SEP (Australia) rallies demand freedom for Julian Assange
13 April 2019
The Socialist Equality Party (Australia) held rallies in Sydney and Melbourne yesterday, opposing the illegal termination of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s political asylum and calling for a mass movement of workers and young people to secure his freedom.
The protests were held less than 24 hours after Assange was hauled out of Ecuador’s London embassy and arrested by British police. Assange is being held on bogus bail charges and faces extradition proceedings by the US government, which is seeking to prosecute him for his role in WikiLeaks’ exposure of US war crimes, illegal diplomatic intrigues and mass surveillance.
Christine Assange, the WikiLeaks founder’s mother, endorsed the SEP protests, issuing a statement urging all people “to attend the rallies tomorrow to demand that the Australian government act urgently to protect Julian and bring him home.”
The Australian protests reflected a groundswell of opposition to the attack on Assange, with demonstrations held in London, the United States and in Germany.
Each Australian rally was attended by more than 150 people. Participants included office workers, teachers, construction and power workers, students, young people and retirees. Some protesters had travelled up to five hours to take a stand.
Prominent defenders of Assange took part. His father John Shipton attended the Melbourne rally. Somerset Bean, a well-known British graphic designer and WikiLeaks supporter, was also present. In Sydney, Mary Kostakidis, a well-known former TV news presenter, participated, alongside defenders of democratic rights who have supported Assange for over a decade. Protesters…