The decision by the British High Court on December 10 to extradite Julian Assange to the United States is a pseudo-legal travesty. The ruling is a pledge by the British state that it will stop at nothing to persecute this courageous and award-winning journalist. It is working in an open conspiracy with the US, Australian and Swedish governments.
It was revealed by Stella Moris, Assange’s finance, that he suffered a stroke in October during his appeal hearings. His very life is on a knife’s edge. To discuss how to take the fight forward for his immediate freedom the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) Australia has called an emergency public meeting on Wednesday, December 22 at 7 p.m. (AEDT).
Workers and students from Australia, where Assange is a citizen, have sent in statements of support demanding his freedom. They point to the necessity of the struggle against Assange’s persecution to be linked to a broader movement of the working class on a socialist and anti-war perspective.
We urge all defenders of democratic rights and opponents of imperialist war crimes to participate in the online public meeting on Wednesday evening. Click here to register.
The SEP spoke to Sonia, 25, a law/science student from Victoria: “There have been many petitions and appeals to governments in defence of Julian Assange, but this hasn’t worked. The capitalist class used a smear campaign of sexual allegations and other personal slanders to prevent a mass movement for his freedom developing. Experience has shown that no governments will bequeath concessions. It will require a mass social movement of the working class.
“Workers have the numerical strength. The issue of Assange connects with all the questions of our current time: social inequality, imperialist war, the domination of society by a corporate oligarchy. If the working class mobilises against Assange’s persecution, and connects it with all these issues, there is nothing they could do to stop it.”
“Such a movement require a socialist, anti-capitalist perspective because only a socialist movement can expose the capitalist class and draw on the power of the working class as a force that can change society. The ruling class fears the exposure of their crimes. It is confirmation of the central strategy of socialism, which is to tell working people the truth, and mobilise them on that basis,” Sonia stated.
“From a purely legal standpoint, the decision was an evisceration of all legal norms and was devoid of any real legal analysis. In essence, the judges based their decision on the assurances of the US government, which they accepted at face value. That assumption is almost always subject to being rebutted based on evidence. All US assurances are worth nothing. They all came with escape clauses, and none is legally binding.
“In the eyes of the imperialist powers, Julian Assange committed the greatest sin. He exposed the true carnage in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria to the widest audience. This is one of the reasons for the bloodlust in pursuing him.”
“We have seen their plots to either kidnap or kill him. Having failed to do that, now the assassins hide behind a thin veil of judicial legitimacy. It is telling that while they have spent the last decade persecuting Assange, they have failed to prosecute a single person responsible for the war crimes revealed by WikiLeaks. While the murderers go free, the messenger faces the prospect of spending his life in prison,” she said.
“By persecuting Assange, imperialism is sending a warning to investigative journalists everywhere. They seek to prevent them from exposing the inner workings of capitalist governments and their imperialist exploits. Assange is not even an American citizen, nor was he publishing from the US, but the imperialist powers are collaborating together to allow the US government to get its hands on him,” Sonia concluded.
Biljana, 58, a former teacher who emigrated to Australia 31 years ago from Yugoslavia, spoke about the Labor Party’s role in Assange’s imprisonment.
“I used to vote for the Labor Party. Now they are just another party. They are in the game of making profits for big business. They aren’t truly helping to make an egalitarian society. Their avoidance of the issue [on Assange] is deeply disappointing,” she said.
“I was disgusted with Julia Gillard when she was prime minister. I had already stopped voting for Labor at that time. She called Assange a criminal and I was so disgusted when she took that stand. It’s about spreading lies and manipulating people. To portray him as a criminal. It is the opposite. Assange is the innocent one exposing the crimes of imperialist countries,” she said.
“The public is coming to a stage where they can’t have any hope for decent human rights, or even access to knowledge and information in the world. This is on a global level,” she said.
Commenting on the danger of war, Biljana added, “Relations between US and China have certainly deteriorated, they are preparing for war. I wouldn’t be surprised if it escalated further.”
“After WWII, the US has been eager for war. Freedom of speech? Forget it. Democracy? Forget it. The revelations from Guantánamo Bay were disgraceful, they committed huge atrocities,” she stated.
Graeme, a public servant in New South Wales, commented on the significance of Assange’s work and of his victimisation.
“What they are doing to Assange is unprecedented. One of the most famous individuals in the world is being locked up and exposed to juridical torture. A slow-motion assassination,” he said.
“It serves as a warning for anyone who wants to expose the crimes of governments, the wealthy and powerful. Assange was chosen because he has been the individual that has caused the most damage to the prestige, legitimacy and credibility of the ruling classes in every country.”
“He produced the greatest exposure of the criminal machinations of the ruling class, the capitalists and their servants since the Bolsheviks published the secret treaties between the Tsarist forces, the Provisional government and the British and French government in 1917,” Graeme said.
“Assange and WikiLeaks are associated with the Arab Spring and major social upheavals. Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning were either enabled or came forward because of Assange. These three have exposed to a worldwide audience the true criminal nature of those that run the world.
“Assange will not be freed by appeals to the better nature of his torturers. He will only be freed as part of a list of demands by the mass movement of the working class against capitalism. That mass movement will only happen when the working class breaks free of its current leadership and builds its own organisations of class struggle.”
“Rank-and-file committees of workers must be formed, with direct election of delegates and immediate right of recall. These committees will be true democratic forms of working-class organisation and struggle,” Graeme said.
John, 70, a longstanding SEP electoral member from the NSW Central Coast, said, “It is a terrible decision. The imperialists have given him a death sentence. Jailing of journalists is becoming commonplace; there’s no second thoughts on assassination or imprisonment. It is to cover the crimes of the ruling class.
“Any attempt to persuade the capitalist parties and their judiciary system is futile. Some National MPs have spoken out, but they are platitudes. They are not going to do anything to upset Australia’s relationship to the US. The ruling elite will not change their path with respect to Assange. They can’t accept any revelations from journalist or any organisation that speaks the truth on warmongering. They have a military agenda and nothing it to get in their way.”
“The unions promote the same nationalism as they do and police the working class. The only way to free Assange is with a movement of the working class against war and capitalism,” John said.