Noam Chomsky, renowned academic, author and critic of US imperialism, has offered his support to protesters across Australia planning to take to the streets in defence of Wikileaks.
In a message to the rallies, Chomsky said: “Julian Assange is performing his civic duties, courageously and honorably. Naturally, systems of power wish to protect themselves from citizens — while at the same time sparing no effort to intrude into private lives so as better to establish their control.
“Defense against these practices should be a primary concern for those who value freedom and democracy.”
Chomsky joins award-winning journalist and filmmaker John Pilger, who has also offered his support to the Australian protesters in a statement. Pilger said: “The defence of Julian Assange and Wikileaks is one of the most important issues of my lifetime. There are now two superpowers in the world — the military power of Washington and the power of public opinion and justice, which Wikileaks represents.
“If the Australian prime minister doesn't understand this, we Australians need to remind her that she may head a mercenary government but we are not a mercenary people.
“Those of us in London who are working to free Julian, knowing that the Swedish prosecution is a political stunt that would never produce a fair trial, will be at his side, and we call on the support of every decent Australian.”
The first of the national protests took place in Brisbane on the evening of December 9. More than 300 people took to the streets in support of Wikileaks. A further protest in Brisbane will take place at midday on December 10, as well as protests on December 10 and beyond in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth.