John Pilger: ‘The whole point about Julian Assange is courage’

Author and filmmaker John Pilger sent the speech below to be read out at an August 19 protest outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London to defend Julian Assange.

* * *

I have known Julian since he came to London and gave the world vital information about Afghanistan and Iraq, which governments had suppressed and denied.

What is always left out of the public portrayal of Julian is the moral dimension of WikiLeaks. The very mention of morality, of principle, embarrasses those who consort with great power; but ordinary people recognise it straightaway and are not embarrassed; they're inspired.

WikiLeaks is about the public's right to know, and the right to practice the kind of real journalism that has made Julian powerful enemies — enemies he should wear as a badge of courage. Indeed, the whole point about Julian Assange is courage. That's why this is a day of triumph — triumph for human courage, for principle and for truth.

Julian has not broken free, not yet, but with the help of the admirable Rafael Correa and his comrades in this embassy, he has seized back the initiative from those who think they have a divine right to rule the world and to lie and commit war crimes in our name. We should celebrate our resistance and salute Julian.


You guys are really brave...Thank goodness we can still have informed journalism....for how long?!?!?! It's a pretty scary world, particularly when the masses are so easily swayed and remain ignorant of world politics. I think part of because people have it too easy, and they don't have to pay attention to world's too boring and complex. But one day we'll be like the frog in the boiling pot....we'll be cooked and it'll be too late! Pay attention people!!!
The very poorest have no voice at all. Those who have almost enough to survive, are too busy struggling to keep it to have a voice, and those with just enough are terrified of losing it, so they shut up too. It's a 'shut-up' kind of world. Keep people busy just surviving and you can tell them anything and they'll believe it and shut up. It's a shame that humanity has come down to just bare survival for most. It's pre-civilisation at a time when we're spending billions on Mars missions. Humans are such an advanced species with so much potential, you'd think we'd be advanced enough to turn that potential into reality by now, or at least before we snuff ourselves out. The way Assange, Manning and others are being treated and the disdain for free speech and the inability to do much about it.... puts us somewhere around the 1500's in my estimation. We have a hell of a lot of evolving left to do as a species! Thankyou John, RT, Julian... (the true heroes and role models of our era!).