Australian youth defend WikiLeaks and support demonstrations to free Julian Assange
20 February 2019
Australian students and youth have voiced support for rallies next month demanding that the government take immediate action to secure the return of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to Australia, with a guarantee against extradition to the US.
Students at university orientation week events have expressed their appreciation for WikiLeaks’s role in educating them about the criminality of US-led wars in the Middle East, and alerting them to mass intelligence agency surveillance and daily diplomatic intrigues. Many have noted WikiLeaks’ contribution to the politicisation of their generation.
The sentiments stand in stark contrast to the role of successive Australian governments in the US-led vendetta against Assange. They also stand as an indictment of the organisations that have abandoned WikiLeaks and Assange, including the trade unions, the Greens and pseudo-left parties such as Socialist Alternative.
The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE), the youth wing of the Socialist Equality Party, has been the only student organisation raising the persecution of Assange, and the related drive to war and authoritarianism, at orientation week events.
At the University of Sydney, one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious, Lucas, a third-year arts student, told IYSSE campaigners: “Assange’s role in releasing so much information has been to the benefit of the people. It was material that should not have been hidden in the first place.
“It’s brilliant with the age of the internet that we have mass communication technologies and access to so much of what is taking place in…