Sam Castro from the WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance recently sat down with Christine Assange to talk about her son Julian, WikiLeaks' editor-in-chief, his fight against extradition to Sweden and why fighting for Julian’s freedom is actually part of a much bigger fight to defend democracy in Australia.
Christine Assange will speak in Melbourne at the free public forum, “WikiLeaks, Assange and Defending Democracy”, at BMW EDGE — Federation Square on April 19 at 6.30pm.
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Christine, you have been travelling around Australia doing WikiLeaks forums and you are heading to Melbourne on April 19 to do another public event. What has motivated you to do these forums and what do you hope they will achieve?
I became aware that a lot of people don’t know the facts about WikiLeaks and Julian’s extradition case, in particular this seems to be because most mainstream media journalists do not appear to know the facts or appear to be interested in investigating them or bringing these facts to the people.
So the only option I have is to bring these facts to the people and I hope that people will come to realise how important it is to stand up for Julian and for their own rights. So people should come along to the Melbourne forum and get the facts.
Do you think the Australian government has provided Julian with adequate support as an Australian citizen, who has not been charged with any crime in any country?
No, I don’t think they have given him anywhere near adequate support. The extent of flagrant breaches of his human rights, legal rights and the lack of due legal process by Sweden should have caused a massive outcry by the Australian government; instead they accused WikiLeaks and Julian of illegality and have been silent ever since.
I think many Australians are now looking at our government and wondering who it is they are representing and if you look at the facts, you really can only come to the conclusion that in Julian’s case our government are representing the US government and US interests.
So do you see Julian’s situation as a symbol of a much deeper or more systemic problem in the current state of Western democracy?
Yes, I do. I’m not an authority, just a citizen investigating what is going on and what I see appears to be widespread global exploitation, intimidation and bullying by the US government directed at smaller countries and their governments.
The US is intimidating citizens in other countries and pressuring the media into silence on important issues.
I believe we are at a point in history where if we do not stand up now and stop this attack on our freedoms, we could be facing generations of state tyranny, the likes of which we have never experienced.
The world stood up against tyranny in World War II and yet we are doing nothing as a much more insidious tyranny creeps into our country through legislative back doors.
This tyranny is setting itself up as a resident in the corridors of parliament and our democracy is being slowly boiled like a frog. By the time we wake up and realise what is happening it is going to be too late.
What kind of legislation do you think is slowly ‘boiling’ our democracy?
Well to name a few, the recent extension of ASIO powers, dubbed the “WikiLeaks Amendments”, the streamlining of the Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Amendment Act, other secret backdoor deals such as the TPPA [Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement] and the Cybercrime security bill, which is coming up soon.
These draconian laws are not unique to Australia but appear to be happening in countries all over the world that are friendly to the US.
We haven’t had war declared on us but we are being taken over by legislation. It is legal and economic warfare and it seems to be entering our country by stealth.
We must remember that freedom is more important than money or land. It is the most important thing to hand on to our children and without our democratic rights nothing else matters. Our forefathers fought in horrible wars so we could be free. We don’t have the luxury to decide not to engage in these issues.
This is about democracy and defending our right to freedom.
Eighty percent of Australians support WikiLeaks and Julian has a higher approval rating than our current Prime Minister. Rallies are now planned for Australia and around the world the day after the British Supreme Court hands down its ruling on Julian’s extradition case. Do you think support for Julian is growing?
Yes, support is growing rapidly for Julian and I am very heartened by people of all ages and backgrounds that have contacted me and stated they are united in their defence of justice, democracy and Julian.
People understand that Bradley Manning and Julian are the first battle we must win in taking back our democracy and Australians have a long tradition of taking care of our own.
America may be the big Goliath but David defeated Goliath and there are millions of Davids on the planet, so we need to load up our slingshots.
Recent mainstream media article on these issues: “Truth of Assange is Stranger than Fiction”.