Contributed by a supporter of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks
Nearly a month after Ecuador was pressured to cut off Julian Assange’s access to the Internet, his access has been restored, because of a global campaign in his support. He is now using an account run by the campaign.
Pressure had been put on Ecuador by Spain, which had been threatened economic retaliation, over comments made by Assange in relation the Catalan crisis and the escalating use of the Spanish state to use violence and imprisonment to silence its critics.
In violation of United Nations rulings, the United Kingdom still refuses to allow him free movement and remove the threat of detention, even though the Sweden has stopped its application for extradition. The United states still wants to have him sent there to face trial over the release of documents, and he is now being sued, over a claim that he conspired with the Russians to manipulate the American presidential election.
We also need to be wary of a subtler campaign to damage Assange’s reputation, by spreading the story that he has been in cahoots with Donald Trump and is a stooge of the Russians. The only evidence put forward is that he released documents that were damaging to Hilary Clinton. The point is, they were only effective, because they told the truth.
If this information had been held back to protect Clinton, Assange would have been open to the charge of dishonesty. The fact is, they existed and were part of a much bigger tranche that had been released at the time. Continued persecution over this, serves to help some people from facing the uncomfortable truth.
All the accusations are widely regarded as spurious, and attempts to silence a voice that has exposed so much about how major corporations are operating and the corruption existing in the corridors of power.
Julian Assange, who has been in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since he sought asylum there in 2012, is highly dependent on Internet access for his communication with the rest of the world, and denying him this, is a means to silence him.
Defending Julian Assange and WikiLeaks is important, because it is part of the wider effort to defend our right to bring much greater transparency to the operations of the state and corporate boardrooms. We need to know when they act dishonestly and when what they do is not in the interests of ordinary people.
By doing what they do, Assange and WikiLeaks have done a great deal to help us see the scale of the problem. This is the reason why those threatened by exposure, are so bent on shutting this voice down. Defending them is about defending our collective voice.