The Socialist Equality Party calls on workers, students and professional people to attend its online meeting on Sunday July 10, at 3 p.m. AEST to defend and free Julian Assange. Check the meeting time in your timezone and register now to attend the meeting.
Last month, British Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that her government had approved the extradition of the WikiLeaks publisher to the United States, where he faces 175 years imprisonment for exposing US-led war crimes.
Assange’s lawyers are seeking a further appeal for the British courts. But Patel’s announcement makes clear that the fight to free the WikiLeaks founder has reached a new stage of urgency. Assange’s very life is in danger. At the same time, Australia’s new Labor-led government has made crystal clear that it will do nothing to defend Assange, despite the fact that he is a persecuted Australian citizen.
Patel’s order is the latest stage in a decade-long conspiracy against Assange, involving the US, British and Australian authorities. They have trampled on all of his legal and democratic rights, and perpetrated what outgoing United Nations Rapporteur Nils Melzer branded as state torture against Assange. The WikiLeaks founder has not committed a single crime. His supposed wrongdoing has been to shed light on the illegal wars of the last 30 years, their mass killings and violations of international law.
The stepped-up pursuit of Assange coincides with a further escalation of imperialist war. The journalist who revealed to the world’s population the crimes of the previous imperialist wars in the Middle East and Central Asia is being silenced while the perpetrators are preparing new wars and crimes across the globe.
The US and NATO are now engaged in a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. At the same time, Washington is confronting China in the Asia-Pacific. The recently-concluded NATO summit openly presented these as two fronts in a single conflict.
The US-led confrontations have nothing to do with protecting “human rights” or “democracy,” as the persecution of Assange makes clear. Instead, they are part of a new imperialist redivision of the world, which threatens a global catastrophe.
The persecution of Assange is an attack on the mass opposition among workers and young people to these war policies. It is intended as a precedent for broader frame-ups and victimisations. This is being pursued, as part of a turn to authoritarian forms of rule, directed against a resurgence of working-class struggle, including major strikes in Britain, the US and Australia.
At this meeting, Socialist Equality Party speakers from Australia and Britain will outline the need for a stepped-up campaign for Assange’s freedom. As with the struggle against war, securing Assange’s freedom requires the mobilisation of the international working-class, the only constituency for democratic rights.
Local timezone conversions:
Sydney, Australia — Sunday July 10 at 3:00 pm (AEST)
London, United Kingdom — Sunday July 10 at 6:00 am (BST)
Paris, France — Sunday July 10 at 7:00 am (CEST)
New York, USA — Sunday July 10 at 1:00 am (EDT)
Mumbai, India — Sunday July 10 at 10:30 am (IST)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — Sunday July 10 at 2:00 am (BRT)
Lagos, Nigeria — Sunday July 10 at 6:00 am (WAT)
Wellington, New Zealand — Sunday July 10 at 5:00 pm (NZST)