are the so-called Charlies?"
Ils sont où les soit disant charlie ?
minima moralia, 10 hours ago: "What can be done for him? We dare hope that PotUS will free him, the one who revealed Hilary's Pizza Gate, no?"
Que faire pour lui? On ose espérer que le PotUS va le faire libérer, lui qui a révélé le Pizza Gate de Hillary Clinton, non?
Jérémy de Beach: "He's a political prisoner."
c'est un prisonnier politique.
At 1:00pm on Sunday 10 March originally, incorrectly the given date was 10 May - Ed) outside the State Library in Swanston Street Melbourne, supporters of investigative journalism, free speech and human rights will rally to demand that the Australian government act to free journalist Julian Assange from the arbitrary imprisonment he has faced inside the London Ecuadorian embassy since October 2012 when he sought asylum, that is more than 6 years ago.
Assange's living conditions inside the narrow confines of the Ecuadorian Embassy were already poor. They have been deliberately made worse by the new Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno. This is consistent with President Moreno's treatment of the Ecuadorian people to whom he made many promises in the election 19 February 2017, which he subsequently broke.
As described below by John Pilger in his address to the Sydney rally of last Sunday 3 March, Assange's health and even his life are now at risk. So, the need for the Australian government to act to protect one of its citizens is even more urgent.
Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy after the Swedish government requested that he be extradited to Sweden to be questioned by police over allegations that he had sexually assaulted two women. The women had initially made the allegations when he visited Sweden in August 2010, but Swedish police, who interviewed Assange closed the case and told him he could leave the country.
However the case was re-opened by a special prosecutor in November 2010. The prosecutor requested that Julian Assange be extradited from England for questioning, but failed to give him any assurance that he would not be extradited to the U.S. Assange then sought asylum in the Ecuadorian emabassy.
At this point, the Australian government could easily have acted to resolve the situation. They could have insisted that the Swedish government give Assange a guarantee against extradition to the U.S. or, failing that, expedite his return to Australia, if necessary, with an escort by members of the Australian Federal Police.
But the Australian government failed to act. In more than 8 years since then, it has either done either nothing or has acted to make Assange's circumstances worse.
Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador on 16 August 2012, but the UK government refused to allow him to leave the UK to go the Ecuador. As he has been threatened with arrest by the UK authorities for "skipping bail" should he step outside the embassy, Assange has been effectively imprisoned inside the embassy and, since February 2017 has faced additional hardships deliberately imposed upon him by the new Ecuadorian government, as described above.
On Sunday 3 March, the Socialist Equality Party, publishers of the World Socialist Web Site organised a rally in Sydney to support Julian Assange. The speech by John Pilger and the embedded video, previously published on their web site, is re-published below:
"Whenever I visit Julian Assange, we meet in a room he knows too well.
There is a bare table and pictures of Ecuador on the walls. There is a bookcase where the books never change. The curtains are always drawn and there is no natural light. The air is still and foetid.
This is Room 101.
Before I enter Room 101, I must surrender my passport and phone. My pockets and possessions are examined. The food I bring is inspected.
The man who guards Room 101 sits in what looks like an old-fashioned telephone box. He watches a screen, watching Julian. There are others unseen, agents of the state, watching and listening.
Cameras are everywhere in Room 101. To avoid them, Julian manoeuvres us both into a corner, side by side, flat up against the wall. This is how we catch up: whispering and writing to each other on a notepad, which he shields from the cameras. Sometimes we laugh.
I have my designated time slot. When that expires, the door in Room 101 bursts open and the guard says, “Time is up!” On New Year’s Eve, I was allowed an extra 30 minutes and the man in the phone box wished me a happy new year, but not Julian.
Of course, Room 101 is the room in George Orwell’s prophetic novel, 1984, where the thought police watched and tormented their prisoners, and worse, until people surrendered their humanity and principles and obeyed Big Brother.
Julian Assange will never obey Big Brother. His resilience and courage are astonishing, even though his physical health struggles to keep up.
Julian is a distinguished Australian who has changed the way many people think about duplicitous governments. For this, he is a political refugee subjected to what the United Nations calls “arbitrary detention.”
The UN says he has the right of free passage to freedom, but this is denied. He has the right to medical treatment without fear of arrest, but this is denied. He has the right to compensation, but this is denied.
As founder and editor of WikiLeaks, his crime has been to make sense of dark times. WikiLeaks has an impeccable record of accuracy and authenticity which no newspaper, no TV channel, no radio station, no BBC, no New York Times, no Washington Post, no Guardian can equal. Indeed, it shames them.
That explains why he is being punished.
For example: Last week, the International Court of Justice ruled that the British Government had no legal powers over the Chagos Islanders, who, in the 1960s and 70s, were expelled in secret from their homeland on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and sent into exile and poverty. Countless children died, many of them from sadness. It was an epic crime few knew about.
For almost 50 years, the British have denied the islanders’ the right to return to their homeland, which they had given to the Americans for a major military base.
In 2009, the British Foreign Office concocted a “marine reserve” around the Chagos archipelago.
This touching concern for the environment was exposed as a fraud when WikiLeaks published a secret cable from the British Government reassuring the Americans that “the former inhabitants would find it difficult, if not impossible, to pursue their claim for resettlement on the islands if the entire Chagos Archipelago were a marine reserve.”
The truth of the conspiracy clearly influenced the momentous decision of the International Court of Justice.
WikiLeaks has also revealed how the United States spies on its allies; how the CIA can watch you through your i-phone; how presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took vast sums of money from Wall Street for secret speeches that reassured the bankers that if she was elected, she would be their friend.
In 2016, WikiLeaks revealed a direct connection between Clinton and organised jihadism in the Middle East: terrorists, in other words. One email disclosed that when Clinton was US Secretary of State, she knew that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were funding Islamic State, yet she accepted huge donations for her foundation from both governments.
She then approved the world’s biggest ever arms sale to her Saudi benefactors: arms that are currently being used against the stricken people of Yemen.
That explains why he is being punished.
WikiLeaks has also published more than 800,000 secret files from Russia, including the Kremlin, telling us more about the machinations of power in that country than the specious hysterics of the “Russia-gate” pantomime in Washington.
This is real journalism—journalism of a kind now considered exotic: the antithesis of Vichy journalism, which speaks for the enemy of the people and takes its sobriquet from the Vichy government that occupied France on behalf of the Nazis.
Vichy journalism is censorship by omission, such as the untold scandal of the collusion between Australian governments and the United States to deny Julian Assange his rights as an Australian citizen and to silence him.
In 2010, Prime Minister Julia Gillard went as far as ordering the Australian Federal Police to investigate and hopefully prosecute Assange and WikiLeaks—until she was informed by the Australian Federal Police that no crime had been committed.
Last weekend, the Sydney Morning Herald published a lavish supplement promoting a celebration of “Me Too” at the Sydney Opera House on 10 March. Among the leading participants is the recently retired Minister of Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop.
Bishop has been on show in the local media lately, lauded as a loss to politics: an “icon,” someone called her, to be admired.
The elevation to celebrity feminism of one so politically primitive as Bishop tells us how much so-called identity politics have subverted an essential, objective truth: that what matters, above all, is not your gender but the class you serve.
Before she entered politics, Julie Bishop was a lawyer who served the notorious asbestos miner James Hardie, which fought claims by men and their families dying horribly with asbestosis.
Lawyer Peter Gordon recalls Bishop “rhetorically asking the court why workers should be entitled to jump court queues just because they were dying.”
Bishop says she “acted on instructions ... professionally and ethically.”
Perhaps she was merely “acting on instructions” when she flew to London and Washington last year with her ministerial chief of staff, who had indicated that the Australian Foreign Minister would raise Julian’s case and hopefully begin the diplomatic process of bringing him home.
Julian’s father had written a moving letter to the then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, asking the government to intervene diplomatically to free his son. He told Turnbull that he was worried Julian might not leave the embassy alive.
Julie Bishop had every opportunity in the UK and the US to present a diplomatic solution that would bring Julian home. But this required the courage of one proud to represent a sovereign, independent state, not a vassal.
Instead, she made no attempt to contradict the British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, when he said outrageously that Julian “faced serious charges.” What charges? There were no charges.
Australia’s Foreign Minister abandoned her duty to speak up for an Australian citizen, prosecuted with nothing, charged with nothing, guilty of nothing.
Will those feminists who fawn over this false icon at the Opera House next Sunday be reminded of her role in colluding with foreign forces to punish an Australian journalist, one whose work has revealed that rapacious militarism has smashed the lives of millions of ordinary women in many countries: in Iraq alone, the US-led invasion of that country, in which Australia participated, left 700,000 widows.
So what can be done? An Australian government that was prepared to act in response to a public campaign to rescue the refugee football player, Hakeem al-Araibi, from torture and persecution in Bahrain, is capable of bringing Julian Assange home.
The refusal by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra to honour the United Nations’ declaration that Julian is the victim of “arbitrary detention” and has a fundamental right to his freedom, is a shameful breach of the letter and spirit of international law.
Why has the Australian government made no serious attempt to free Assange? Why did Julie Bishop bow to the wishes of two foreign powers?
Why is this democracy traduced by its servile relationships, and integrated with lawless foreign power?
The persecution of Julian Assange is the conquest of us all: of our independence, our self-respect, our intellect, our compassion, our politics, our culture.
So stop scrolling. Organise. Occupy. Insist. Persist. Make a noise. Take direct action. Be brave and stay brave. Defy the thought police.
War is not peace, freedom is not slavery, ignorance is not strength. If Julian can stand up to Big Brother, so can you: so can all of us."
Below is a list of only some signatures from international organisations and individuals endorsing the campaign No War on Venezuela. Full list on web page. Action plan for Melbourne organised by the Australian-Venezuelan Solidarity coalition on Saturday 23 February, 11am at Trades Hall.
40+ Cities Plan Activities During #23Feb
Weekend of International Actions