Update on October 8 Rally For Julian Assange

By Neenah Payne

October 8: Global Campaign To Free Julian Assange shows that Stella Assange, wife of Julian Assange, worked to have 5,000 people surround Parliament on October 8. Her report on the rally is shown below.

Message From Stella Assange

Friends,

Thanks to you Saturday was a historic achievement. Many of you will know that since Saturday, Julian has tested positive for COVID and is now in 24-hour lockdown in his Belmarsh prison cell until further notice. I have told him about the great success on Saturday and I am sending him pictures from the day to lift his spirits. He is profoundly moved by your massive show of support.

No-one knew for certain whether it would work, but the participation of each of you was essential to extend the chain and help make it a success. It is a metaphor of our movement, which we must continue to build stronger and longer and in which each of us are needed to achieve the goal of Julian’s freedom. We came together and in spite of the rail strike, the turnout exceeded our expectations. We needed 5,000 people to complete the circle. We achieved that, and much more. People were standing shoulder to shoulder and in some sections the pavement was crowded. Former British ambassador Craig Murray, who walked around the human chain when the siren went off, estimated numbers were 10,000-12,000. The images from the day speak for themselves.

There were those who had tried to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt to discourage us, but we persevered. We gave a clear and unified message that we are many, we are driven and we are determined. We will not stop until Julian is free. It was a day of cooperation, solidarity and common purpose, and above all, palpable hope and humanity.

We will continue to build this movement to free Julian by planning more demos, and in the build-up to those, we will bring more talks and events locally. To help us plan these local events we need your help and input, please get in touch. We are planning more screenings of the films Ithaka and Hacking Justice. Ithaka, about our family’s struggle for Julian’s freedom, will be showing at the Soho London Independent Film Festival (LIFF) in November. I will be at the screening of Ithaka at the Berlin Human Rights film festival on Thursday and Friday this week.

We need to spread the word about the injustice, cruelty and inhumanity that is keeping a publisher imprisoned on remand, year in and year out, in a high security prison in the middle of London. We need to call out the farcical claim that what is unfolding is a legitimate legal process. What is unfolding is the opposite of that. It is a political persecution which is instrumentalising the British court system and exploiting extradition arrangements between the two countries. The so-called process itself is punitive, keeping Julian imprisoned year after year while he resists extradition to a US show trial and a grotesque 175 year sentence as punishment for having published the truth.

How can we even pretend that Julian could face a fair and equitable process when it is the country that plotted Julian’s assassination that is demanding his extradition? How can anyone credibly argue that it is right for the country whose war crimes and torture Julian exposed in Iraq, Afganistan, Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere to then bring criminal proceedings against him for having published the evidence of the crimes the US government committed? And how can anyone seriously contend that Julian faces a fair trial when US authorities have violated attorney-client privilege through their criminal operations targeting Julian’s lawyers and recording their conversations?

Those who benefit from impunity for criminality and corruption committed in the dark are abusing the criminal justice system to punish the man who gave the public the evidence needed to achieve accountability. This is a case of rampant state corruption, evidenced not just in the documents that WikiLeaks published but also in the criminal manner in which the political persecution is unfolding against him.
US and British authorities have gone rogue on this matter and we the people must spell out what the rule of law, justice and democracy really mean in this case, and they all come down to one thing: freeing Julian Assange. Thank you again. And see you next time.

Did you attend the Human Chain? Please take our survey and give us your feedback.

Don’t forget to share your photos on social media with #SurroundParliament and #FreeAssange.

Take our new Human Chain Survey

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Neenah Payne writes for Activist Post and Natural Blaze

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