The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) has called an online public meeting next Wednesday December 22 at 7 p.m. (AEDT) to advance the fight for the immediate freedom of Julian Assange, whose life has been placed in grave danger by last week’s British High Court decision to order his extradition to the US. Click here to register.
The December 10 court ruling is a pseudo-legal travesty to justify the ongoing persecution of the WikiLeaks founder. The award-winning journalist and Australian citizen has been the victim of a decade-long political conspiracy by the governments of the United States, UK, Sweden and Australia.
The Biden administration is intent on securing Assange’s extradition to face charges of espionage that carry an effective life sentence and possibly the death penalty. His alleged crime is to publish documents exposing to the world the war crimes, mass surveillance and diplomatic intrigues of the US and its allies.
After being arrested and dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in April 2019, where he had been confined for close to seven years by the British police, he has been jailed in the notorious Belmarsh prison, one of the UK’s worst “maximum-security” facilities. There he has suffered psychological torture and extreme isolation, causing severe mental distress and the risk of suicide.
His conditions are so unbearable that during the High Court appeal hearing in October he suffered a mini-stroke that temporarily blocked blood supply to his brain. Assange’s life hangs in the balance. As Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, has warned, the UK is literally torturing him to death.
The judicial record proves that no confidence should be placed in an appeal to the UK Supreme Court or a European court. Nor can any confidence be placed in any section of the corporate media and political establishment, including in Australia, which bears central responsibility for Assange’s dire predicament.
It was the Greens-backed Labor Party government of Julia Gillard that in 2010–11 joined the US campaign against Assange, slandering him as a criminal and pledging full support for the efforts of the American intelligence agencies to destroy him.
With growing outrage and disgust among ordinary people, the issue is how to take forward the fight to free Assange. That demand is inextricably tied to the broader struggle against massive social inequality, the drive to war and the criminal pandemic policies of the ruling elites that have allowed millions to die so that economies remain “open” and corporate profits flow.
The SEP, which has fought for Assange’s freedom for more than a decade, will do all it can to bring the fight for his liberty into the emerging struggles of the working class—the only force that can end this repression. We urge all defenders of democratic rights and opponents of imperialist war to participate in our meeting to discuss how to take forward this fight.
Meeting time in relevant time zones:
Sydney: 7 p.m., Wednesday, December 22
Brisbane: 6 p.m., Wednesday, December 22
Adelaide: 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, December 22
Perth: 4 p.m., Wednesday, December 22
Auckland: 9 p.m., Wednesday, December 22
Colombo: 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, December 22
New Delhi: 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, December 22
London: 8 a.m., Wednesday, December 22
New York: 3 a.m., Wednesday, December 22
Los Angeles: 12-midnight, Wednesday, December 22
To attend the meeting, register here.