Australian groups to rally around Julian Assange after court case

Thursday, May 24, 2012
Rally to defend WikiLeaks, Sydney, February 2011. Photo: Peter Boyle

Australian supporters of WikiLeaks announced nationwide protests after news that Britain’s supreme court will decide on Julian Assange’s final appeal against extradition to Sweden on May 30. The protest rallies will take place in most capital cities the next day, May 31.

The rallies will take place regardless of the court’s decision. Even though Assange has spent the past 534 days under house arrest without charge, protest organisers say the campaign to defend Assange and WikiLeaks is only just beginning.

Sydney rally organisers, the Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition (SAWC), said: “If Assange loses he will be sent to Sweden by force within 10 days. From Sweden, he could be sent immediately to the US where he faces prosecution for publishing information just like any other journalist. Even if he wins the appeal, the US will likely seek to extradite him from the UK or Australia.”

The coalition said the Sydney rally will also tell the Australian government, which has “done nothing to assist Assange”, that “we will not stand by while they sell out our fellow Australian, Julian Assange, and sell out our democracy”.

SAWC said: “Prime Minister Julia Gillard labelled Assange a criminal and her government has been quietly passing legislation which will potentially make it easier for Assange to be extradited to the US, should he ever return to Australia. They have denied all knowledge of the sealed indictment against Assange and continue to block freedom of information requests for information relating to documents relating to potential US extradition, reportedly at the behest of the US government.”

Rallies in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide will take place outside offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). In Perth, the rally will start at the Murray St Mall. In Townsville, WikiLeaks supporters will gather outside the office of federal MP Ewen Jones. Wlcentral.org has compiled the details of these protests.

WikiLeaks supporters have also announced protests that day in Frankfurt, Edinburgh and Washington DC. Supporters will also gather in London for a vigil outside the supreme court on the morning of the judgement.

In an unusual step, the British supreme court released a statement telling court visitors of the limited space available on May 30 and warning that those with “clothing or other materials bearing messages” will be barred entry.

After news of the May 30 decision broke, WikiLeaks tweeted: “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty. Join Friends of WikiLeaks https://wlfriends.org/.”

WikiLeaks also urged supporters to send messages of protest to Australian, Swedish, British and EU MPs, asked for donations to the Julian Assange Defence Fund and posted a link to the Nordic News Network’s backgrounder to the Assange case in Sweden.

Despite the Australian government’s hostile stance, WikiLeaks and Assange still enjoy wide popularity in Australia for their journalistic work.

Polling company UMR Research said last week that 25% of Australian voters would vote for Assange if he stood in a Senate election. In NSW, 27% of voters polled said they would back Assange. In last year’s NSW state election, the Labor party won just 25.55% of the vote.



From GLW issue 924

Comments

Yeah Right

The Australian Government claims it does help Julian Assange as it would to any other Australian citizen having trouble oversea.

That doesn't sound like Australian Government's guarantee of protection to Australian people.

It sounds more like Australian Government's excuse to the US that that is all it has to do.

We have seen Australian government worked its ass off in Schapelle Corby's drug case. I guess because Schapelle was only dealing drug and she simply didn't disclose any of US's secret...

Free Assange now

This is an outrage. If our government does nothing to stand up for Julian it has to fall to people with courage, passion and morals to do it instead. I have nothing to lose and will happily do what I can.
If we don't stand up for what is right and our own freedoms they will be taken away and we will have no-one else to blame. I wish I could do more.

Time for justice

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Jullian assange Bradley Manning & the many more whereever they are

NO TERROR, NO TORTURE, NO RENDITION NO ASSASSINATION JUST TRUTH

RALLY ALERT AUSTRALIA..SUPPORT JULIAN ASSANGE

We have learned that Julian Assange's verdict will be announced on 30 May, so rallies in support of him and WikiLeaks will be held on 31 May. The locations and times for these in Australia are listed below. We hope to see you there!!

Adelaide
Where: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 55 Currie Street, CBD
When: 12PM - 2 PM
Contact: AFOWikileaks@googlegroups.com, Twitter: @ADFOWL

Brisbane
Where: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 295 Ann St.
When: 12PM – 2PM and 4:30PM – 6PM
Resources: Flyer 1, Flyer 2, Sticker
Contact: goldie_adele@yahoo.com.au

Canberra
Where: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Sydney Avenue, Barton ACT
When: 12PM – 2PM and 4:30PM – 6PM
Contact: Twitter: @wirnpa

Melbourne
Where: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2 Lonsdale St.
When: 12PM – 2PM and 4:30PM – 6PM
Resources: Flyer, Flyer 2, Flyer 3, Flyer 3 (small), Sticker
Contact: ausfowl@gmail.com, @AusFoWL, wacacontact@gmail.com, @akaWACA

Perth
Where: Murray St. Mall, 650 Hay St.
When: 5:30PM
Contact: Facebook Event Page

Sydney
Where: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 123 Pitt St.
When: 5PM
Resources: Flyer, Flyer 2, Flyer 3, Sticker

Townsville
Where: Ewen Jones' Office, Nathan Business Centre, Aitkenvale
When: 12PM – 2PM and 4:30PM – 6PM
Contact: Facebook Event Page

Further Resources:
Stop the War Coalition Sydney: Rally for Assange
WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance: Rally Action Alert
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Assange

Assange is a hero for standing up to the imperial power of the US ,..he should be freed forthwith.

Orwel said that in time of uncertainty telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

It' s the ultimate duty of any citizen to listen to their conscience and always question our leadership on all issues that affects the people.