After his brutal arrest on April 11th, and his express 15 minute Court hearing and conviction for Bail skipping at Westminster Magistrates court we were shocked to learn that Julian Assange was dispatched at Belmarsh Maximum security prison at London’s Thamesmead. An express call for solidarity outside Belmarsh led to vigils being organised over two days. We thank all those who came, assisted in organising, very grateful to Colectivo AJI for providing the sound system and Antonio for managing it. Thanking all who brought their feet outside the prison walls to stand and chant for his release. We keep our morale high in the knowledge that we have to speak up for him as he is himself silenced.
Saturday 13th of April
Here are some videos and photos of the day.
WikiLeaks supporter and Vigilist Elsa Collins and Juan Carlos Piedra, the director of the Ecuador Movement in the United Kingdom, eloquently spoke in defence of Julian Assange:
WSWS attended and reported on the vigil and since have produced some wonderful articles from the event, please visit their site:
Protest outside London’s Belmarsh prison demands release of Julian Assange
Supporters protesting outside Belmarsh prison speak out in defense of Julian Assange
Socialist Equality Party (UK) member Robert Stevens speaks at rally to demand release of Assange from Belmarsh prison
Sunday 14th of April
Sheila Coombs and Charlotte Garcias did the Sunday call out and gathered together a great array of speakers for the event. Their initiative was quickly supported by the regular solidarity vigilists and organisers with posters, banners and a megaphone! George Galloway, Chris Williamson MP, Lee Stranahan spoke eloquently and Patrick Henningsen broadcasted live his Sunday Radio show from Belmarsh. Here are some photos and videos from the day.
I’ve come down here to show my solidarity to Julian Assange. I think it is so important that we build this movement, because he has performed such an incredibly important role in drawing attention to the abuses of state power to the… well what can we say… war crimes I think is the only way we can describe actions that we saw in Iraq. I didn’t really come prepared to make a speech tonight to say a few words but I am more than happy to do that today and I think it’s essential, and a what I feel so disappointed about is the one-eyed reportage of the main stream media in this country. I’m gonna say I am very disappointed with some of the actions of my fellow parliamentarians, because they seem to have lost sight of the bigger picture and what I haven’t heard those individuals say, or indeed I haven’t heard and I stand corrected if they have but I haven’t heard in the reports that I have seen in the mainstream media any reference to the United Nations experts which have said that this action that has been taken against Julian Assange is a real danger of compromising certainly his human rights and puts him in peril.
Amnesty international has expressed very grave reservations about what has happened, and I think it’s so important that we listen to those experts, to those voices and make sure that we amplify them as much as we can. Now I know that mainstream media very often isn’t fit for purpose but we do now have the alternative media and I’ve spoken to one or two of them today before I’ve just spoken right now and of course we have social media which isn’t perfect I accept it can be a sewer as well as an opportunity to get a progressive message out there. now we need to therefore use that social media, use the alternative media outlets that are available to ensure that general public get to hear about the facts, and the facts are absolutely crucial aren’t they in this situation here.
We cannot tolerate what we cannot allow is that Julian Assange to be extradited to the United States and we absolutely have to, I think, stress the important message that he is responsible for imparting to the wider general public and that is that abuse of state power is absolutely appalling and the best antidote to that is transparency and that’s why we need to as I say redouble our efforts to get our message out there because what we cannot ever allow to happen again is any British government taking us into illegal war as we saw in Iraq where a million people have lost their lives and that’s why, I think, Julian Assange’s contribution – if he did nothing else and there are many other important positive things that he has done, if he did nothing else that drew attention to what happened in Iraq, I think, that alone is enough in my opinion to be not treated in this way, for him to have been released, for him to be walking the streets as a free man and continuing to go about his business and to see a sick man dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy and bundled into the back of a police van when he should have been put into the back of an ambulance, I think brought shame on this country, brought shame on the metropolitan police. I was absolutely appalled at the cheering voices in the… on the benches of the house of commons when Theresa May was a stating what a great job the metropolitan police had done.
Now yes okay they were only obeying orders but you know the Home Secretary the Prime Minister the government in this country need to get real and we need to do everything we can, I think, to make sure they do get real and that we do stand up for decency we do stand up for compassion we do stand up for peace and a great testament to that goal or be ensuring that we deliver the release of Julian Assange and that we prevent any attempt to see him being extradited to the United States of America. So Thank you for listening that’s all I wanted to say and thank you for being here today and showing your solidarity with a great man, thank you.
Hello everybody how are we doing today? I gotta say my name is Lee Stranahan and I’ve come over here from the States I came over yesterday… Friday morning forgive me I’m a bit jet lagged, and I’m lets let’s be honest about what’s going on here journalism right now is behind bars just a few yards from us right over here the most important journalist in the world behind those walls right behind us right there just yards away lets be very clear about this I’m a journalist and I’m here because I am a journalist and because I am a citizen and because I am a human being and we need to remember that but what’s going on over there right now is the most important journalist in the world the most important journalist of our era is behind bars now.
He is not behind bars for anything that may have happened in anyplace else he is behind bars for the reason he was indicted in my country the unites states just hours after he was ripped out of the Ecuadorian embassy shame on Equator shame on the UK and shame on the United States of America shame on all of them buy the way lets throw Australia in there too yeh while we are doing it because they should be doing more to defend Julian Assange so I’m very pleases to be able to speak to you today and it’s unfortunate to be under these circumstances but I think we all know we are at a crucial point in history right now we are in a crucial point where all around the world the fight goes beyond these traditional lines of left and right that the establishment wants us all too believe so that so we can keep biting each other and so thank you for everyone for coming out lets make this the start of something.
This is not the end this is the beginning right now this is the beginning, as I said on a radio show that I host if this were a movie we are not at the end of the movie we are at the ten minute point in the movie this is when you save… this is when we come together, the good guys come together and we rescue somebody and that’s what we are here to do today thank you very much for letting me speak.
Honourable member of parliament Chris Williamson a real honourable real member of parliament Chris Williamson my friend Lee Stranahan who’s come all the way from the United States fellow speakers, organisers, friends I am honoured to be here it’s the first time I have seen this rather grim place and I want to echo one point that Lee Stranahan just made, truth and courage are behind those walls are behind those bars personified in the great journalist and publisher Julian Assange. They said in the gutter press the daily mail I think that Julian Assange has hardly a friend left, well by judging by my posts on social media and the number of people who have expressed to me that they wish they could have been here today Julian Assange has many friends around the world, rather more friends than criminals that he exposed that led him here to Belmarsh prison Julian Assange is a friend of all the free people of the world Julian Assange is I friend to all those that want to know the truth in the world here we have a situation where the war criminals have walked free not one of them is behind bars virtually not one of them even lost their jobs most of them went on to still more lucrative positions and the man who did more than anyone else to expose their wrong doings is behind bars. There are many criminals behind these walls and most of them have much to be ashamed of but Julian you have nothing to be ashamed of, you are an honourable political prisoner.
A political prisoner who has written his name in history and will be remembered, revered, respected long after these hyenas in the mainstream media for micturating on your plight today. I believe that my feelings of hatred and contempt for our rulers and their chorus in the official and mainstream media could not deepen could not be greater but when I saw and still see even today people who make their living from publishing from journalism, dancing on what they hope is the grave of Julian Assange, words almost fail me because the entire purpose of journalism is to receive information, evaluate its truthfulness and convey it to you the members of the general public, and if that is to be a crime then is journalism itself of dead, democracy itself is dead freedom itself is dead and we might as well all deliver ourselves behind those walls behind those bars. I’m not finished.
The anti-Corbyn 5th column in the British parliament like Pavlov’s dogs were quick to move when Jeremy Corbyn whatever it costs in public opinion although now that he is stretching ahead on every opinion poll maybe it didn’t cost at all but whether it cost or didn’t cost Jeremy Corbyn stood up for what’s right in the Julian Assange case and Diane abbot much reviled did so even more but when Pavlov’s dogs move I naturally run through their names because I have history you see with most of them and they are found one of those demanding the incarceration of Julian Assange was Tony Blair’s war minister in Iraq and the former head of NATO Lord George Robinson whom I have known since we were both young boys actually. George Robinson was the minister for war that killed a million people in Iraq cascading al-Qaida and Isis all over the world including actually some behind those walls. George Robinson as the head of NATO should’ve been investigating the crime that Julian Assange exposed in the helicopter massacre of innocent civilians and journalists and journalists in Iraq and now Lord George Robinson wants Julian Assange behind bars I wonder what he could’ve meant by that I wonder what George Robinson has to hide from journalism, honest journalism about the war in Iraq. My eyes are streaming now I will have to stop, I’m not actually crying, because I’m felling strong Julian Assange because he is strong Julian Assange knows that he did the right thing the honourable thing we know that we are doing the right thing the honourable thing and on a judgement day Julian Assange will be able to face his maker sure in the knowledge that with every breath that God gave him he tried to tell the truth to free people everywhere. Thank you very much for coming. Thank you for listening.
For more coverage of the event see below videos: