Proud of Bradley Manning; Ashamed of Julia Gillard
Like Bradley Manning, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has Welsh roots, coming from a small village in the Vale of Glamorgan called Cwmgwrach or ‘Valley of the Witch’. Her family emigrated to Australia in the sixties when she was a small child to escape the cold, wet climate that aggravated her weak chest after she almost died of bronchial pneumonia.
Unlike Bradley, who stands for truth, peace and justice, Julia tells lies, supports wars and seems to care little for the fate of victims of injustice.
Meanwhile, Julia’s own mother is reported to have said prophetically, on hearing that her daughter had become PM, that she would be “the best there is… so long as she doesn’t turn into Maggie Thatcher.”
Back here in Wales, Julia’s friends and supporters include Labour Vale of Glamorgan Welsh Assembly Member, Minister for Finance and Equalities Jane Hutt, who describes Gillard as a kindred spirit. Jane Hutt has consistently failed to support Welsh whistleblowers, closing down discussion of whistleblowing issues in the Senedd and, for example, ducking questions over the failure to properly investigate concerns raised by whistleblowers and others over a long period of time at AWEMA, the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association. A kindred spirit indeed.
Action in Brisbane
Earlier today, activists in Brisbane held a vigil outside the opening dinner for the Economic Forum where Julia Gillard was due to speak, to confront her over her betrayal of Julian Assange to the U.S. War Machine.
Vigil organiser Ciaron O’Reilly said:
Julian Assange is a target of the U.S. military and elite for exposing the war crimes of the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq. These are illegal U.S. invasions that the Gillard government has continued to service with Australian cannon fodder, hi tech targeting from Pine Gap, refueling of U.S. warships and harassment of Australian nonviolent anti-war activists at home and abroad.
Gillard has co-operated with the U.S. strategy to isolate and pursue Australian citizen Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. The Labor Party line struts a cultivated “we no nothing” ignorance, “we have got no advice from the U.S. government seeking the extradition of Mr. Assange” from Australia (WE DON’T WANT IT YET!, JULIAN IS NOT HERE YET!”)… “and things are at an early stage” (A SECRET GRAND JURY INDICTMENT IN THE UNITED STATES IS NOW OVER 12 MONTHS OLD) .
“We have provided him with full consular assistance. He’s got exactly the same assistance that any other Australian faced with legal difficulties would get.”
The quality of that assistance when it comes to be an Australian citizen/anti-war activist in trouble with the U.S. military/government is fully exposed in this ABC radio interview.
[ABC Radio (4mins 50secs) “The Present Persecution of Julian Assange” interview with Australian anti-war activist Ciaron O’Reilly, Australian nonviolent anti-war activist and former U.S. political prisoner.]
Brisbane/Australia born & raised anti-war activist Ciaron O’Reilly, recently returned to Brisbane from London, interviewed outside the Dept. of Foreign Affairs during a 24 hour vigil in solidarity with Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. O’Reilly, as part of the “ANZUS Plowshares”, served 13 months in U.S. prisons for disabling a USAF B 52 Bomber. The nonviolent disarmament action took place on New Year’s Day 1991 at Griffis AFB, upstate New York, in the lead up to U.S. Gulf War 1.
In this interview Ciaron O’Reilly reflects on:
– the ongoing persecution of of Julian Assange as consequence of WikiLeaks exposure of the nature of ongoing U.S. wars,
– the disengagement of the general public from these ongoing U.S. wars and subsequent isolation of activists who continue to nonviolently resist these wars,
– the role of the mainstream media in securing that disengagement and isolation
– and the duplicity of Australian consular staff in O’Reilly’s own 1991 persecution by the U.S. government, the duplication of such Australian diplomatic behaviour in today’s Julian Assange case.