Melbourne rally calls on workers and youth to defend Assange and Manning
11 March 2019
A Socialist Equality Party (SEP) rally in Melbourne yesterday issued a strong demand for the freedom of Julian Assange and the immediate release of whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who was detained by the Trump administration last Friday in a bid to coerce her into testifying against the WikiLeaks founder.
It followed a successful SEP rally in Sydney on March 3, addressed by world-renowned investigative journalist John Pilger, SEP National Secretary James Cogan and other leading defenders of democratic rights.
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Roger Waters issued a video on Saturday calling for maximum participation in the Melbourne protest and in a vigil held by the Julian Assange Defence Committee outside Ecuador’s London embassy. It has been viewed almost 200,000 times.
The Melbourne rally was attended by around 300 workers, students, young people, professionals and retirees. Among the participants were individuals who knew Assange and his mother Christine when they lived in Melbourne years ago. Prominent WikiLeaks supporters were present, including the well-known independent journalist Caitlin Johnstone.
Contingents took part from the University of Melbourne and Victoria University, where the SEP’s youth movement, the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE), conducted a widespread campaign for the rally. Students from other universities, colleges and from high schools also participated.
Some of the demonstrators travelled a considerable distance to take a stand in defence of Assange and Manning. Individuals from the country towns of Ballarat and Echuca, which are several hours drive from Melbourne, were present….