On the pages linked to below is information about Australians who have supported Julian Assange. Of particular interest are candidates, including sitting members of Parliament, who are contesting the elections to be held on this Saturday 18 May.
Australian Greens Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Dr Richard Di Natale has called upon the Australian Government to swiftly intervene to ensure that Julian Assange is not extradited to the United States.
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
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.
Can Palestine be liberated while the US illegally occupies Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq? Apparently Melbourne's pro-Palestine movement thinks Palestine can be liberated while Syria has much of its territory illegally occupied and US troops also illegally occupy Iraq and Afghanistan.
I attended both the Freedom Protest and the huge pro-Palestine Protest in Melbourne yesterday on 15 May 2021. At both protests I intended to show my support for each of those two respective causes and to distribute our leaflet on Julian Assange. 
Unfortunately, I did not stay long at the Freedom Protest, because I thought that it would be more promising and and more productive to go to the pro-Palestine protest. My reason was that I supposed the Palestine protest would attract a wide range of related left-wing causes, such as people who support the Syrian and Venezuelan people. I also expected that people there would be very receptive to the leaflet in support of Julian Assange I had to distribute.
Where, at the Freedom protest, nearly everyone I approached with a leaflet was happy to accept it, I was disappointed to discover that at the pro-Palestine protest, whilst most accepted a copy of my leaflet and many even thanked me and expressed support for Julian Assange, a surprising number of people there were quite hostile to my handing out those leaflets.
In hindsight, I now realise that I should have challenged those people to explain to me their apparent hostility to Julian Assange. Many of those who were hostile seemed to me to be members of the supposedly far-left socialist parties, one of which I was associated with, more than 30 years ago. I could have said to any one of those people:
"Don't you realise that because of Wikileaks and Julian Assange it is not nearly as easy as it once was for the United States to continue its support for Israel or to fabricate pretexts to start other wars in the Middle East? Don't you realize that, by giving people the ability to safely leak information from inside the US government and the US military, Wikileaks helps people in countries like Palestine fight there for their freedom?"
Unfortunately, I did not.
How can Free Palestine Melbourne be more effective?
I also felt that the overall approach of the pro-Palestine protest was seriously flawed.
Even more so, the Hamas resistance in the Gaza strip, so villified by Israel and the corporate newsmedia, should be commended for their heroic acts of solidarity with their fellow Palestinians on the West Bank who were being savagely repressed at the al-Aqsa mosque and elsewhere whilst having even more of their homes demolished to make way for yet more illegal Israeli settlements.
Hamas chose, from its tiny vulnerable coastal enclave, to launch missiles northwards into Israel in an effort to make Menachem Begin, the crooked Prime Minister of Israel, reconsider his decision to steal more Palestinian land. For that Hamas and other residents of the Gaza strip have paid a terrible price.
However, such military resistance alone, either in Gaza or in the West Bank, is likely to bring peace and justice to Palestine.
Unless other positive strategies to end the conflict are put forward and adapted by the Palestinian resistance, that conflict can only descend to an even more terrible and fratricidal conflict out of which there can only be two possible outcomes:
the total destruction of the Palestinian nation within the borders of Palestine; or
The destruction of Israel, with all Israelis expelled from the land.
Obviously, neither of these two outcomes are acceptable.
A lot of ordinary Jewish Israelis have decent attitudes towards the Palestinians. It's sad that a very high proportion do seem to support Netanyahu, and the terrible crimes being committed against Palestinians - at least according to mainstream news. But I think any strategy to defeat the Israeli government has to recognize that a sizable proportion of Jews in Israel do not approve of driving Palestinians out of their land. These Israelis can be reached, and should be given support to develop a different, non-apartheid, form of government, and to form opposition to the continual predations by pro-Israeli settler property developers in the Gaza strip and their military support.
What about Syria?
At the Palestine protest, I also found it curious that no mention was made at all about Syria and all the other conflicts going on in the Middle East, right next door to Palestine. There's a terrible war going on in Syria, right at this moment, and I felt it striking that not a word was said about that.
Estimates of the number killed so far in Syria since march 2011 vary between 388,652 and 594,000. (See Syrian Revolution 120 months on: 594,000 persons killed and millions of Syrians displaced and injured (14/3/2021) SOHR. 14 March 2021.) Of these, between 131,145 and 180,440 are from the Syrian Arab Army or their allies, who are defending their country. An estimate of the number of mostly foreign terrorists killed so far in Syria varies between 142,684 and 198,684. (See PDF document SOHR 14th Annivesary (1/6/2020) - whilst these figures are contested and difficult to confirm, but they do give some idea of the scale of the loss of life caused by this conflict.)
Every week there have been a number of illegal Israeli air strikes against Syria in support of the continuing terrorist war, of more than ten years duration so far, against the Syrian Government.
Very recently, Syria got so fed up with the Israeli air strikes on its territory, that they actually launched a missile strike themselves against Israel in response.
The failure of any of the speakers, at that pro-Palestine protest, to mention this war, or any other of the recent conflicts in the Middle-East - Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon - is difficult to understand.
Australian foreign policy is important for Palestinians - We need to hold our government to account
Not only did the Melbourne protest not seem to have any practical help for the Palestinian struggle, or for all the other people in the Middle East, but it did not hold the Australian government to account for effectively siding, since 2011, with terrorist insurgency in Syria, which has been an outspoken supporter of Palestinians for decades.
I can't say at the moment that any protests in which I have recently participated have grown to be really sizable, but I have taken part in small pro-Syria protest movements, and I'm still doing so. As in protest movements in support of Julian Assange, we know that every time we reach anyone, any time someone listens to us, it has an impact on Australian politics, because people then become aware of what our foreign policies actually are, and that what is happening in Palestine and Syria, or to Julian Assange, etc., depends to some extent on what is happening in Australian foreign policy. If no state outside Israel supported Israeli apartheid, or sanctions on Syria, or the imprisonment of Julian Assange, then it is most unlikely that any of these shocking processes would have endured for any length of time. Therefore, it is very important for any Australian protesting about conditions overseas to make links to any enabling policies right here in Australia, to be aware of what their own government is doing, or of how a decent and compassionate Australian government could help prevent the harm being done to people, by actively speaking up against it. It seemed to me that this awareness and consciousness-raising was absent at the pro-Palestine protests yesterday.
When we were protesting a few years ago against US-NATO intervention in Syria, we pointed out the Australian government's shameful role in sanctioning Syria, basically in supporting a siege against the Syrian people. We argued that supporting war against Syria had implications for the attitude that people should have towards the Australian government.
Where was there a similar attempt to raise awareness in the pro-Palestinian protest?
The pro-Palestine protest acknowledged, to some degree, the illegal acquisition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, rather than Tel Aviv. However, there was very little focus on the wrong of the Australian government's support for American policy towards Israel and the rest of the Middle East, in facilitating that change of Israel's capital. I only heard disapproval for Australia's support for these bad policies expressed once in any of the speeches. The failure to more emphatically point out corrupt Australian government policy in the pro-Palestinian protest was a serious shortcoming.
I mean, we should be able to influence foreign policy by appealing to or placing pressure on our local parliamentarians, as well as on the parliaments in elections. However, if people are not made aware of our complicit foreign policies and the need for these to change, it is as if we are giving up on the area where we could be most effective.
It is to be hoped that more protests will be organised, since the conflicts in the Middle East are ongoing, and will not abate without concerned, persistent, and informed, activism.
Lawyer and partner of Julian Assange, Stella Moris, briefs the International Symposium of Parliamentarians on the latest developments in his case and the impact Julian's continued incarceration is having on their family.
There will be an international public symposium of parliamentarians and legislators who will discuss and examine the issues at stake in the Julian Assange case. The event will also be live-streamed by the Don’t Extradite Assange campaign on their YouTube, Twitter and Facebook channels.
All major Human Rights and Free Press Organizations have opposed Assange’s extradition including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch and many more. Newspaper Editorial boards including The Guardian, New York Times, El, Pais, Der Speigel, Le Monde, as well as major Journalist Unions including the UK’s NUJ and Australia’s MEAA have voiced their strong opposition to the proceeding against Assange and the threat it posses to Journalism and the Free Press.
Saturday 17 April 12pm noon BST (UK time).
Session 1. Briefing on the Julian Assange case with UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer and Stella Moris, Julian Assange’s partner. Chaired by Richard Burgon MP. Followed by questions and contributions.
Session 2. Country Reports: A chance for attendees to discuss the situation in their countries.
Session 3. How to take the campaign forward. With former Nobel prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, German Member of Parliament Sevim Dagdelen and UK MP Richard Burgon – with questions and contributions from attendees."
I am writing to inform you that over the past month, I have sent 3 letters to every MP and senator in the Australian Parliament regarding the importance of the Government urgently acting to protect Julian Assange who is currently in solitary confinement in Belmarsh Prison, UK.
He has been in solitary for 2 years, since 11 April, 2019 for exposing war crimes. Also, due to “misinformation” spread during smear campaigns, Assange has had his freedom curtailed and his rights infringed for nearly 11 years now.
Despite the fact that credible experts have reported that Julian has been subject to torture, I find it alarming that to date I have received only 2 letters in response to my 3 letters to all 226 highly paid parliamentarians/public officials. Otherwise, there has been silence & inaction.
Further enquiries today with MP Mark Dreyfus’ (shadow AG) office resulted in confirmation that the Labor party released the attached press release in support of Assange on Jan 5 but, to date, nothing substantive has been done to help Julian.
I also attach a copy of my last letter to all politicians dated April 8 2021 and another attachment, “Debunking Myths and Smears” about Julian Assange FYI.
I wish you would take this story up as a matter of urgency. Firstly, because Assange’s life is at stake and secondly because it’s imperative that journalists and citizens protect the right of freedom of expression. This includes the right not to be arbitrarily detained without sensible and tenable due process for doing the work of journalism. In addition to this, importantly, it is about our sovereignty and our rights as Australians.
As Assange has effectively been “incarcerated” for 11 years now due to various false accusations of sexual misconduct and absurd claims of “espionage”, I feel it would be appropriate for the media to raise this issue as a matter of importance for all of us.
Please find attached a list of the cross-party MPs and senators calling for the Govt to take
immediate action to “free Julian Assange” who is currently in solitary confinement in Belmarsh
prison in the UK.
I, and I am sure countless folk all over the world, are highly appreciative of these members and
senators. They are routinely thanked by groups of citizens meeting and demonstrating for Julian
Assange’s release every Friday afternoon outside Sydney Town Hall (photo attached).
Despite the fact that credible experts have deemed Assange to have been subject to torture, he
still remains in solitary confinement (& for 2yrs as of April 11th) under heavily restricted
conditions and as an Australian I, and I believe his supporters, find this untenable.
I have twice written to all MPs and senators noting details regarding this matter (which I hope
you are aware of by now) and the matter’s urgency. I note I have received only one letter in
response by a “Ministerial Correspondence Unit” (unsigned) and this letter I feel is entirely
You must know that to sit and do nothing and not act for a person being tortured or harmed, as
I understand it, is not only a crime but also highly immoral.
Julian has made it his life’s work to help people in positions of vulnerability, including by helping
to publish evidence of war crimes and/or corruption from 2006 onwards. By revealing
wrongdoing by governments around the world, we stand a better chance of making them
accountable to their citizens and their victims.
At weekly demonstrations outside Sydney Town Hall for the past 70 weeks, it has been
heartening to see the support in the community as it reveals the ability of ordinary people to
remain objective in the face of relentless efforts by the media to demonise Julian.
Julian has first told us and then, by his own example, shown us that the powerful corporate and
political elements have an aversion to the truth and disregard for the sanctity of human life.
The future of freedom of speech rests on Julian’s shoulders, and more importantly, his very life
is at risk. To those who support Julian in the attached list, I convey my most sincere and
heartfelt thanks and appreciation.
I am writing to urge you to please join this group attached with all haste.
Please advise your position, or alternatively, if you feel there is something I am overlooking I
would be very pleased to hear that from you also.
"April11, 2021, marks 2 years Julian Assange has been held without charge in Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh, London - a prison housing society's most violent individuals. Julian Assange published factual information about government and military wrongdoings, provoking a massive campaign to destroy his credibility and discourage other whistleblowers, journalists and publishers."The pdf file contains a document which is an edited version of original works of author Caitlin Johnstone, who has generously permitted the use and editing of her work for this brochure. https://caitlinjohnstone.com/ Published by Assange Town Hall Gatherings Inc, c/- [email protected] For comments contact Tony Wakeham 0427252726. (This document was sent to Australian politicians by Billy Field.)
#c7eced;">#e73a42;">A 336K double-sided A5 leaflet (adapted from previousleaflet) can be found, attached to this page here. (Update, Thu 6 May 2021: Two videos of speeches outside the British Melbourne Consulate on 4 April embedded as an Appendix; Update, 6:28am Sat 10 Apr 2021: The file previously linked to at the end of the previous sentence, erroneously gave the time of the protest as 10:00pm and not 4:00pm, my apologies - this has been fixed.) See also @LorineBrice. Events elsewhere in Australia:Perth Town Hall 12 noon-4pm, @ForAdelaide Watch this space for further details, @Melbourne4wiki Melb CBD 6.30pm, In #e73a42;">New Zealand:Auckland US Consulate 12 Noon (23 Customs St. East)
This coming Sunday 11 April will be the second anniversary of the date on which British Police entered the London Ecuadorian embassy and arrested Australian journalist Julian Assange who had been granted asylum there by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. Rafael Correa had been President of Ecuador from 2010 until 2017. President Lenin Moreno, Rafael Correa's successor, in violation of Article14 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, allowed British Police to enter the Ecuadorian embassy to arrest Julian Assange. Lenin Moreno's collusion with the United States and with Britain to enable this illegal arrest was only one of a number of ways that Lenin Moreno has betrayed the trust placed in him by former President Rafael Correa. 
All over the world supporters of Julian Assange will be commemorating this grim milestone in Julian Assange's life. In Melbourne, we will be assembling outside the British Consulate at #e73a42;">90 Collins Street Melbourne at 4:00pm to unfurl our banners, give speeches and hand out leaflets. At 6:00pm we will also protest in front of Flinders Street Station, roughly 1.6km from the Consulate. For information about other events, please visit the @candles4assange.
#c7eced;">After that we will walk to Flinders Street Station for another protest at 6:00pm (see also @LorineBrice). (Whilst, for now, this seems to clash with @Melbourne4Wiki's plans to protest somewhere in St Kilda, 4km away, at 6:30pm, [Correction, 8 Apr: clearly the 6:30pm @Melbourne4Wiki event in St Kilda clashes with the 6:30pm Melbourne4Wiki event in the CBD. I now understand that the St Kilda event is scheduled for 3pm and not 6:30pm. Still, …]#c7eced;"> I hope that our two groups can find a compromise that will enable us to work together effectively on the day.)
It is vital that we make a big impact on that day in order to get the message out so that more of the Australian public will know the facts about Julian Assange and that Australia's elected leaders will be made to realise that, if they continue in their failure to act to uphold the rule of law for Julian Assange, their will be consequences for them, particularly at next Federal election. So, please:
come yourself, if you are able to;
bring a friend; and
If you can't make it yourself, then please encourage others to come by:
distributing printed publicity for the event; 
posting the details of this event to social media, including Twitter, FaceBook and Instagram; and
posting details of this event to any blog you contribute to.
Hopefully there will be some cooperation between the two groups, but I will nevertheless post further information about the other event when it becomes available to me.
Appendix: 4 April 2021, second anniversary of Julian's arrest, Melbourne supporters of Julian Assange speak outside the Melbourne British Consulate
#update_speechesForJulianAssange_4apr2021" iname="update_speechesForJulianAssange_4apr2021">Update, 6 May 2021: A number of supporters of Julian Assange now use public events such as the weekly vigil for Julian Assange and the commemoration of the second anniversary of Julian's illegal imprisonment on 4 April 2019, to explain to members of the pubic the facts about the United States' vendetta against Julian Assange. Feili spoke for 4 minutes, then I spoke, briefly for 1:41 minutes. My apologies for not having embedded these speeches earlier, particularly Feili's great speech. - JS
James Sinnamon (the author) speaks
 Lenin Moreno's betrayal of Julian Assange is part of a number of his abandonments of election promises given prior to the Presidential election of 19 February 2017. Others include reduced spendng on public services, abandonment of the redistribution of wealth to poorer Ecuadorians, 'flexibility' of the labour code, trade 'liberalisation', allowing oil drilling in Ecuador's Amazon region, indebting Ecuador to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with a $10 billion loan, aligning Ecuador with the U.S. against Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.
Fortunately, in the first round of the Ecuadorian Presidential elections, held on 7 February this year, indigenous Socialist candidate Andres Arauz won 32.72% of the votes while right-wing, pro-corporate candidate Guillermo Lasso received 19.74%, so Andres Arauz stands a very good chance of winning the second round due, by coincidence on Sunday 11 April, the same date upon which we will be marking the second Anniversary of Julian Assange's arrest.
 I will endeavour to produce a small printed leaflet as a PDF file, in addition to two otherpreviously produced leaflets, to publicise this event. After this PDF file has been uploaded as an attachment to this page I encourage you, the reader, to download it, print copies and distribute them.
This is a beautiful original song, beautifully performed, with well conceived lyrics describing the importance of Assange, his suffering, and encouraging people to work to have him released.
like a movie
flickering in blue and grey
like a movie
you can’t take your eyes away
here's a man in the nose of a beast
a magic camera on his eye
they're not men he sees before him
just pixels floating by
his eyes narrow on the target
his finger is the boss
seven men go to the dust they came from
underneath his cross
like a movie
and here's a man on an aeroplane
his eyes are warm, his eyes are closed
weary from too much seeing,
from 10 years on this road
they took his son, they took his freedom
took away his space to think
they took his walls and moved them closer
they pushed him to the brink
like a movie
flickering in blue and grey
like a movie
betrayal's only one frame away
and here's a hawk, in front of an eagle
three colours tattooed on it's chest
his eyes are flint, his heart is granite
cos uncle knows what's best
there’s talk of a man who’s said too much
talk of a man who’s sealed his fate
talk of a bounty for the one who brings
his head upon a plate
like a movie
and now here's a man in a tiny cell
his tired face is gaunt and pale
he walks ten thousand steps each day
the santiago trail
his hair is white, the spider’s eyes were black
the mighty web was a thing of awe
he went in deep, he couldn’t come back
but he showed us what he saw
like a movie
flickering in blue and grey
like a movie
dignity will hold no sway
and when the dawn breaks, and the mist clears
you can watch the final scene, if you dare
one man in front of an army, all alone
and his man, what’s he going to do now?
and what about you, what are you going to do now?
are you going to sit there, and keep on watching?
cos if we all got up we could stop this movie
don't you think it's time we stopped this movie?
like a movie
flickering in blue and grey
like a movie
we can’t let it end this way
From 6:30PM on Good Friday, last Friday 2 April 2021, Anita Brice, myself and other Melbourne supporters of Julian Assange held their weekly vigil in front of Flinders Street Station. This vigil is the central part of Anita Brice's (see Lorine Anita Brice's Twitter page @LorineBrice) campaign for Julian Assange which she has organised since April 2020.
Each Friday since then they have turned up with placards and printed literature to inform members of the public about Julian Assange.
Also, at considerable trouble and expense, I created a large (4.8mx1.7m) banner which is pictured to the left.  This banner has attracted some interest from overseas supporters of Julian Assange, including from the Denver Free Assange group as well as from many members of the Melbourne public including passing motorists. 
Other members of our group have also begun to give speeches, and have spoken well, as occurred on Friday 26 March when we marched to the Melbourne British to protest against that government's criminal treatment of Julian Assange.
At our Good Friday vigil, I spoke for 6:30 minutes. My speech was recorded and embedded below.
James Sinnamon demands the Australian government act to end the illegal imprisonment of Julian Assange
Your presence needed at next Friday's vigil for Julian Assange
If we are ever to succeed in our campaign to free Julian Assange, we need much larger crowds, here in Melbourne, other Australian cities and overseas. If you can make it to next Friday's vigil at 6:30pm, please be there. You can help us hold up our large banners, distribute leaflets, talk to passsers-by or make speeches.
 The PDF file for the double-sided A5 flyer is here.
 The PDF file which can be printed on two sides of an A4 sheet, is here, please be warned, printing in colour, rather than in back and white can cost a lot more.
 From an artist friend, Sheila Newman, who is also an editor of this site, candobetter.net, and an author of books as well as articles for this site, I received indispensable help in creating this banner.
 Unfortunately, because our numbers were fewer on the Good Friday public holiday, there was not a sufficient number people to put in the necessary effort hold up our large banner for the two hour vigil.
 Even on some subsequent occasions when my own presentation and delivery was not as good, I believe I still succeeded in arousing more interest and support from members of the public than we would have, had nobody spoken. I would like to aspire to speak as well as Mairéad Farrell, Irish member of the European Parliament as shown, below, in her speech of 5 March 2021:
Last Thursday 25 March, during the Senate Estimates Hearing, Greens Senator for Victoria, Janet Rice (pictured left), asked Foreign Minister Marise Payne (pictured right) to explain her failure to act to free Australian journalist Julian Assange from his imprisonment in Belmarsh Prison in London.
Given the very short time allowed for Janet Rice to pursue this issue, she did remarkably well in cutting through Marise Payne's evasions and attempts to obfuscate the issue.
Exchange between Senator Janet Rice and Senator Marise Payne on Julian Assange
Janet Rice : So, on Julian Assange, Minister, have you personally requested to the Biden administration that they drop their appeal against the UK court finding to not extradite Julian Assange.
Marise Payne : Senator, I said in response to Senator Patrick, that I had not discussed this directly with the Biden administration at this stage, but I expect it to be discussed in meetings with the Secretary of State (the United States equivalent of Foreign Minister).
Janet Rice : OK, and when do you expect those meetings to occur?
Marise Payne : In the coming months.
Janet Rice : Months?
Marise Payne : Well, Senator, nothing is confirmed because we are making arrangements in relation to travel. If I am not able to do that in person, then I will be raising a number of issues in a virtual engagement that will be sooner.
Janet Rice : And this is despite the reporting that if you had actually raised the issue of Julian Assange with the Trump administration to drop the charges, that they were very likely to have done so?
Marise Payne : Well, I did raise the matter with the Trump administration, Senator. I raised the matter with the Secretary of State, myself directly at AUSMIN (Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations) in July 2020.
Janet Rice : Well, in the last month, the Trump administration - that secondary reporting - but I will move on. Were DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) officials told that Julian Assange is on suicide watch from the time that of his arrival at Belmarsh Prison on 11 April 2019?
Marise Payne : Senator, while the [DFAT] officer is going to brief, I would remind you, Senator, as I have in the Senate, that the Australian Government has endeavoured to offer consular assistance …
Janet Rice : My time is short, Minister and I am aware that you …
Marise Payne : And I have two things to say, Senator. The consular assistance on 22 occasions, from 2019 to 2021, DFAT - consent was withdrawn for DFAT to consult about Mr Assange's personal circumstances, his health and his welfare in prison on the 13th of June 2019 by Mr Assange. So, given consent was withdrawn, Senator …
Janet Rice : I am asking you about the time between his arrival on the 11th of April until the 13th of June when DFAT had his consent.
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.
From OPCW chief must ‘find the courage to address’ Douma coverup allegations, says group including 5 senior ex-officials of watchdog (12/3/2021) | RT
The scandal surrounding alleged manipulation of scientific data in the chemical weapons watchdog the OPCW, ignored by both the organization and the mainstream media, is only getting worse with time, a pro-whistleblower group said.
A new statement from whistleblower-supporting organization the Courage Foundation complains that the leadership of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has failed to properly address accusations of a coverup involving the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018.
Instead it tried to “side-step the issue” entirely by targeting directly and apparently indirectly the whistleblowers who brought their concerns about the integrity of the OPCW’s investigation of the incident into public view.
The statement was signed by almost 30 public figures, including author Noam Chomsky, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, journalist and filmmaker John Pilger, and musician and activist Roger Waters. The list also includes multiple scientists, including four former OPCW inspectors, as well as the organization’s founding director, Jose Bustani.
For more, go to OPCW chief must ‘find the courage to address’ Douma coverup allegations, says group including 5 senior ex-officials of watchdog (12/3/2021) | RT.
#comment" id="comment"Candobetter comment: This is one example where whistleblowers have tried to reveal coverups through means other than through Wikileaks. In this case the management of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) produced a report which supposedly showed that the Syrian Government of President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons against his own people. Those OPCW inspectors who had had inspected the sites where the chemical weapons attacks supposedly took place, reported to their management that they had not found any evidence of any chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government, They therefore knew that the report publicly released by the OPCW must have been fabricated at the behest of the OPCW management, so they blew the whistle.
Like Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning , they have suffered persecution by the OPCW management for their courageous honesty.
In this video, BBC journalist Orla Guerin interviews Azerbaijan President Aliyev, assuming that Azerbaijan press and politics are heavily censored, and presses him on that. He denies the accusation, then asks her why Julian Assange has been held inhumanely for years, if the British and western press are so free. The BBC journalist simply won't acknowledge the situation for journalists and the media in her own country, kind of proving the president's point. Transcript below, with the pithiest bits emboldened.
Transcript of this excerpt
BBC JOURNALIST: [...] to Armenian civilians.
PRESIDENT ALIYEV: No way! We already talked about civilians. We have nothing wrong .. I think, in communications with them. And I said many times, and I think what I say, I keep the word [touches heart] that, after we liberate the territory from these criminal gangs which occupied our territory, Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh will live much better. They will have more salaries, because the salaries in Azerbaijan is higher, more pensions in Azerbaijan is three times higher [than] in Armenia. They will have all the social protection. We will invest in those areas largely.
BBC: Will they have the full range of human rights, which people here in Azerbaijan do not have? Will they have a fully free media? Will they have an opposition that's allowed to raise its voice? Will they be allowed to have things that people in Azerbaijan do not have?
PRESIDENT: [Chuckles] Ah, you think they do not have it? Why do you think that people of Azerbaijan do not have free media and opposition?
BBC: Because this is what I'm told by independent sources in this country.
PRESIDENT: Which independent sources?
BBC: Many independent sources.
PRESIDENT: Tell me which.
BBC: I certainly couldn't name sources.
PRESIDENT: Oh, if you couldn't name, then that means you are just inventing this story.
BBC: So you're saying the media is not under state control?
PRESIDENT: Not at all.
BBC: And there is a vibrant and free opposition media?
PRESIDENT: Of course.
BBC: Where do I see this?
PRESIDENT: You can see on internet. You can see it everywhere.
BBC: Not in newspapers.
PRESIDENT: Why? You can see it in newspapers. Whom do you call 'opposition' here? Can I ask you?
BBC: Well, is there allowed to be an opposition here.
PRESIDENT: Yes, it is allowed, of course.
BBC: I mean NGOs are the subject of a crackdown.
BBC: Journalists are the subject of a crackdown.
PRESIDENT: Not at all.
BBC: Critics are in jail.
PRESIDENT: No, not at all.
BBC: None of this is true?
PRESIDENT:Absolutely fake. Absolutely. We have free media. We have free internet. Now, due to the martial law, we have some restrictions, but before, there have been no restrictions. And the number of internet users in Azerbaijan is more than 80%. Can you imagine the restriction of media in a country where internet is free? There is no censorship, and there are 80% of internet users. We have millions of people on facebook.
How can you say that don't have free media? This is again a biased approach. This is an attempt to create a perception, in western audiences, about Azerbaijan. We have [political] opposition, we have NGOs, we have free political activity, we have free media, we have freedom of speech - But if you raise this question, can I ask you also one?
How do you assess what happened to Mr Assange? Is that a reflection of free media in your country?
BBC: We're not here to discuss my country. No. No, President.
PRESIDENT: No, let's discuss, let's discuss.
PRESIDENT: In order to accuse me, saying that Armenians will not have free media here, let's talk about Assange. How many years? - Sorry, How many years he's spent in Ecuadorian Embassy? And, for what? And where is he now? For journalistic activity! You kept that person hostage, actually killing him, morally and physically. You did it, not us. And, now he's in prison! So, you have no moral right to talk about free media, when you do these things.
BBC: Returning to the conflict, how long -
PRESIDENT: Yes, better return to the conflict [in Azerbajan], because this is not what you like. You like only to accuse, only to attack. But look at the mirror! Look! I tell many times, before coming and lecturing us, and, in your question, accusing me - it's not a question, it's accusation. You talk like a prosecutor, why? If you're so democratic, and so objective, why you keep Assange in prison? For what? You keep him in prison because of his journalistic activity!
BBC: I'm not keeping him in Prison, President Aliyev.
PRESIDENT: (Laughs). You don't like this.
BBC: It's not the question of don't like. It's not the subject of our interview.
PRESIDENT: Of course. You are not used to this. Because your [?] to attack.
BBC: It's not the subject of our interview and with respect, President -
PRESIDENT: No, it is not subject of interview, but you raise it!
BBC: You raised it -
PRESIDENT: No, you raised it.
BBC: You raised the case of Assange.
PRESIDENT: You said Armenians if you don't have a free media, you can't see how Armenians can live without opposition, that's was your -
BBC: Yes -
PRESIDENT: That was your question.
BBC: You've answered the question, President Aliev. Could I ask you, going back to the conflict, as you say, 40 days and counting - [END OF EXCERPT]
[See videoed 10 min speech inside.] "The new administration in the USA needs to hear from us. I recently stood in the Australian Senate and made a plea to US President Joe Biden and newly appointed US Attorney General Merrick Garland to drop all charges against Julian Assange so we can bring him home to Australia. It was a lie and terrible deception that led us to war in Iraq - a manufactured deception about weapons of mass destruction by some of the most powerful people on this planet. It is terrifying that foreign nations like the US could extradite and charge journalists who have exposed their wrongdoings. If we don’t defend press freedoms and learn from the mistakes and lessons of history we are bound to repeat them. Without a value on truth, there is only one path left to tread, and it gets more dark and dangerous from here – we must continue the fight to free Julian Assange.
Joe Biden and Merrick Garland: please walk away from any decision to extradite Julian Assange now. It's in the interest of democracy and humanity for you to do so.
The illegal, unilateral invasion of Iraq was less than 20 years ago, but seems to be largely forgotten already.
Below is a link to Tasmanian Greens Senator Whish Wilson's speech asking President Biden and his new Attorney General to quit while they are strategically ahead and stop pursuing Assange, or they will be seen more and more as a despotic regime. The speech is ten minutes long and explores the problem from several other angles. Worth listening to. When you click on the link you will be taken away from this page, to facebook.
This article can be printed on two sides of an A4 sheet from this file (but, please be warned, it costs a lot more to print it as colour rather than as black and white).
Dear Prime Minister Scott Morrison,
I am writing to you concerning the imprisonment, psychological and physical torture, in Britain, of an Australian citizen, Julian Assange, who has committed no crime. So far Julian Assange has endured more than eight and a half years of this, and if the United States' government has its way, this will continue for the rest of his life.
On 11 April 2019, shortly after Julian Assange was taken from the London Ecuadorian Embassy and placed under arrest, Foreign Minister Marise Payne issued a statement:
"I am confident, as the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt publicly confirmed in July 2018, that Mr Assange will receive due process in the legal proceedings he faces in the United Kingdom." 
If you, Prime Minister, or Marise Payne, have been able to closely follow the legal proceedings to which Julian Assange has been subjected for over one year now, in Woolwich Crown Court, you will be aware of the following:
For breaching bail on 19 June 2012 to seek asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy, which he is entitled to do under Article 14 of United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 , he was sentenced to 50 weeks imprisonment,  the absolute maximum sentence for this offence;
On 13 September 2019, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser further extended Julian Assange's imprisonment when she ruled that Julian Assange would not be released on 22 September because of the United States prosecution's extradition request, the case for which, it had evidently not been able to fully prepare in the seven and a half years that Julian Assange had been imprisoned for at that point in time;
On every day of the hearing, even before Judge Vanessa Baraitser had listened to any of the testimony or cross-examination, she came into court with her judgement for that day pre-written! 
From the first day of the trial (25 February 2020) Julian Assange was brought in handcuffed, and "confined at the back of the court behind a bulletproof glass screen … from which it is very difficult for him to see and hear the proceedings." 
Magistrate Vanessa Baraitser "refused repeated and persistent requests from the defence for Assange to be allowed to sit with his lawyers." 
Reporting on these preceedings, on 22 October 2019, Craig Murray, who, until then, had been skeptical of claims that Julian Assange was being tortured, declared himself, "badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight." 
Craig Murray continued, "But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. … his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought." 
On 21 February 2020, during that single day, "Julian had twice been stripped naked and searched, eleven times been handcuffed, and five times been locked up in different holding cells. In addition to this, all of his court documents had been taken from him by the prison authorities, including privileged communications between his lawyers and himself, and he had been left with no ability to prepare to participate in [that day's] proceedings."  Julian Assange was subject to this sort of treatment for the duration of the trial.
"For months, he was denied [physical] exercise and held in solitary confinement [for 23 hours a day] … At first he was denied his reading glasses, left behind [on 25 February 2020 when he was arrested inside the Ecuadorian Embassy]. He was denied the legal documents with which to prepare his case, and access to the prison library and the use of a basic laptop."  
How is this 'due process'? How could this be procedurally fair to Julian Assange?
What I have written above describes only a fraction of the abuse and torture to which Julian Assange has been subjected, just since the court hearings began on 25 February last year. This follows seven years asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy, whence he fled from injustice and in fear for his life. The constraints of asylum have been described as 'arbitrary confinement' by Nils Melzer, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, after he visited Julian Assange in prison. 
In the last two decades alone, the United States, in a rampage of war-crimes leveraged on flagrant lies, has destroyed economies and caused the death of many hundreds of thousands in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Venezuela, Ukraine and elsewhere, apparently with impunity. In contrast, Julian Assange, who revealed many of these crimes to the world, and who himself has no history of violence, has been kept in solitary, stripped of his health, his clothing, his belongings, friends and family, and justice.
This is not 'due process' and certainly not procedurally fair. Unless this situation is rectified, Julian Assange, who is not a U.S. citizen, faces the prospect of being extradited to the United States, where he will face, in secret, a trial in the eastern district of Virginia, before a jury most likely to be made up from employees and the families of the U.S. intelligence agencies based in that area - in other words a rigged trial, hidden from public view.
Under such unfair trial conditions a guilty verdict is the expectation. Julian Assange stands to be sentenced for up to 175 years imprisonment in solitary confinement in the United States - a fate which he considers to be worse than the death penalty.
Like the many Australians who are well informed about Julian Assange, I consider this treatment of him by the British government an outrage. I would expect your government to act immediately to end this outrage:
If your government truly:
cares for the welfare of each and every one of its citizens;
believes in human rights;
believes in the right to free speech;
believes in the right of journalists to investigate matters of public concern and
upholds the rule of law (Australian law, British law, International law and United States' law, including their constitutional right to free speech)
then I would expect of you the following:
To contact British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, advise him that an Australian citizen, Julian Assange, has been illegally imprisoned in Belmarsh prison and request that Julian Assange be released immediately, and assisted to return to Australia or to go to any place he chooses.
To communicate to Boris Johnson that if Mr Assange's detention were to continue, Australia would be raising the matter at the United Nations and, if neccessary, at the International Criminal Court.
 Although this statement can be found on Senator Marise Payne's web page through the link I have given above and on Facebook, I could not find this statement on what is currently Page 19 of the "Latest News" section of your web page, which currently contains news items dated from until 15 April 2019.
The above media statement continued: "We have made 19 offers of consular assistance to Mr Assange since 2019 that have gone unanswered. We will continue to offer consular support." As I have not seen the messages containing the offers of support that Senator Marise Payne said she made to Julian Assange, I cannot comment. I will endeavour to contact Julian Assange's support team for their response.
 The 50 weeks imprisonment to which Julian Assange was sentenced on Wednesday 1 May 2019 would have lasted until Wednesday 15 April 2020 (if the day on which Julian Assange was sentenced is included). Both the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the BBC also reported on 1 May 2019 that Julian Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks imprisonment (see WikiLeaks' Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks' jail over bail breach at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-01/julian-assange-sentenced-in-london-over-bail-breach-wikileaks/11064356 and Julian Assange: Wikileaks co-founder jailed over bail breach at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48118908). See Sunday 22 September 2019, the day Julian Assange was supposed to be released, according to other cited reports is 'only' 24 weeks and 4 days from Wednesday 1 May 2019 - still an outrageous and wholly unjustifiable sentence. I have not been able to find an explanation for this apparent discrepency.
 "Beyond Words" (8/4/2020) by Craig Murray at https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/04/beyond-words/
In this video, on Friday 26 February 2021, John Shipton, Julian Assange's father, launches the Julian Assange road-show, with an interesting and moving speech on human rights, history, and current trends. The bus you can see behind Mr Shipton, will travel from Melbourne to Canberra, via Broadford, Castlemaine, Bendigo, Albury, Wogga - and other country towns, reaching Canberra within a few weeks, in time for opening of the second session of Parliament. There the road-show members will work with the Australian Parliamentary Friends of Julian Assange, to try to convince the Scott Morrison Australian government to bring Julian home.
Transcript of John Shipton's speech 26 Feb 2021
"This week, Anthony Albanese, the leader of the opposition, made a declaration that ten years is enough. Enough's enough, bring him home. He got it a bit wrong. It's eleven years going on twelve. But it's a great movement in the Australian body-politic when the leader of the opposition makes his position known.
In the Bundestag, the parliament of Germany, we have a cross-party group. In the French parliament, we have a cross-party group. In the Spanish parliament, we have over 40 Podemas members supporting. In the UK parliament, we have a cross-party group. The Italian parliament is the first in the European parliaments - the Five Star group - to put before the Council of Europe, a declaration, which the Council of Europe adopted, that Julian was a protected journalist and should be let go.
The chair of the European Rights Council of the Council of Europe, declared that Julian was protected. Nils Melzer, as you know, the [UN Special] Rapporteur on torture, declared that Julian was a victim of torture. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared that Julian was being arbitrarily detained. Every single Western and Russian journalist association have declared Julian a member, and that he ought to be free, and that this persecution must stop.
And, just briefly, a little bit of history: After the horror of the 1945 war, where many many people lost their lives, and many countries were destroyed, the people of the world - that's us - gathered together and established the United Nations. The first president of the United Nations was an Australian - one of us!  In 1948, that president organised the Declaration of Human Rights. The Chair of that was Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1958, the Conventions of Asylum were adopted by the United Nations. In 1973, Australia brought before the General Assembly of the United Nations, the conventions of Human Rights and the conventions of Asylum, which were passed by a huge majority. Then, the Council of Europe, which is solely a human rights organisation ... forty-seven nations - I think forty-two, sorry - forty-two nations adopted into their national legislation, the human rights legislation, integrated into the national legislation.
Now, these are the great achievements of the 20th century. I wish to remind you of that. These are the epoch-making achievements of the people of the world of the 20th century. That's us. When you read the phrase, "crimes against humanity," it's not them, over there, it's us, here, our children, mothers, fathers, uncles, grandfathers, brothers, sisters. The crime against us.
When you read the phrase, "war-crime," equally, that's a crime against us. A war-crime is the murder of a village - like Mỹ Lai, in Vietnam. Five hundred people slaughtered, before the gunner of the helicopter courageously said, "If you keep shooting these people, we'll shoot you." That brought an end to the slaughter. Five hundred people. So, crimes against humanity, and war-crimes, are crimes against us.
Julian's persecution for revealing those crimes is the collapse into barbarity of those nations, those western nations, that were instrumental in putting together the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and adopting it into, and embracing it in their national legislation.
So, it benefits us, as an emblem, of this decline into barbarity, to support Julian. And the benefits then come to us. It's clear. This is our duty. Our noble task is to free Julian. And, consequently, the political bodies that rule us, that supposedly are sovereign, and supposedly obey us, will understand that they cannot pursue, any longer, the crimes against humanity, the war-crimes, and to obey the legislation which is embraced in their national legislation.
Sorry to go on a little bit. It's a heavy subject. But - if I could just ... one more thing: I've travelled the world now - last was in America. And the support for Julian - from "us" - is a winner. The tide is flowing towards "us". And lifts us up, and lifts our needs up, and our needs are that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights be obeyed, and our governments stop sneaking around the place, murdering farmers in Afghanistan.
So, thank you, and God bless."
 In fact, Herbert Vere ('Doc') Evatt, was the third President of the United Nations and not the first President, However, "Australian politician ‘Doc’ Evatt was an important contributor in the early days of the UN’s existence. He helped to make sure that smaller nations like Australia had a say in the organisation, and was the President of the UN General Assembly from 1948 to 1949." See "Australia on the world stage -1945: Australia plays a leading role in founding the United Nations" | National Museum of Australia Digital Classroom. 'Doc' Evatt (1894-1965) was also Foreign Minister in the Labor Governments of John Curtin and Ben Chifley from 1941 until 1949.
In the two federal elections of 1949 and 1951, he faced Australian wartime heroine Nancy Wake, standing for the Liberal Party, and just narrowly defeated her on each occasion, the second time by only 243 votes out of 41,600 (0.6%). In 1951 'Doc' Evatt successfully campaigned against the Liberal Menzies government's referendum proposal to ban the Communist Party of Australia. 'Doc' Evatt remained Leader of the Labor Opposition from 1951 until 1960.
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.
Melbourne for Wikileaks (@melbourne4wiki) holds vigils for Julian Assange, every Friday, from 6:30pm until 8:30pm, under the clocks at Melbourne's iconic Flinders Street Station. Yesterday, Friday 19 February, I unfurled a canvas banner, 5 meters wide and 1.7 meters deep, with a big picture of Assange on it. No sooner had we raised this banner than we heard loud cries of support for Julian Assange. Support also came from cars, whose drivers tooted their horns, as they drove past the station. (See video below.)
After some time, in which members of the group handed out leaflets and and spoke to passers-by, a succession of people spoke through a megaphone. I was the third speaker. The video of that 7 minute speech was filmed and uploaded to YouTube and is embedded below. Unfortunately the recordings of two other speeches were lost and can't be included here. (I will transcribe my speech soon and include it in this article. Note that in the part where I argue that Julian Assange could not get a fair trial in East Virginia, I said this would be because the "jury was likely to be made up of employees of US intelligence services and their siblings." I meant to say, of course, "employees of US intelligence services and their relatives.")
James Sinnamon speaks at Vigil for Julian Assange
Thanks to everyone who told me my hat looked terrible. I promise never to wear it again.
#transcript" href="/node/6072#transcript">Appendix: Transcript of James Sinnamon's speech
I'm here today to show my outrage at the fact that the Australian government has done nothing, while this heroic, courageous and visionary journalist, Julian Assange has been illegally held in prison, illegally psychologically tortured and now, illegally physically tortured because no reason other than the fact that through Wikileaks, he was able to tell the world what the United States didn't want us to know about what they were doing in their own grubby political world and other countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya.
We now know, because of Julian Assange and other whistleblowers  before him, that the American case for their wars against Iraq and Libya and Afghanistan was a pack of lies. We know that because of Julian Assange and courageous whistleblowers from within the ranks of the United States military and within the United States government who know that what the United States has been telling the world is a lie and they've proven this to us. They've given us the information to show us that they've been lying to us. 
Now, because the world knows so much more about what the United States has been doing, it means that they are not able, so easily, to make up a pretext towards another war against another country.
Obviously, two countries that are in America's cross-hairs is Venezuela in South America - they want to take over Venezuela and steal all their petroleum - and they want to take over Iran for daring to be a sovereign independent sovereign country not under the control of the United States.
Now, Julian Assange is an Australian citizen. To report the crimes of the Americans and their allies is not a crime. It's journalism.
To speak the truth is not a crime. It's journalism.
But, in the eyes of the crooked, vile people, that are running the United States, and their allies, it is a crime for people to speak the truth about their crimes, and that is why they have been trying, since 2010, to get their grubby little hands on Julian Assange and they have done that through subterfuge with the help of the crooked Swedish government and the London government, they've fabricated a charge that Julian Assange had sexually assaulted these two women in Sweden.
Julian was quite prepared to go Sweden to answer those charges, but the Swedish government would not agree to prevent him from being extradited to the United States. So, he knew that the Swedish government, in collusion with the United States, had attempted to get him on to Swedish soil only so that they could send him off to the United States.
In the United States there plan was to try him in secret before a jury made up exclusively of people from East Virginia, who are mostly working for intelligence agencies or their siblings.  So it is unlikely that this so-called jury would have [inaudible ] paid any attention to the argument of Julian Assange's defence team. They would have taken about 30 seconds to pronounce him guilty and once Julian Assange had been found to be guilty, their plan was to lock him in jail for 175 years and in his prison term he would be confined to a single cell for 23 hours a day and allowed outside for only one hour a day. 
He would be denied any books, any Internet, anything. His life would be an absolute misery. The people he would be in jail with would be convicted terrorists and other murderers.
The prospect of this was so terrible for Julian Assange that he was clearly thinking of committing suicide rather than allow himself to be locked in jail for 175 years.
Now, all this time, for the last 10 years, the Australian government has said almost nothing. It's been ages - weeks since the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has said a word about Julian Assange. All he has said is, "Oh, it's going on in England and it's not really our business to interfere with what the British courts are saying."
Not a word about the complete travesty of justice that Julian Assange is facing with the fact that every day he is brought to court - every day he was tried - he was brought to court inside a cage. He couldn't speak to his lawyers. He couldn't pass notes to his lawyers. He was stripped several times and searched each day before he went into court.
How is that 'due process' according to Foreign Minister Maurice Payne? She calls that 'due process'?
Clearly, this Australian government, that's supposed to have a duty of care towards Australian citizens, doesn't want to know.
They're turning their backs on Julian Assange and doing nothing.
Any government that allows another government - the British government, the American government - to treat any of its citizens, that have committed no crime, in this way, doesn't deserve to be in power.
And what we have to do is, when every member of Parliament asks for your vote at the next election, ask that member of Parliament: What have they done for Julian Assange for the last 10 years whilst an innocent Australian citizen, who has committed no crime, has been tortured physically,  confined illegally and psychologically tortured? Where have they lifted a finger for Julian Assange? Ask them that question and it will be amazed if any one of them can talk to you with a straight face.
What you have to do is you have to find some candidates who do have a backbone and do have principles who are prepared to stand up for Julian Assange. Find those candidates, vote for them.
So what we are going to do is to continue to hold these vigils every Friday night. We're going to try to reach a larger and larger audience, get more and more people to these vigils and these protests and make our voices so loud that it will be impossible for the Australian government to ignore and continue to do nothing for Julian Assange.
It's about time the Australian government acted. If they had a backbone. If they had any decency in them, here's what they would do:
Tomorrow they would send out an contingent of Federal Police.  They would go right to Belmarsh Prison. They would tell the Belmarsh Prison authorities that Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, is being held there illegally by the British government. They would demand that the British government immediately release Julian Assange to come back to Australia. That's what a government with a backbone and decency would do.
Now the Australian government has done nothing. They've barely said a word about Julian Assange these last ten years. Any word they say is to cast aspersions on Julian Assange.
None of these people deserve your vote. None of them deserve to hold office. Make sure you act on that at the next federal election. Thank you.
 On the previous Friday 12 February, I had not gone to the vigil due to the sudden and unexpected, if short-lived, outbreak in Coronavirus infections on that day. On the Friday prior to that, Friday 5 February, the banner had been made with only one tubular canvas slot at each end into which the supporting dowel poles with which it could be held up for display could be inserted. Unfortunately, because of the banner's great size - 5 meters x 1.7 meters - one pole at each end was not sufficient to support the banner. A third tubular canvas slot was needed in the middle. As a workaround, I stood behind the banner (as pictured right) and held it up with my raised arms hands in the middle. After some time this fatigued me and we chose to place it flat on the ground facing upwards. (The image is linked to a short @melbourne4wiki tweet which contains a short video from which that image was copied. That tweet was re-tweeted by "Denver Free Assange" (@DNVfreeJA) The following Friday wooden poles to support the banner were inserted into its three long narrow vertical pockets, as you can see in the video.
 Correction: Julian Assange is, himself, a journalist and not a whistleblower.
 Corrrection: In fact the WMD fabrication that was used to start the war against Iraq in 2003 was not exposed by any whistleblower or Wikileaks. United Nations weapons inspector Scott Ritter. Scott Ritter, who had previously uncovered Iraqi chemical weapons, argued in 2003, that chemical weapons in Iraq didn't exist in quantities substantial enough to pose a threat. He consequently opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq but, for most people, that news was overwhelmed by the vast amount of corporate newsmedia reporting in favour of the invasion of Iraq.
 Two corrections: I should have said that the "jury ... are all working for intelligence agencies or their family" and not the "jury ... are mostly working for intelligence agencies or their siblings."
 Julian Assange would be allowed out for only one hour every day into another adjacent cell as small as his main cell for exercise.
 Correction: During his illegal detention inside the Ecuadorian embassy, which lasted 6 years and 10 months (19/6/12 - 11/4/19) Julian was psychologically tortured, but not physically tortured. This changed after Julian Assange was dragged out of the embassy on 11 April 2019 and imprisoned at Belmarsh. There Julian Assange was subject to both psychological and physical torture.
 Monday 22 Feb 2021, 7:47AM +11 : Upon further reflection, whilst the British government's imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange is clearly illegal, Julian Assange's release is unlikely to occur simply as a consequence of a contingent of Australian Federal police officers attempting to enforce Australian law and international law on British soil.
However, were Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to speak to British Prime Minster Boris Johnson to demand Julian Assange's release, I think it highly unlikely that the British PM would not accede.
If Boris Johnson did not agree to release Julian Assange, Scott Morrison would have this recourse: He could threaten to take the case to to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or to the United Nations. The ICC would almost certainly find the United Kingdom's treatment of Julian Assange illegal, if not criminal.
If Julian Assange's case were ever brought to the United Nations, the United Kingdom's odious complicity with the US government would be clearly shown before the whole world.
In the high likelihood that Boris Johnson would then agree to release Julian Assange, Scott Morrison should then send a contingent of Australian Federal Police to escort Julian Assange from Belmarsh Prison back to Melbourne in order to safeguard him from any further malign behaviour by any agent of the United States government.
This is how a decent and humane national leader would behave.
In contrast to her loudly interveningon behalf of journalist Cheng Lei, and writer Yang Hengjun, who are both currently detained on criminal charges in China, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, in concert with this and former Australian governments, has ruthlessly turned her back on journalist and publisher, Julian Assange. Julian Assange, arguably of greater stature than any other journalist in the world, remains in the dungeons of the corrupt UK government, which is in league with the United States and its war machine. Assange's 'crime' was to expose United States war crimes (and those of other states) to the world. It is indicative of America's despotism that its allies will do its bidding against their own citizens, helping the US to try to destroy Assange as a warning to any journalist who might try to write the truth about war and corruption when it involves powerful people. It is shocking that President Trump pardoned the perpetrators of what came to be called 'Collateral Murder', but backed the continued persecution of Assange. Behind his saccharinely benign grandpa mask, Biden takes a similar stance. [Candobetter Editor: Title change on 10 Feb 2021]
If Assange had exposed sadistic Nazi crimes, he would be called a hero. By exposing sadistic United States war crimes, he is falsely and despicably branded as a criminal. Critics of the Nazi war and torture machine, when they were in power, were unlikely to survive. We know that critics of the American war and torture machine have similar poor life expectancy. What does that tell us about the US-NATO alliance and its most faithful supporter - Australia?
Some Australian journalists are more equal than others
The Australian government's efforts to free Cheng Lei from prison in China receive front page publicity.
We saw similar grandstanding in efforts to rescue corporate media Al Jazeera journalist, Peter Greste who, along with Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, on 29 December 2013, was arrested by Egyptian authorities, who complained of journalistic misrepresentation. The three journalists were accused of helping Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood, and of doctoring news items in a manner that endangered the Egyptian state. Suzette Dreyfus later criticised Greste, for his repetition of opinions used to slur Julian's credentials as a journalist and publisher. Greste has written two such articles, "Julian Assange is no journalist: don’t confuse his arrest with press freedom," published by the so-called Alliance for Journalists' Freedom (AJF), April 16, 2019, and "Peter Greste on Julian Assange," also published by the AJF, Feb 25, 2020. With friends like this in the AJF, you might say, who needs enemies? Greste really throws the courageous Assange under a bus. Interesting, then, that Greste was released without explanation after an international outcry from the same western block that is either persecuting Assange or leaving him to rot.
ABC journalist, Bill Bertles and Financial Review journalist, Michael Smith, probably escaped China just before being arrested. Arriving in Australia, they were feted by their colleagues and the government. Appropriately, the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China:
Meanwhile Julian is checkmated in England by foreign powers egregiously manipulating the judiciary.
Australia turns a blind eye to utter corruption in the British judicial system against Julian Assange, time and time again:
In 2010 Assange voluntarily answered questions from the Swedish police about a very strange story of an alleged rape claimed by a female journalist. The police found there was not enough evidence, closed the case, and told Assange he was free to continue on to England. The United States subsequently leaned on Sweden to reopen the case, and England arrested Assange, where he went through three hearings about extraditing him to Sweden. His lawyers warned him that such extradition and the charges were a ploy to get him extradited from Sweden to the United States, where he had as much chance of a fair trial as anyone would in Nazi Germany, who reported on the concentration camps. Assange jumped bail and sensibly applied for and received asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. After this the British continuously tried to extract him from the embassy.
During this time, unbeknownst to the world public, the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny contacted the English Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in 2013 to let it know that she was going to withdraw the charges and an international warrant for Assange's arrest, (on the cooked up charges of 'rape'), because they were plainly excessive relative to the alleged crime. In an action demonstrating political influence on the justice system, biased against Assange, in favour of the United States, the British Prosecution Service tried to convince her not to drop the case for extradition. These communications were only revealed in 2018, although it was obvious to many that something like this must be going on. (See Bowcott, Owen; MacAskill, Ewen, "Sweden tried to drop Assange extradition in 2013, CPS emails show," The Guardian, 11 February 2018.)
Apparently, the Crown Prosecution Service succeeded in getting Prosecutor Ny to keep up the persecutory processes against Assange, despite public disapproval from within the Swedish legal fraternity. However, in March 2015, Sweden allowed Assange to respond to questions from the embassy in London. Most of the charges had expired under the Swedish statute of limitations by then but, to this day, many people in the world think that Assange was found guilty of rape. This is because of the eagerness of the corporate media to report and support the United States narrative, in preference to reporting the facts to a public that needs to be properly educated in this matter.
On 17 May Prosecutor Nye officially suspended their investigations and revoked the warrant to arrest Assange. The option of resuming the process was kept open in case Assange came to Sweden before August 2020.
On 11 April 2019, Assange was arrested and dragged out of the embassy by English police, in an aggressive display of naked contempt for his refugee status by the English state. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correra had been openly sympathetic to Assange, but could not serve a third term. He had refused to allow police into the embassy, according to his diplomatic rights under the Vienna Convention. The new president, Lenin Morero, quickly demonstrated hostility towards Assange and is thought to have been responding to inducements from the United States to breach the embassy refugee obligations to Assange. (See "Julian Assange Arrest Part of Lenin Moreno's Deal with IMF: Ex-Foreign Minister Patiño Under Morero," Telesur, 14 April 2019.)
Undercover Global, a Spanish defense and security firm, conducted multiple invasive surveillance activities on behalf of the United States CIA, involving filming and recording all Assange’s activities in the embassy, including conversations with his legal team, even when Assange tried to talk to them privately in the toilet area. Later British courts would unaccountably allow the United States to use this illegally gathered information, which should have been inadmissible, in their case for extraditing Assange. This conduct alone should utterly discredit their mission in the eyes of the world public but, sadly, the mass media has failed to alert and educate the public adequately.
Does anyone remember how the middle classes all over the world marched down their main streets, calling, "We are all Charlie!" when Islamic fundamentalists killed journalists at Charlie Hebdo in Paris? Yet, when a man who, arguably, will be the last journalist and publisher to be able to reach the world on issues of global surveillance, the military industrial complex, and mass media corruption, is thrown into a maximum security prison, silenced and maddened, there is an abject failure among the same classes who thought the Charlie Hebdo cause so chic, to shout, "We are all Julian Assange!" and demand that the Australian government intervene to stop his censorship, suppression, and imprisonment.
Federal Labour Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese ('Albo' - pictured right), on Australia Day, tweeted in praise of local Australian heroes, with the glaring exception of Julian Assange, the most widely-recognised Australian anywhere, whose suffering is unfathomable, and whose services to the anti-war movement are immeasurable. Why wasn't Julian Assange included and why does the Australian Government allow the UK and the US to continue their illegal persecution, imprisonment, and torture, of this Australian citizen?
Anthony Albanese's Australia Day tweet about Australian local heroes fails to mention another Australian who is at least as heroic of any one of the four people featured in that image, and far more famous: Julian Assange
In response to the following Tweet Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) the Leader of the Labor Party Opposition in the Australian Federal Parliament:
"These are the true heroes of Australia. They put themselves on the line every day of this pandemic – to keep us safe, to keep us healthy, and to keep Australia moving forward. On this Australia Day, on behalf of the nation, we say thank you."
Julian Assange is an Australian citizen who has committed no crime. Julian's only 'crime' is to set up the Wikleaks news service from which we have learned a great deal about the United States' wars, proxy wars, and economic sanctions, impacting extensively on humankind through recent decades. These malign actions by the U.S. government have cost the lives of many hundreds of thousands in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Ukraine, Russia, Bolivia, Haiti, Venezuela, and elsewhere, as well as causing economic devastation. Were it not for Wikileaks revealing to us much of what the U.S. government would prefer to have kept hidden from us, we can only guess what further amount of carnage and devastation would have ensued.
As has been found by Nils Melzer, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture , Julian Assange has been effectively imprisoned and tortured for 9 years now. Following the initial 8 years Julian spent confined to the Ecuadorian Embassy, in order to avoid being extradited to the U.S., he was outrageously locked up for an additional 50 weeks in a maximum security prison, mostly in solitary confinement, by the disgraceful London magistrate Vanessa Barraitser, for skipping bail in 2012. He had skipped bail only in order to legitimately seek asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy. Fifty weeks is the absolute maximum that anyone can be sentenced to for skipping bail, and the length of Assange's sentence was unheard of. When this outrageous sentence expired, Barraitser further extended it, giving the U.S. government lawyers' more time to prepare their 'case' for Julian's extradition.
Should the United States government succeed in having Julian Assange extradited, he stands to be tried in secret  before a jury selected from the Eastern District of Virginia, a community which consists almost entirely of U.S. spy agency employees and their spouses. It is highly unlikely that any one of these jurors would pay the least regard to any evidence put forward in Julian Assange's defence. Almost certainly, he stands certain to be found guilty and thence to be sentenced to 175 years in solitary confinement. Once Julian Assange's sentence commences, he would only be allowed to leave his cell for 1 hour each day for exercise - this is effectively a death sentence, if not worse,
Even the extradition hearings have been a cruel medieval travesty of justice. Julian was deprived of sufficient preparation for his defense. He was subsequently brought into the courtroom in handcuffs, held inside a glass cage from which he could not hear clearly, and denied the right to speak in private to his lawyers. Public seating at the court was severely limited, so coverage of the event was grossly inadequate. The mainstream press avoided covering this crucial international matter and, when it did, it tended simply to publish press releases from the US legal team, ignoring Julian's defense. The trial was not publicly filmed and the alternative press had virtually no access to what was going on. Although disallowing Julian's extradition on medical grounds, the judge threw out matters relating to the political nature of the United State's pursuit of Julian because he had exposed its war-crimes and corruption, with US officials urging his assassination, and the public right to know about these crimes and anything else that governments do. Two Australian parliamentarians have visited Julian and have tried to stick up for him, but the Australian Government ignored their reports. Unfortunately the United States has been allowed to appeal even the judge's denial of extradition on medical grounds, and Julian continues to be held in prison whilst his massive team of persecutors prepare more ersatz legal arguments whereby they claim the right to cover up their own grotesque crimes.
Surely the Australian government has a duty of care to any Australian citizen, but particularly to a citizen who has contributed so much to humanity and who has committed no crime. Even skipping bail was deemed justified by the United Nations, which has tried to intervene on Julian's behalf, but which the UK government has persistently and shamelessly ignored.
It is long past the time in which the Australian government should have intervened against the U.S. government's efforts to kidnap Julian Assange from London. The Australian government should act now to demand that the U.K. immediately free Julian Assange from his illegal detention and send him on a flight back home to Australia, with a guarantee of immunity from United States pursuit when he gets here. Were the Australian government not to do this, the matter certainly should be raised on the floor of Parliament by Anthony Albanese and debated. But Albanese is missing in action so far.
 Nils Melzer's full title is "United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment"
 Were Julian Assange to be tried in public, the United States 'case' against him would fall in a heap. The whole world would see the real United States' government for the outlaw rogue regime that it really is. Although I have, so far, not viewed the documentary evidence for this, I think it is safe for me to assume that the United States' government intends to conduct its 'trial' of Julian Assange in secret, hidden away from public view. In retrospect, I don't know if this was ever raised by Julian's defence team, but had the U.S. prosecution refused to give an undertaking to try Julian public, it's 'case' would have been shown to be even more of a joke than it already was.
This household had a moment of great joy last night, to hear that Judge Vanessa Baraitser, presiding at the Magistrate's court, has disallowed Julian Assange's extradition on medical grounds. She found there was a high risk of his suiciding if confined in a US prison. However, she apparently threw out the grounds of public interest (protection of journalists); political persecution, and oppression. She also seems to have upheld the honouring of the UK treaty obligations to the United States, as the only public interest matter. For some of us, her decision on medical grounds, that Assange would probably suicide in US prison conditions, is equivalent to preventing the extradition of a prisoner to Nazi Germany, on grounds that they would probably not survive the concentration camps. The US prison system actually allows major corporations to benefit from slave labour of prisoners; it conducts secret trials; and it holds prisoners indefinitely without trial - as in Guantanamo Bay prison. The war crimes and international surveillance of governments and private individuals that Julian Assange exposed show the United States as a totally rogue state. It is not even a party to the International Criminal Court. Julian Assange's defense team called the UK treaty obligations with this rogue state into question. We need an international media and state denunciation of state alliances with the United States, but that would, ironically, require journalists to run the danger of being pursued by this rogue state, just as Julian Assange has been. One hopes that a defense of Julian Assange against the US appeal would benefit from a higher court looking again at the points of law disallowed by Judge Baraitser.
The continued detention and torture of Julian Assange by the U.K. government has required tyranny and violations of International asylum Law, British Law, and the law of the United States. Ironically, while the Australian Government has recently apologised for shocking Australian military crimes in Afghanistan, it continues to allow a perverted legal system to punish Assange for exposing many similar crimes by the United States. In the mean time, by scrapping virtually all the nuclear weapons control treaties with Russia as well as the Open skies Treaty, Trump has made global war more likely.
The embedded 5:22 minute video, below, is of Taylor Hudak's 27 November update in the latest developments In Julian Assange's case. The full transcript, adapted from the YouTube text, is included below. In it there is a call for President Trump to salvage something of his reputation by issuing a pre-emptive pardon to Assange. Unfortunately Joe Biden is even less likely to want his own acts on policy in Iran to be exposed.
Transcript of Taylor Hudak's talk
On Thursday November 26th a mandatory 28-day hearing was scheduled at Westminster Magistrates' Court before Deputy Chief Magistrate, Tan Ikram. Like other remand prisoners, Assange must be presented before a court every 28 days so the judge can choose to either expand or terminate his detention. However, a Covid-19 outbreak in Belmarsh Prison, where Assange is being held, prevented him from attending the hearing.
It was reported that Edward Fitzgerald, speaking on behalf of the Defence, told the court that Assange has waived his right to attend the hearing in fear of contracting Covid-19. A week earlier, on November 18, a spokesperson for Her Majesty's Prison Service announced that Belmarsh Prison would implement stricter Coronavirus measures, after three inmates tested positive for the virus.
Assange and other prisoners are confined to their cell for 24 hours a day. Additionally, showers are no longer open and meals must be provided directly to the prisoners in their cell.
Days prior to the recent hearing, 56 people tested positive for Covid on Assange's house block, which holds 168 people and several were sent to the hospital, and while Covid-19 has a high survival rate for a healthy individual, Assange's chronic respiratory issues, combined with the ongoing psychological torture and years of medical neglect, put him at a greater risk of being impacted negatively by the effects of the virus.
On November 22, Doctors For Assange (https://doctorsassange.org/) issued another letter. The letter calls for the immediate end of the torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange. Additionally the letter states:
He is at a high medical risk from Covid-19 given a chronic lung condition and likely immunosuppression due to prolonged psychological torture. He meets internationally agreed criteria for release of vulnerable prisoners in light of Covid-19.
Assange's mother Christine Assange went to Twitter to state, "If my son dies from #Covid19 it will be murder!" She
cites that the UK government, the court, and the prison, have all been warned that Assange is vulnerable to the virus, that that the U.K. and U.S. government opposed emergency bail, and that Belmarsh Prison is placing all Covid-positive prisoners in Assange's wing. Because of the recent increase in Covid-positive prisoners, Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, has called for Assange's immediate release from prison.
The statement from RSF not only reflects on the potential impacts of the virus, but how new Covid safety measures in a prison including isolation could have seriously damaging effects on Assange's mental health.
With Assange's decision to not attend the hearing in fear of contracting the virus, the Defence, the Prosecution, and the Court, have scheduled for another hearing to take place on December 11th.
Meanwhile, outside the courthouse, Assange's supporters gathered for a peaceful protest ,demanding his freedom and for no U.S. extradition.
In other news, President Trump pardoned his former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn. This prompted free press advocates and Assange supporters to amp up the pressure on the President to issue a pre-emptive pardon to Julian Assange.
His fiance and mother of his two children, Stella Morris, posted a heartfelt appeal to President Trump on Twitter asking for a pardon, including a picture with her two young children.
Morris wrote, "These are Julian's sons Max and Gabriel. They need their father. Our family needs to be whole again. I beg you, please bring him home for Christmas." And what better way for President Trump to stand up to what he calls the Deep State and the intelligence community, who have been actively working to undermine his Presidency, than to Pardon the man who exposed their corruption, Julian Assange. And, while it is the Trump Administration that has charged the Wikileaks founder, it is never too late to get on the right side of history, prevent further damage and uphold human rights.
If President Trump were to pardon Assange, it would not only be a historic move, but it would leave a lasting and positive impact on his legacy. Trump would not only be remembered favorably for preventing the destruction of the First Amendment and press freedom worldwide, he would be saving the life of Julian Assange.
Both the defense and prosecution have submitted closing arguments earlier this month and the judge (Vanessa Baraitser) is expected to make her ruling on January 4th 2010.
Demonstrations in support of Assange will be held on the 4th in London, (Washington) DC and other locations. To stay up to date on this case please, make sure that you subscribe to our YouTube channel (acTVism) and if you've missed any of our reports, go to our Julian Assange case updates playlist to get all caught up.
I'm Taylor Hudak. As always, thanks for tuning in and I'll see you in my next report
[Note alternative video URL is https://youtu.be/ZtwpzqAJMBo.]Chris Hedges discusses with Craig Murray, a former British Ambassador, the hearing underway in London to extradite Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, to the United States. Murray’s exhaustive reporting, which can be found at https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/, has become one of the few sources of reliable information about a hearing that has become notoriously difficult to cover because of court restrictions imposed on the alternative press, and which is being ignored for political reasons by most mainstream news organizations. If you wonder why there is no video-coverage available of the Assange mistrial, it is because (a) Human Rights NGOs, which were promised video-access, had this cut off after the first day and (b) despite access being available to most corporate and government media, mysteriously, none has availed themself of it. That is the reason that you and I are not able to monitor this mistrial, and that is possibly the reason it has been able to continue. The public gallery is virtually empty. This is really a secret trial. Only five family members of Assange have been allowed, with Craig Murray having the title of uncle, to Assange. Craig Murray's coverage of the trial is apparently under a shadow ban from the major internet platforms; his readership has dwindled to something like 10 per cent, despite his coverage providing a unique and valuable public window, where almost none exist, into this dark political tower that the Old Bailey has become.
Excerpt from Craig Murray's report for Hearing Day 21
Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 21
October 1, 2020
I really do not know how to report Wednesday’s events. Stunning evidence, of extreme quality and interest, was banged out in precis by the lawyers as unnoticed as bags of frozen chips coming off a production line.
The court that had listened to Clair Dobbin spend four hours cross-examining Carey Shenkman on individual phrases of first instance court decisions in tangentially relevant cases, spent four minutes as Noam Chomsky’s brilliant exegesis of the political import of this extradition case was rapidly fired into the court record, without examination, question or placing into the context of the legal arguments about political extradition.
Twenty minutes sufficed for the reading of the “gist” of the astonishing testimony of two witnesses, their identity protected as their lives may be in danger, who stated that the CIA, operating through Sheldon Adelson, planned to kidnap or poison Assange, bugged not only him but his lawyers, and burgled the offices of his Spanish lawyers Baltazar Garzon. This evidence went unchallenged and untested.
The rich and detailed evidence of Patrick Cockburn on Iraq and of Andy Worthington on Afghanistan was, in each case, well worthy of a full day of exposition. I should love at least to have seen both of them in the witness box explaining what to them were the salient points, and adding their personal insights. Instead we got perhaps a sixth of their words read rapidly into the court record. There was much more.
I have noted before, and I hope you have marked my disapproval, that some of the evidence is being edited to remove elements which the US government wish to challenge, and then entered into the court record as uncontested, with just a “gist” read out in court. The witness then does not appear in person. This reduces the process from one of evidence testing in public view to something very different. Wednesday confirmed the acceptance that this “Hearing” is now devolved to an entirely paper exercise. [...] Read more at https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/10/your-man-in-the-public-gallery-assange-hearing-day-21/.
Daily, lively and dedicated coverage at https://defend.wikileaks.org/liveblog/ from what is closest to the horse's mouth, from https://defend.wikileaks.org/. There is plenty to read about, including a defense whereby Julian Assange is located on the autism spectrum and strong precedents where England refused US request for extradition in very similar cases, which took into consideration the harshness of US prison conditions and the likelihood of suicide.