Several supporters of the JADC have contacted us (or have tweeted) expressing consternation at the appearance of a JADC banner and placards at the Saturday 29 August anti-lockdown event in Trafalgar Square, for example Joe Lauria, Gary Lord, and Christine Assange as well as many many other accounts on Twitter.
What had happened was that a flyering expedition to Trafalgar Square between 11am-12noon to raise awareness of the plight of Julian Assange was organised by a member with no information that there was a rally taking place at noon, what the demonstration that followed was about, who was organising it and who was speaking at it.
A small number of supporters with banners and posters joined the action flyering away at Trafalgar Square from 11 am as they often did in the past unaware of the nature of the rally that was happening from 12 noon onwards and continued flyering throughout . However others may have been more aware of the nature of this event.
Photos were taken and shared in social media that were picked up by a supporter who lives abroad who recently started helping with the JADC twitter account. He shared them at @JA_Defence on two occasions stating that supporters had actually joined the protest in support of the rally’s objectives.
This was not how this action was presented to supporters when the call out was put out.
It is important to unreservedly apologise for this and learn the lessons it offers us because we have been in this journey for far too long to allow controversies like this one to hamper the effectiveness of our work.
This demonstration included speakers like the far-right Irish Freedom Party’s Dolores Cahill, David Icke who propagates among other things the Reptilian conspiracy theory, Piers Corbyn a weather forecast scientist who holds particular views on climate change. The objectives of the rally was to demonstrate against government covid related lockdown measures.
Neither the speakers not their objectives are compatible with what WikiLeaks stands for, raising the bar of the public’s understanding of the world through scientific journalism. The truths exposed by WikiLeaks for which Assange is facing an extradition to the US and a US Trial, are vital in mobilising people against the endless wars currently under way armed with the truth. It is about the right of journalists to publish and reveal the secret wars, treaties, war crimes as well as economic and environmental crimes perpetrated by those who yield tremendous power to govern over the fate of the world. Neither the speakers nor their objectives are in any way aligned with the interests of the campaign to Free Julian Assange.
In our campaign we have argued that Julian Assange is at very great risk of contracting Covid in Belmarsh. We have campaigned for his release (as well as the release of many prisoners) from prisons which are potential epicentres of infection. That is not compatible with views that regard this pandemic as fiction!
Whilst the JADC includes supporters of differing political outlooks, it is important to have the greatest care when organising events that we are building on the good will of the general public and we do not strengthen the hand of those who wish to discredit our efforts.
The usual media outlets who ignore the case of Julian Assange or slander both him and his supporters, have been quick to associate the Julian Assange campaign with this demonstration.
….those taking part espoused anti-authoritarian grievances ranging from the lockdown to the imprisonment of Julian Assange to claims of elite child sexual abuse (Guardian).
It drew a broad coalition of protesters from across the country from those espousing causes such as opposition to the imprisonment of Julian Assange to so-called “anti-vaxxers” and advocates of 5G and QAnon conspiracy theories. One individual was pictured brandishing the flag of the British Union of Fascists (Guardian).
There were also QAnon supporters, a handful of “Free Julian Assange” boards and several claiming that NHS Test and Trace is an attempt by the government to monitor citizens (The Independent).
As grassroots organisation we help and encourage initiatives of those who join us in the struggle to free Assange. We commit to stay clear from such controversy that brings our cause and our efforts into disrepute and will re-establish our organising committee meetings (stopped due to the covid pandemic) to continue organising effectively actions in support of Julian Assange.