Women Whistleblowing WikiLeaks
On the 22nd January 2018 a contingency of the solidarity vigil had the pleasure of joining the book launch of ‘Women Whistleblowing WikiLeaks’ by Sarah Harrison, Renata Avila, Angela Richter at the Frontline Club. The discussion was moderated by Pamela Andersson. We celebrated their voices and were inspired by their words. The event’s proceedings were in support of the work of The Courage Foundation.
Watch a short video from the discussion below:
For the full audio please visit here
On the 5th of February, we marked the passing of two years since the UNWGAD ruling that Julian Assange is arbitrarily detained with a special solidarity vigil outside the Ecuadorian Embassy. With a New banner and posters, we gathered to listen to music, share news and declare our commitment to supporting the work of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange’s journey towards much deserved Freedom.
With sound equipment offered in solidarity by Colectivo AJI, we listened to music and John Pilger’s latest interview with Randy Credico and Dennis Bernstein. He said:
“Julian Assange has personally borne the brunt of much of this historic shift. He and Wikileaks have exposed so much, and that is unforgivable. There is no doubt that what Wikileaks has done is the most important disclosure journalism of my lifetime. Around the world, politicians who have been deceiving the public have been caught out by the revelations of Wikileaks. It is quite an epic achievement.
Anger has been directed at Julian by people in the media who have been shamed by Wikileaks. Because Wikileaks did the job that journalists ought to have been doing for many years. Wikileaks has done it across such a spectrum and put to shame those who are paid to keep the record straight. That has been Assange’s crime.”
Julian Assange’s Detention Legally Challenge in UK Courts
On the 26th of January Julian Assange lawyers started a legal challenge against his detention through UK Courts. As the proceedings unfolded at UK’s Westminster Magistrates Court, on the 5th and 13th of February we stood in solidarity with him, his lawyers and the principle of justice.
Watching proceedings at court was fascinating. Judge Emma Arbuthnot was quick to dismiss releasing Julian Assange from detention by rescinding the arrest warrant but she accepted to ‘consider whether it is in the public interest that proceedings against Julian Assange should be initiated under section 6 of the [Bail] Act’
Jenifer Robinson gave a brief statement after the end of the day’s court proceedings, and we went on to the Ecuadorian Embassy to finish off our solidarity action. Events there were brought to an abrupt end when it was reported that an envelope with a white substance had been delivered to the Ecuadorian Embassy for Julian Assange.
We returned to Westminster Magistrates Court on 13th of February. The day before we had listened to John Pilger’s scathing response to the breaking news that Sweden tried to drop the extradition of Julian Assange in 2013 but the Crown Prosecution Service prevailed.
Once again in a packed court we listened to the stern deliberations of Judge Arbuthnot. Dismissing the application outright, she rushed out of court as if her robes were on fire, followed by sounds of disapproval from the public gallery.
The Courage Foundation issued a statement on her ruling:
“The battle for Julian Assange’s freedom continues as Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot has ruled the WikiLeaks publisher’s confinement has been proportionate and in the public interest. The judge’s defensive and harsh ruling comes a day after it was revealed that Swedish prosecutors attempted to close their investigation into Assange in 2013, but British prosecutors dissuaded them from doing so. The ruling is consistent with UK behavior in this highly politicised case, as the court refused to recognise both Assange’s precarious health situation and the strong and binding ruling from the UN, declaring his confinement arbitrary, maintaining the UK’s silence on the imminent threat of a US prosecution linked to his journalistic activities. […]”
Us supporters outside Westminster Magistrates Court felt that justice had not been served by the outcome of the legal proceedings. Since then, questions have been raised, casting a shadow over the impartiality of Judge Arbuthnot. Writer and ex diplomat Craig Murray was damning in his conclusion: “I should like to conclude that “Lady” Arbuthnot is a disgrace to the English justice system, but I fear she is rather typical of it. This intellectually corrupt, openly biased, callous Tory shill is rather a disgrace to humanity itself.”
We then proceeded to the Ecuadorian Embassy to stand in solidarity with the WikiLeaks’ publisher. Roland below eloquently expressed what many thought when he spoke to the camera in defence of Julian Assange:
For the fifth year running we continue our solidarity work. *** Please Join us at the Weekly Solidarity Vigils Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday between 3 and 5 in the afternoon outside the Ecuadorian Embassy***