After 18 months of house arrest, six and a half years beseiged inside the Ecuadorian Embassy without sunlight, on his forth year incarcerated at HM Belmarsh High Security Prison, arbitrarily detained since December 7th 2010, psychologically tortured for his work with WikiLeaks, Julian Assange has miraculously survived to his 51st year on 3/7/22.
Supporters gathered outside HMP Belmarsh to mark his Birthday and be as close as possible to where his heart beats, inside a Belmarsh cell of 2 by 3 metres. The event was organised again this year by the Committee to Defend Julian Assange. Some supporters travelled from France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, all parts of the UK and London to make speeches, perform art, chant, march and wish Julian Assange a very Happy Birthday.
A beautiful cake prepared by French Chef Joel gave much delight to all sharing this historic event, where Happy Birthday wishes echoed outside this British Prison. For a few hours, this place of punishment, of loneliness and human desolation was transformed into a place of hope.
Listen to Maxine Walker deliver the JADC speech marking this day.
She said: ‘the vast mass of people can be more powerful. It is up to us campaigners to draw in those forces. That is our job. I recall after the 1984 miners strike, which was a political battle, they had everything thrown at them. They had surveillance of their headquarters. They had an intelligence operative in the top role. They had everything thrown at them, including massive police violence. And yet when you read the memoirs that those politicians wrote, after the miners strike, it was a very, very close thing. The miners were very close to victory.
So don’t be downhearted.
Keep going, we keep up this struggle. If the US and British ruling class did not fear, their own defeat in the case of Julian Assange, they would not have tried to disappear him and silence him. They would not have tried the most they could possibly try to smear and denigrate him, because they fear people when they know the truth will support him. So we send birthday greetings to Julian, and we send this message to everyone. We are here. We fight on for truth, justice and democracy in its real sense, that the interests of humanity and the mass of people on this planet shall one day rule the earth. Free Julian Assange!’
Listen to Academic, Trade Unionist and legal observer of the Julian Assange case Deepa Driver delivering her speech for the day:
She said: ‘…those who were guarding Nelson Mandela at Robben Island, those who are guarding Julian Assange today can choose to be on the side of justice, or choose to be treating those who are in here in this prison harshly. And this choice is one they make every day, every minute in a context in which many people within this prison shouldn’t be in there. They need medical care, they need psychiatric care. They need a social system that functions…’
We were Joined by the wonderful troubadour for social justice David Rovics who joined our solidarity with his beautiful songs and words:
Deepa Driver returned to read out a speech by Arne Ruth, Swedish veteran editor and journalist as well as key member of setjulianfree.org campaign.
He said: ‘Today Julian faces an illegal extradition to an unjust US trial and an inhuman imprisonment. How this unfolds serves as a litmus test of the so-called rule of law and the very notion of Western democracy. I am deeply ashamed that my country often seen as a leader in Human Rights has become an accessory to this perversion of process that undermines world Human Rights.
I feel honoured and privileged to be here today with you, Julian´s family and friends. AS war rages in Europe, WE REMEMBER THAT Julian has told us that all wars are based on lies. And that if the peoples of the world were told the truth, they would not go to war against each other. Thank you, Julian, for showing the way.’
Kym Statton founder and Director of ‘Films for Change’ in Australia, who is in the process of making a film about Julian Assange, shared his poetry with us:
Ulla Klötzer from Women for Peace in Finland send us a message, which says:
The Julian Assange story is the most shameful and disgusting example of how the western world completely has betrayed it’s most profound values of democracy and freedom of speech.
Julian has suffered brutally for years for speaking the truth and defending basic human rights.
The west is dominated by the totalitarian consensus dictatorship of the political elite and the media! This must come to an end!!!
Julian Assange must in the name of democracy get his freedom back!!!
A wonderful collection of Happy Birthday messages were read out in multiple languages.
I would like to thank the dozens of donors who have contributed towards the cost of this event via this fundraiser.
We received another message from Marcus Heizmann On behalf of Alliance against war, Switzerland
We have just learned that you will spend another birthday in captivity. (How many, actually?)
To wish you a happy birthday under these circumstances seems like a
mockery to us. Instead, we thank you for all that you have done for all of us: Without you, many of us would still be living in the illusion that there would be no censorship, there would be freedom of press, and there would be an independent judiciary. You have indeed torn the friendly mask off the system’s face and shown the ugly grimace underneath to the whole world to see. The price you pay for this is very high. As in the Middle Ages, the messenger of truth should burn at the stake, while the murderers, the warmongers and the torturers receive honors. Those who, for example, shot people in Iraq for fun and laughter have no judge and no judgment to fear.
Because you spread the truth, they put you on trial. But the process that you have initiated cannot be reversed: With your revelations you have shown what true journalism is and you have opened the eyes of millions of people. Here’s to celebrating your next birthday and all your birthdays to come in freedom!
Heartfelt thanks to all members and supporters of The Committee to Defend Julian Assange JADC who worked tiresly organising in advance and on the day making things happen. Special mention to Joe Brack, on top of being the committee’s Police Liaison Officer, resident musician, co-ordinator of setting up and clearing down, recorder of events with EF Press, he also very gracefully stepped in as MC when that usual suspect Emmy Butlin got herself stuck in doors with covid. So so grateful to him.
Enjoy the photos below, In solidarity #freeAssange
Some of the local police on duty at the vigil.
Arial Ky send us this message: I made this stone arc on Oxnard Beach in Southern California last Sunday for Julian Assange’s freedom. It’s the arc of justice, the breaking wave of truth.
And I offered an invocation to the spirit of the sea, the spirit of the shore, and called on a passing brown pelican, to help with this plea.