Sunday 26 August a small group of us stood outside the US embassy in Customs St Auckland, seen with banners and giving out pamphlets and blowing whistles. The same thing happened in 16 cities around the world. All were small but determined groups, in some cases only one person. But I think we being heard as Sky News had an in depth report yesterday on the Unity 4J movement. This coming Saturday we will also be outside Chelsea Manning's event doing the same. We must stand up for free speech and free journalism, or risk being silenced. So many discussions are now being labelled 'hate speech' and then shut down. All a sign of a totalitarian system well on it's way if we do nothing. Julian stands for us, so we stand for him.
Our flyer - hand out
Julian Assange has been defamed, persecuted, harassed, and since March this year has been cut off from the outside world. In Flat 3B, Knightsbridge, London, the founder of Wikileaks waits to learn the fate of his asylum status. He has no access to internet, visitors or medical services. It is the current Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno who has put him at risk, who views him rather as a thorn in his political side, and a hacker.
In 2008, a plan to destroy both WikiLeaks and Assange was laid out in a top secret document dated 8 March, 2008. The authors were the Cyber Counter-intelligence Assessments Branch of the US Defence Department. They described in detail how important it was to destroy the “feeling of trust” that is WikiLeaks’ “centre of gravity”. They would achieve this with threats of “exposure [and] criminal prosecution” and an unrelenting assault on his reputation. The aim was to silence and criminalise WikiLeaks and its editor and publisher.
The engineering of this plan showed up in the baseless Swedish case which was ramped up by media and used as justification for ignoring his human rights, and international law. Assange’s extradition warrant from Sweden was revoked on 19 May 2017, when the prosecutor also closed the entire underlying investigation. The prosecutor decided it was disproportionate to proceed and that “conduct alleged by the police disclosed no crime at all”. In addition, the complainant had felt “railroaded by police and others”, and that “police made up the charges”
For nearly 8yrs Julian has been trapped as a political prisoner inside the Ecuadorian Embassy. He has been persecuted and smeared in an aggressive manner by the previous U.S administration, the UK, and Sweden - also abandoned by the Australian government under Julia Gillard’s watch. Both the Australian and NZ governments have remained silent for too long. So now we are asking NZ to step up and offer him asylum here. Recently a petition was created to this end which closed with 2,010 online signatures despite issues with server errors, and more than 250 on paper.
Julian Assange’s fate is not just that of one man. Till now, the clear intent of the United States has been to imprison him for his published work. This is of grave concern to all who truly defend the freedom of the press and the right of the public to access information. There is already consensus among leading voices of the human rights community that US attempts to prosecute and extradite Assange to the United States is not only unwarranted persecution but would also weaken press freedoms at home and abroad. Amnesty International in 2012 called for the governments concerned to "issue assurances" that Julian Assange would not be extradited to the USA in connection with Wikileaks". ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero stated "it’s clear that any criminal charges against Mr. Assange in connection with Wikileaks’ publishing operations would be unprecedented and unconstitutional. And that the Justice Department should end the criminal investigation as prolonging it has had a profound chilling effect.". Ben Wizner, also at ACLU, stated that "Any prosecution of WikiLeaks for publishing government secrets would set a dangerous precedent that the Trump administration could use to target other news organizations."
James Goodall, formal legal counsel to the New York Times, put it best: “What started off as a putative prosecution of Assange has turned into a persecution.” The political persecution of Assange, if permitted to continue, will irreversibly undermine press freedoms in the West and has already been used to justify crackdowns against publishers and journalists in other countries.
Join with us to ensure Assange is safely released and free to live without fear of imprisonment or prosecution. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1795945980512789/
I must say we were surprised at the general "Not interested" response we got from public -Aotearoa! what is happening to your people!! However we managed to get rid of 100 flyers. You have to sow seeds to grow trees. Wake up people's
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