Standing up for Julian Assange in Melbourne

By Joe Montero

On Friday 14 June, about 30 people arrived at 90 Collins street in Melbourne, to call on the British government to stop persecuting Julian Assange and, and for the Australian to prevent his extradition the United States and bring him back home to Australia.


Photo by Joe Montero: Gathering out the front of 90 Collins street

The location is the building housing the British Vice Consul’s office. The crowd and banners outside caused considerable disruption to business.

This marks a growing movement within Australia, backing the founder of WikiLeaks. As the process in the United Kingdom moves forward, this movement is likely to grow in numbers and impact.

It is not only that a wrong is being committed here and more people are starting to see through the smear campaign that has been carried out over the lest seven years. There’s a growing realisation that there is a connection between this and the rise of persecutions in a number of countries and in Australia.

On Friday it was an opportunity to talk about all of this to people in the city centre.

Earlier on, the event was marred by police action to take down a banner, which culminated with the arrest of two people. To witnesses this was clearly a case of over reaction and may have even been the result of politically inspired direction from higher up.

Photo by Joe Montero: Police make an arrest

It is was this it backfired and drew attention to what was going on, as well as bringing home that Australia moving in the direction of autocracy and increasing subversion of basic rights. This trend must be fought against.

Photo by Joe Montero: More police sent in

A point clearly made was that Julian Assange has been hunted, because he is seen as a major threat to some very rich and powerful individuals and groups. They fear exposure.

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks committed the crime of exposing the massive scale of corruption and tax evasion shown in the panama Papers. They also exposed the lengths to which political leaders will go to lie, in order to justify military action against other countries.

None have been more guilty than those in the United States, Great Britain and Australia. What they have done constitutes crimes against humanity.

The banner that led to the arrests and the two arrested

The combination of these crimes and the massive level of corruption, is the reason why they have been so intent on conspiring to get Assange and destroy WikiLeaks.

They have worked hard to dirty his reputation, using false claims that he has mistreated women, and even public speculation of hygiene habits and accusations that he failed to feed a cat.

Together, it has served the purpose of making Julian Assange look like a person unworthy of any sympathy.

The application by the United States to have him extradited is being is underway, and there is a real chance that he will be handed over, to face a mockery of a trial, on suspect espionage charges for charges, which carry 170 years or more of prison.

Despite his health problems, Julian Assange has made it clear that he intends to continue fighting with everything he’s got. By doing this, he champions our own right to speak. Can we do anything less?

Julian Assange campaigner Jacob Grech, speaks about Assange and the role the Federal Police are playing in the attack on the right to speak.

Video from Anthony Snowden]

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