Thousands of people for Roger Waters’ performance in support of Julian Assange

The former Pink Floyd sang “Wish you are here” for the Wikileaks’ publisher jailed in Belmarsh during a live concert organised in front of the UK Home Office

Mainstream media pretended this never happened, but the thousands of supporters who filled up the space in front of the UK Home Office were real. They added their voice to the one of Roger Waters, first British world-famous artist able to take action in defence of Julian Assange.

Julian Assange’s brother Gabriel Shipton and two activists holding a sign

The live performance has been organised by the former Pink Floyd in collaboration with the John Pilger, the renowned documentary filmmaker who has been supporting Wikileaks cause from the early beginning. This time he addressed the people from the stage, but the message was actually a loud and clear appeal for those ones who work in the UK institutions and can bring to an end the persecution of a multi-awarded journalist and publisher held in a high security prison.

The audience at Roger Waters’ live performance in front of the UK Home Office

“The behaviour of the British Government towards Julian Assange is a disgrace,” he said. And, with no esitation, he also connected the smear campaign carried out by several countries to a specific reason. “Julian and Wikileaks have provided an historic public service by giving millions of people facts”, he stated. They explained “how and why their governments invaded countries, why they spy us” and so these cases represents “a sort of warning for journalists and publishers, a warning that cannot find a place in a democracy.”

Among the guests of the event, also Julian’s brother Gabriel Shipton. “Last month I went to visit my brother at Belmarsh prison. I hugged him and he told me the place he was in was hell. In his eyes and voice were the signs this hell was crushing any hope he had left.”, he told the audience. In his emotional speech, Gabriel was speaking on behalf of all the brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews of Julian Assange, asking the UK Home Office to stop extradition.

People at Roger Waters’ live performance in support of Julian Assange

When Roger Waters comes on stage, he says “hello” to the audience by crying out “Free Julian Assange”, spreading among the public the hope that something will maybe change, now that such a famous artist is setting the example for many other ones and leading the way to the defence of a publisher charged with the US Espionage Act – just for making people aware of war crimes and other real facts.

An anedocte on Michail Gorbaciov gives Roger the occasion to express his gratitude to the former SSSR President “for understanding some of the things that we are sharing here today in this meeting, outside our dilapidated Home Office.”

The documentary filmmaker John Pilger

The moment of the song arrives and a moved audience stands in silence listening to “Wish you were here”, originally written for the former Pink Floyd Syd Barret and dedicated now by Roger Waters to Julian Assange.

“I wish you were here, Julian,” he sings, and in that moment the public breaks the silence and bursts into thunderous applause.

The hopes are high, just to mention another success of Waters’ former band. Most activists and supporters dialogues seem to trust in some new move in favour of the multi-awarded founder of Wikileaks, but in the evening and on the following day no mainstream media will spread the news, except for Rolling Stone and a few websites like Yahoo Entertainment and MSN.

The message, however, has been sent five by five: there is a huge group of people in the British civil society that is aware of the persecution Julian Assange is being through. They came and listened to Roger Waters in order to say “no” to the Wikileaks publisher extradition to the US.

The image showing thousands of people in front of the Home Office will arrive to Belmarsh as well, together with Roger Waters’ last words on stage: “Julian Assange, we are with you.”

About Sara Chessa

Reporter and Human Rights Activist, member of the National Union of Journalists from 2015.
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