Julian Assange 16/08/18 – Marking 6 Embassy Years under Political Asylum

Since early summer the grassroots movement of solidarity for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks has turned international with global initiatives made by a number of different self organising groups. Davey Heller from classconscious.org collated some of the initiatives and you can visit his site here for photos and summary of the actions globally as well as social media locations to congregate, advertise and organise actions. Classconscious.org is also facilitating Global Emergency Protests in the event that Julian is evicted from the London Ecuadorian Embassy. The remarkable online vigils that started by Suzie Dawson and friends in March this year, which you can find at https://unity4j.com/  have also inspired profoundly solidarity action worldwide and through their strong and evolving social media presence and organising platform at http://www.unity4j.com/discord have launched monthly Unity4JDay global solidarity actions. Follow @Unity4J and #Unity4JDay for more information. The WSWS website is also running worldwide reporting on anti-censorship campaigning with special focus on the struggle to free Julian Assange.

Photo by @MidwifeSabine

It is with great hope and pride that the regular six year strong solidarity vigil outside the Ecuadorian Embassy has seen this movement grow and the few of us who can follow these developments on line are filled with gratitude and inspiration to continue with our work on the ground outside the embassy and launching new Campaign initiatives through the Julian Assange Defence Committee like our recent Postcard Campaign. On August 16th once again answering the vigil call out a group of WikiLeaks supporters gathered outside the Ecuadorian Embassy to support with their feet the freedom of Julian Assange and mark six years since the former government of Ecuador granted him political asylum.

Representatives from various human Rights and Political campaigns came with banners, music, chanting and cheers and with their presence remind the world that the persecution of the WikiLeaks founder is an assault to Human Rights everywhere.

Wendy from the US expressed our sentiments when she stated “He needs for the United States to end the political prosecution of him, and it is political prosecution because he is a publisher. Mike Pompeo has come out and called WikiLeaks ‘a non-state actor that’s a hostile intelligence agency.’ And that’s insane. That’s labelling the whole free press. That is undermining, well, let’s just say I am an American and I believe in the Constitution, and that’s undermining that. So, I am basically standing up for what I believe to be right, is that Julian is publishing true information.”

David, said: “I’ve come down to show solidarity with Julian Assange. This is the anniversary of Ecuador’s very brave decision to give him political asylum and I think that needs support. Particularly this time where the pressure on Ecuador from various forces to get Julian out of the embassy, and into the clutches of the United States is being ramped up. So we are here to gather in, as we frequently do to give solidarity to Julian Assange. Thanks to the then Ecuadorian government that supported him. We hope that support continues.”

Congregation of WL Supporters outside the Ecuadorian Embassy to commemorate 6 years under political asylum for Julian Assange Photo by @WiseUpAction

The Ecuadorian MANA Juntos por la Revolucion, the Brazilian Solidarity 4 Lula Brazil, the Catalonian CDR London, reporters from World Socialist Web Site and a multitude of individuals  who have been the backbone of the regular solidarity vigil enjoyed the atmosphere and re-iterated their commitment to continue with the long struggle for Julian Assange’s freedom.

Infographic Poster by @SomersetBean

The lovely sounds of the pan pipes filled the air with Latin American sounds encouraging dancing, chanting “No extradition” “Democracy needs Assange” “Free Assange” messages and spreading a vibrant hopeful mood despite everyone being aware of the dire situation Julian Assange finds himself since March in virtual isolation without access to communication bar his lawyers.

For people abroad following events through social media, videos and photos were shared in twitter broadcasting live.

A brilliant report of the event was published at the WSWS which you can find here with beautiful comments by participants explaining why they turned up to support Julian Assange by standing up for hours outside the Ecuadorian Embassy. I quote from their article:

Saleh said, “I feel strongly about the right to freedom of speech. Assange is a prisoner here, getting lower treatment than a prisoner. All he has done is show the truth to the people of the world, with WikiLeaks.

“Freedom of speech is very important: the right to say what you think is as basic as the right to have food or water.

“There is no freedom of speech where I come from. When I am here, I feel free to be myself and talk about what I want. When I am back home, I have to behave like an actor.

“When there is no free speech, it means that those in power can do what they like and can also lie. The attacks on Iraq, Syria, Libya were all based on lies.

Words that echo what Julian Assange has been saying for years.

Here is a short video produced by Ruptly of the event.

Many more solidarity events and campaigns to be announced shortly, In solidarity!

#FreeAssange!

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