World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to some of those outside the High Court, who were supporting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in his fight against extradition to Sweden.
Scott is from the United States and was campaigning with the London Catholic Worker group.
He said, “We’ve been supporting Julian Assange from the very beginning and also Bradley Manning [the US Army Private accused of giving classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks]. We feel that the truth sets us free and I think everyone would agree with that. Obviously all the governments are trying to keep people blind and sedated so that they can carry on with acts of violence and weapons sales and so on.
“WikiLeaks has helped in some part with the Arab Spring for example and a lot of dictators have been toppled. Just on that basis alone one would say that Julian should probably win the Nobel Peace Prize. But I don’t believe there is going to be justice here in this court today. Ultimately I think he will have to take it to the European Court of Human Rights.
“I think whistleblowers should be offered protection, rather than being put in solitary confinement like Bradley Manning was. And sadly that could await Julian Assange as well. It’s possible that once the Americans get hold of him, which I think they will, it’s going to be a terrible situation. I think Bradley Manning now has about 21 counts against him. The American government is quite ruthless.
“My wife is Australian and we went to the Australian embassy here in London and handed a petition in and asked for Julian to be supported. They said once he is out and back in Australia they will offer protection. But they have made no moves here to support him.
“That is a terrible thing and is not surprising. The Australian government don’t want to go up against the American government. In fact the American government right now is making huge military deals in Australia. They are trying to push the Chinese back and are worried about Chinese hegemony. The Australian government are going to be hand in hand with the US, like Britain is.”
Alan is from London. After seeing a recent Channel Four documentary about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, “I thought it was so biased, so I had to come here today to do something about it.
“After what Julian has released on WikiLeaks, it’s not really surprising that the powers that be have reacted against it. This case against him is really being pushed by the Americans because they want to cut off all his communications with people. Basically they want to shut him up. That is why all this is happening.
“It’s pretty obvious why they don’t want the truth to come out. The whole war in Iraq was illegal. And what WikiLeaks has done by releasing all this information is shining light on the crimes that go on behind the scenes.”
Joan Smith came from Cornwall to protest outside the High Court. She said, “I think this whole thing is a set-up because Julian Assange published the WikiLeaks revelations. I think it’s all too much of a coincidence and I don’t care what he is accused of really. It just doesn’t happen like that. I just don’t believe that it’s not a set-up.
“I think the USA is having great difficulty in trumping up some charges that will stick because he is just a journalist and you don’t normally prosecute journalists for publishing information that people give you. But the US needs a bit more time and we have seen that is the case because they have already had Bradley Manning in jail for 18 months. They need a little longer in order to try to get some stuff together to prosecute him.
“So all this about Sweden was a gift really. I don’t know how it was set-up or what happened exactly, but I do know it’s a coincidence too far.
“In an era when governments get up to what we have seen they have, we need as much transparency as we can possible get. And if we can’t trust them to give it to us we have it take it for ourselves. And people like Assange are actually facilitating that and facilitating true democracy.
“For these governments, what they see is the horror of exposure—the horror of the loss of power and control. We need the democratic right of exposure.
“For me the most significant things WikiLeaks brought out were the war crimes and the State Department cables. No one has been prosecuted for any of these crimes. And yet they still want to get Julian Assange. They can’t take it.
“The results of the WikiLeaks exposures are manifold, right down to the Occupy movement here. I am 56 years old and I don’t remember a time like this since the early 1970s. It is phenomenal the sea change and obviously WikiLeaks is an enormous part of that.
“There are movements everywhere. It has produced a wave, from the man setting fire to himself in Tunisia it has gone all around the globe.”