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Issue #1905      March 2, 2020

Julian Assange Rally Report – PERTH, WA

On Sunday, 23rd February 2020, the Perth 4 Assange group held its first action outside the US Consulate – the imperialist state which seeks to have him extradited from the United Kingdom to face a Grand Jury indictment over allegations he hacked government computers to obtain information about people who the US was trying to protect. The US government indictment would seek to have him imprisoned for 175 years which would see him die in custody if he were to be extradited and found guilty at trial.

From the US Consulate about forty protesters marched along St Georges Terrace and Barrack Street to Forrest Place where the rally was held calling for the release of Julian Assange and his return to Australia. Mitch Duirs, who started the group Perth 4 Assange in October 2019, stated at the commencement of the rally that support for Julian Assange is growing, including amongst Federal parliamentarians of whom twelve senators have signed a letter and sent it to Foreign Minister Marise Payne calling for his repatriation back to Australia which is his right as an Australian citizen. Duirs also said that currently two Australian parliamentarians, Andrew Wilke and George Christensen were lobbying for his release in England as he prepared for his extradition hearing.

Lucy Nicol, a former candidate for the Wikileaks party in the 2014 Federal election said that at the time of her election campaign, she had to put up with a lot of abuse and bad sentiment over her support for Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Nicol reported that she no longer feels animosity directed towards her since the US began its extradition case against Julian Assange last year. Even the radio shock jock Alan Jones from Sydney ran a radio poll in which seventy-three per cent of respondents said our government should do more to bring Julian Assange home. In 2019, the ABC journalist Kerry O’Brien pointed out we will not see our rights taken away suddenly but slowly and surely, as they are being eroded. If we do not act to save them then the day will come when we will notice they are gone. Nicol also said the lawyers for Julian Assange have warned of the precedent the conviction of Julian Assange would set, putting a journalist on trial for preserving the public’s right to know what and how their governments supposedly act in their name. Since Donald Trump has come to power, he has tried to undo anything done by former US president Barack Obama which includes rearresting Private Chelsea Manning who helped Assange gain access to large troves of government documents – which contained evidence of government wrong doing.

The next speaker was Richard Titelius from Perth Politics in the Pub, a public forum held every six weeks with notable speakers on important and controversial subjects from a left and progressive perspective. Titelius noted that once video footage was released by Wikileaks in 2010 of the attack by US military personnel in two Apache helicopters of unarmed civilians and two journalists in Iraq in 2007, the world could see and judge how at times the state which says it acts in our interests clearly does things that are not only immoral but illegal and exceeds its lawful mandate. It was just like in a criminal trial where evidence is lead by a defence lawyer which shows when the police or any prosecuting authority exceeds its warranted power it then becomes a duty of citizens to question and even resist this authority. In those cases, the defendant should be found not guilty – as is the case which Julian Assange currently faces. Titelius also questioned how a democracy is supposed to function when the truth or facts in a matter are not presented fully. The corporate media and government also want only a certain picture of the world to be presented to ensure that the masses uncritically embrace their production and consumption roles – but humans are more than free – wheeling gonads of consumerism. They want a peaceful and just world. It was this excessive consumption which led to a waste of resources and is a leading cause of global warming crisis.

Mitch Duirs addressed the rally further to recall an important quote from Julian Assange, “If wars can be started with lies then peace can be started with the truth.” This is possibly why imperialist powers prop up the military industrial complex as defined by Professor Noam Chomsky. Duirs also spoke about the surveillance carried out by a Spanish security company at the behest of the US government so that it could gather information about Assange pending his extraction from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Someone even stole his shaving equipment to ensure that he would have a shabby appearance when he was seized to diminish sympathy for Assange.

However, these machinations have had the opposite effect and public support for Assange has grown since the extraction and again this week as the extradition hearing has commenced in a courtroom aside the Belmarsh Prison where he has been kept on an overblown breach of bail charge.

The Communist Party of Australia calls for the immediate release of Julian Assange from prison and his return to Australia.

Next article – RSL Fiasco and the Anzac Myth

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