Protesters demand release of Julian Assange at US vigils
20 June 2018
Protests were held at a number of cities across the United States yesterday as part of international demonstrations demanding the release of WikiLeaks journalist Julian Assange. June 19 marked six years since Assange was forced to seek refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has remained imprisoned in order to avoid arrest and extradition to the United States.
Protests and vigils for Assange took place in Melbourne, Australia, in London, United Kingdom and in Sri Lanka and India. The protests in the US were largely organized by small local groups and individuals. They received no coverage within the media, and were boycotted by the entire political establishment, including pseudo-left organizations such as the International Socialist Organization, Jacobin magazine, the Democratic Socialists of America and Socialist Alternative, which have maintained a silent complicity in the face of the escalating campaign against Assange.
Protests occurred in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington D.C., and elsewhere. In New York a small demonstration was called in front of the British consulate in mid-town Manhattan. The demonstration, which was called by an unaffiliated activist, drew a crowd of roughly 30 protesters many of whom brought homemade signs and chanted “Free Assange!” outside of the consulate.
Christian, who is an actor and screenwriter, said, “Julian Assange has sacrificed so much for us, I feel the least we can do is to assemble here and raise awareness of his grave circumstances and the grave circumstances for freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. If these freedoms do not apply to any one of us, it does not apply to any of us.”