Supporters of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) in India will hold a picket to demand the immediate release of Julian Assange, who has been jailed for courageously exposing the war crimes and diplomatic intrigues of US imperialism. The picket in Ambattur, north Chennai on Saturday, May 11 is part of the ICFI’s ongoing international campaign to defend Assange.
British police arrested Assange on bogus bail charges after the Ecuadorian government, under pressure from Washington, illegally ended his asylum in its embassy in London. The British courts have now sentenced him to 50 weeks of rigorous imprisonment in the notorious Belmarsh jail, where is being held in solitary confinement. He faces extradition to the US and charges of espionage that carry life imprisonment or the death sentence.
The international witch-hunt against Assange is a part of the escalating attacks on basic democratic rights, including freedom of expression, around the world. Country after country is seeking to muzzle the free flow of information and discussion through the Internet and social media. At the behest of the US and European powers, Google and Facebook censored the World Socialist Web Site and other left-wing and anti-war web sites.
India’s Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP)-led government has also stepped up its Internet censorship under the pretext of opposing “hate speech” and defending “national security.” It is working closely with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to gag selected websites and social media accounts.
The defence of Assange is completely bound up with the fight for the democratic rights of the working class. We urge workers, students, young people and the oppressed masses to support our campaign and participate in our picket.
Venue: Opposite TI Cycles, Ambattur, Chennai
Date and Time: Saturday, May 11, 3.30 – 5.30 p.m.