Indian Trotskyists to hold “Free Julian Assange” rallies in Chennai and Kolkata

As part of the ongoing international campaign to free Julian Assange, Trotskyists in India will hold rallies during September in Chennai and Kolkata, the capitals of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal respectively. The Indian supporters group of the International Committee of the Fourth International is organising both events.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and US whistleblower Chelsea Manning are class-war prisoners. They are being persecuted for their courageous exposure of the war crimes and diplomatic intrigues committed by the US and its allies in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.

Since Assange was seized from Ecuador’s London embassy and arrested by British police on April 11, he has been held at Belmarsh Prison, dubbed the UK’s Guantánamo.

Chelsea Manning, who provided WikiLeaks with evidence of US war crimes in 2010, has been imprisoned for refusing to testify against Assange. Her incarceration is a travesty of justice, aimed at forcing her to provide testimony to be used against Assange.

The World Socialist Web Site international editorial board issued a call on June 20 for the formation of a Global Defence Committee to coordinate international actions to free Assange. This international initiative is oriented to mobilising the most powerful social force on the face of the planet, the international working class.

In 2010, Assange noted that WikiLeaks’ largest number of supporters were in India after the site published explosive material on corrupt Indian politicians and black money deposits in Swiss banks by tax-cheating Indian capitalists. Assange was interviewed by major Indian TV channels following the revelations.

Since then, however, the Indian corporate media has maintained a stony silence about Assange and WikiLeaks. This is bound up with the pro-US political shift by the previous Congress-led government, and the decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP-led government in 2014 to transform India into a strategic partner in Washington’s war preparations against China.

Millions of ordinary people rightly view Assange and Manning as heroes who are being attacked for exposing the truth. All those who oppose their incarceration and the brutal attack on their legal rights must be mobilised. The only way to secure Assange’s and Manning’s freedom, and to defend fundamental democratic rights, is through the development of an independent movement of the working class against militarism and war, and their source—the capitalist profit system.

We call upon workers, students, youth, artists, journalists and intellectuals to support the campaign to free Assange and Manning and to build the forthcoming Indian rallies.

Date and time: Sunday, September 1 at 3 p.m.
Venue: Kalyana Mandapam, Thandonti Amman Temple (near the Sriperumbudur Bus Terminal).

Date and time: September 15 at 3 p.m.
Venue: Indian Association, 62 B.B. Ganguly Street, Kolkata 700012
(near Central Metro, Gate No.4, turn right).