Police move on hunger striker demanding Labor MP speak up against Assange extradition

November 18, 2020
Matthew Drake-Brockman
Matthew Drake-Brockman protesting outside MP Tanya Plibersek's electorate office on November 17. Photo supplied.

Police moved on activist Matthew Drake-Brockman, who had chained himself outside the office of his local Labor MP for Sydney Tanya Plibersek on November 17. He plans to return on November 27 at 8.30am to resume his protest after he obtains a police permit.

Drake-Brockman told Green Left that Plibersek had “refused to meet with me as her constituent” to discuss her speaking up against the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, currently a matter before the courts in Britain.

Plibersek did not respond to GL's request for comment.

“Journalists should be free to report without the fear of being tried and imprisoned for life by a foreign power,” Drae-Brockman said.

“In 2013, Plibersek advocated strongly for ABC journalist Peter Greste’s freedom when he was imprisoned in Egypt for his reporting there. There’s no doubt Greste deserved Ms Plibersek’s support. The same principle applies here. Her double standards are unacceptable.”

Drake-Brockman has urged Plibersek to join federal Labor MPs who have spoken out against Assange's extradition. These are Julian Hill MP, Steve Georganas MP, Susan Templeman MP, Maria Vamvakinou MP, Josh Wilson MP and Tony Zappia MP in the Parliamentary Friends of the Bring Julian Assange Home group.

Drake-Brockman was involved in the international human shield movement during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and with international human rights monitoring in Palestine in 2003. He stood as a federal candidate for Warringah  in 2010, and ran as an independent for Wentworth in 2019 on a platform opposing Australia's military and diplomatic support for human rights abuses by Israel and Indonesia. 

[Drake-Brockman is available for comment on 0413 696 216.]

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