With well over 60 participants our rally outside the BBC was full of the best words in defending Julian Assange. Stop the War members, Subscribers to the JADC list, admirers of our guest speaker Ken Livingstone, all came and we shared a positive atmosphere of speeches, chanting, talking and discussing what brought us together and planning more actions to #FreeAssange.
Our rally started with Ken Livingstone. He said to Ruptly: “All my political career over 50 years, I think you had to stand up against all the injustices. Anyone who comes up and tells the truth about what the capitalist nations are really doing, either ends up being demonised in our media, like I’ve been all my life, or, like Assange, ends up in prison. Pretty much they hope you end up dead. We were all told we had to invade Iraq cause Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. They didn’t find a single one anywhere. But, look at the chaos, the hundreds of thousands Iraqis who lost their lives because of that invasion. We will never give in and I know Julian ain’t gonna give in either and there will be others who’ll come along and do the same over the years to come. We need to stand up for them as well. We have the right to know the truth about what our governments and our great corporations are doing. We should immediately grant him a pardon and grant him British citizenship, let him spent the rest of his life here. Frankly, the Mayor does not really have any powers on all of this at all, I mean, when Tony Blair created the London Mayoralty, the powers compared with those of the Mayor of New York are minute. But, I would hope that the Mayor would come out and call for Assange to be released.”
Emmy Butlin read out her article: “Correcting the Record in the #Assange Case – The BBC and reminded people of the effect of misreporting created a negative bias against Julian Assange including amongst British Judges, for example it influenced Judge Elizabeth Taylor who sentenced his to 50 weeks in prison whilst she incorrectly believed he had been charged in Sweden.
Peter Rogers said to us:
“The idea of a constitution is to protect people from the viciousness of arbitrary power.
In order for this constitutionality to work it depends on all members of the society accepting an obligation to bring it to public attention when they become aware of serious crime.
This requires a reliable means of broadcasting the information in the first place and organisations such as the BBC are supposed to be that means, but where have we heard recently about the victims of Collateral Murder or their bereaved dependents or deliberations on the essential criminality of the incidents or justice for the perpetrators or victims dependents or about the demand for future prevention guarantees, or about the vital nature of the task of bringing all such things to general public attention and the vital importance of seeing to it that there be no way that any involved in bringing such things to public attention –Manning and Assange – can be harmed or punished for doing so by fair means or foul.
In order for this obligation of bringing crime to public attention to be undertaken without fear or favour it is the duty of the society and its officers to see to it that any person doing so is protected absolutely from any party who would wish to harm them.
This raises two questions, first where is the solemn obligation to protect Julian and Chelsea from being got at being enforced? The answer is that it is absent so the arbitrary power of the vengeful State is not being restrained by constitutionality after all which is essentially a Mediaeval situation.
If constitutionality is not to be overthrown by this clear failure of State Officers to perform their duty of protecting people from being got at for revealing crime then it is the job of the media to expose this in particular. If organisations such as the BBC fail in this it means the end of constitutionality as members of the public will no longer be able to report crime broadly to their fellows safely because the protection has failed and they will fear being got at for it – precisely what we are supposed to be guaranteed against by constitutionality the media and everything else.
By its failure in this regard – its silence concerning the immorality of exposing those reporting crime to punishment; like Julian and Chelsea to attack – the BBC is assisting those who may be responsible for crime to get at those performing the obligation of telling us that it is the case.
That the BBC and all the rest let us down in this way means the signal to society is clear that if the choice is between protecting those reporting crime or incurring the displeasure of powerful states such as our own and the US – themselves guilty of failing in their duty of protection for those reporting the crimes – it will elect in favour of the arbitrariness of State power and against the protection for the citizen intended by constitutionality.
In short, who will dare to make crimes known? Nobody! unless of course they are willing to face persecution and severest punishment for doing so and who need expect no hope of assistance from the BBC or anyone else in the kind of media that has now emerged.
This also means that for the future we are going to be short of information when we go to vote, because since the door is being closed and locked to the room where the secret crimes are kept secret you will have no way of ensuring that the party you vote for isn’t one willing to tolerate crimes of the kind revealed by Wikileaks; perhaps for the last time: as part of its statecraft.
Without constitutionality – protection for all reporters of crime – there can be no real democracy as everyone can be got at should the State desire to get at them, your vote will not protect your rights if the State doesn’t want them protected and the BBC and the rest will remain silent as here and now.
The very thing we thought we had escaped from in recent centuries – authoritarianism – is therefore with us.
Shame on the BBC and the mainstream media for rolling over instead when asked to bring power to account, shame upon them and the rest of the cowardly media too frightened to stand up for us or even what the modern world was supposed to be.
Between them all a catastrophe has been wrought for us, and that is that Murder can now treated as a State Secret.
Free Julian Assange – Free Chelsea Manning”
Then Deepa Driver spoke beautifully to great applause saying “It is not Julian Assange that is dying in Belmarsh it is Dissent that is dying in Belmarsh”. Watch her account of the Court hearing which she witnessed. She agreed with Craig Murray who said it was like watching a blood sport. […] like watching a bull being tortured, that was what was like for many of us sitting in that court room and I could see people’s faces who were in tears just watching how the proceedings happened”
Then Joe Brack eloquently put forward: “BBC, tell the Truth, do your Job!
BBC News and Current Affairs I have a story for you. Something for the headlines. Journalists, editors, producers, workers of the BBC. A fellow journalist is being held incommunicado at Belmarsh Prison. Illegally seized from Asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy. His physical and mental health deteriorating by the day. Denied basic Human Rights. Denied a fair trial. Tortured by this treatment, vilified and humiliated. The Enemy, a Spy, they say.
Presiding over his treatment Chief Magistrate Arbuthnott. Deploying her Shock Troops of Judicial bile and vengeance. Dancing to William Pelham Barr’s, US Federal Law Enforcer-in-Chief, extradition song. Even willing to consider extradition on a ‘reasonable suspicion’ thanks to Tony Blair’s treaty, the lowest evidential standard possible. All the while imprisoning a journalist and publisher, effectively sentencing Julian Assange to die, miserable and alone. Hidden from view. Denied public examination and scrutiny. To be complicit in this State sanctioned murder by design or neglect is no excuse. We must act now. Save Julian’s life! BBC I beg you to help. Do not be silent in the face of outrage.
Their message is clear. Reveal the war crimes of our rulers and their enforcers and this horrific fate awaits you. Journalists, publishers and their whistleblowers are suffering persecution, prosecution, incarceration, isolation, fines torture and killed.
BBC this is what Julian Assange is facing. An unequal battle of ideas. A love of freedom, transparency, accountability, a respect for the rule of law. All now a crime according to our lawmakers & lawgivers of British Justice.
Please help save Julian from the fate they have planned: an untimely death in custody or decades of Dickensian Judicial procrastination and a callous disregard for the rule of law. Save Julian Assange! Free Julian Assange!”
We are very grateful to him for taking many videos from the action which you can find in his Youtube page here.
Finally, a younger member of JADC Ariya Persian, who is organising a solidarity vigil outside Belmarsh prison on the 9th of November spoke with passion in defence of Julian Assange. Please visit this facebook page for more information.
More videos to be added later!