Genny reports from Friday’s vigil at the Royal Courts of Justice
Today our numbers at the vigil more than doubled, from two to five, including a passer-by who volunteered to help hand out flyers for a while. Those not indifferent were overwhelmingly supportive and quite a few people said they would try to get back for the hearing on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. With increased numbers, we were able to display our big banner and our placards as well as hand out flyers all at the same time. There was no interference from security over the display of the banner today so we had it on show for the full two hours, which adds up to a lot of passing traffic.
More photos here.
I hope these vigils have raised awareness in advance of Assange’s extradition hearing next Tuesday and Wednesday 12 and 13 July, when there will be a presence outside the Court from 9am on both days.
On the way back to Harringay on my bike, I flyered at one central London Tube station briefly, which was an almost complete waste of time and in an impossibly windy spot. With most of the flyers gone, but a sizeable number of postcards still to distribute, I began calling into shops to ask if they would leave a few out on their counters. The responses blew me away. All along Essex Road, through Newington Green and into Stoke Newington, shopkeepers took one look at the ‘War Crimes Exposed’ heading, said ‘Yes, of course,’ and found spaces to put them: computer shops, sub-post offices, health food shops, corner shops, fish and chip shops and takeaways, cafes, launderettes, even greengrocers. As I passed through, some customers also showed an interest and took flyers. Two Asian guys behind the counter in a tiny little general store beamed at me: ‘We like Assange. Where do we come tomorrow? Thank you for doing this.’
Apart from one lawyer at the High Court who had walked past muttering ‘He deserves to be in jail’ (of Assange – I didn’t hear a single word against Manning), everyone I met today was supportive in a matter-of-fact way. Notwithstanding mainstream media character assassination, the mood on the streets was: We know that what Assange has done is hugely important and we know the people he’s exposed have it in for him. End of.
Back at Giuseppe Conlon House, the venue for Saturday’s meeting, I pushed postcards by way of invitations through the letterboxes of all the houses in the street and the two adjacent streets. Lastly, I distributed the remaining cards round a few shops on Green Lanes, ending up with a gentleman’s barber shop: two old guys sitting at a table in the window and no sign of any barbering going on. I wasn’t going to call in, but they saw me looking through the window and waved. I stuck my head round the door and offered a couple of cards to them. ‘What is it? Good show? We’ll come.’
Hope it will be. See y’all at 2pm…