Julian Assange Requests Leave For Funeral of Dame Vivienne Westwood

By Neenah Payne

Assange Requests Leave From Prison to Attend Funeral of Style Icon, Supporter Vivienne Westwood. With the passing of Dame Vivienne Westwood on December 29 at age 81, 2022 ended on a very sad note. The fashion designer, activist, and huge supporter of Julian Assange was an inspiration to many and will be sorely missed. She  famously designed Stella Assange’s wedding dress and the kilts worn by Julian Assange and his children at their wedding in Belmarsh Prison on March 23, 2022.

Vivienne Westwood has designed Julian Assange and his fiancee’s wedding outfits

Dame Vivienne Westwood

7 of Vivienne Westwood’s sustainable mantras that we’re living by in 2023

‘Julian is a pure soul and a freedom fighter’: How the late Dame Vivienne Westwood penned a powerful message on the designer wedding dress of wife of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on the day they wed

Pictures reveal powerful message on designer wedding dress of Stella Assange Dame Vivienne, known as the Godmother of Punk, died aged 81 on Thursday  Mr Assange’s wife Stella said he will put in a request to attend upcoming funeral Wikileaks founder and Dame Vivienne had been friends for more than a decade

Dame Vivienne Westwood contacted Julian Assange in prison just weeks before her death on Thursday to tell him she was seriously unwell, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. The pair had been close friends for more than a decade and last saw one another when the fashion designer visited the WikiLeaks founder in Belmarsh prison in 2019. Last night his wife Stella told The Mail on Sunday: ‘She had reached out to tell Julian and me she was very poorly so her death was not unexpected. It was about a month ago. It was very hard on him as he had not seen her since that prison visit in 2019.’

See full photo gallery at source

Stella Assange wore a dress designed by Dame Vivienne when she married the 51-year-old at the prison in a small ceremony in March. The fashion designer wrote a message on the inside of the wedding dress that read: ‘To me, Vivienne, Julian is a pure soul and a freedom fighter. All my love to the family, Julian, Stella, Max and Gabriel. May the holy life force bless your marriage.’

Mr Assange will request leave from prison to attend the funeral of Dame Vivienne, who died aged 81 surrounded by her family in south London. ‘Julian dearly wants to be able to go to her funeral and has already had a conversation with his lawyer about putting in a request,’ Mrs Assange said. ‘It matters to him so he is being proactive in the hope he will be allowed to attend.’

Dame Vivienne had been a vocal supporter of Mr Assange during his time in the Ecuadorian embassy and while he fights extradition to the US. After first meeting at Mr Assange’s 40th birthday party, the pair stayed in touch and Dame Vivian would regularly cycle to visit him at the Ecuadorian embassy, where he was given asylum between 2012 and 2019. The designer dressed as a canary and suspended herself inside a giant birdcage outside the Old Bailey in July 2020 to protest against his extradition.

Julian Assange: Dame Vivienne Westwood leads protest

See more photos at source

Dame Vivienne Westwood has led a protest to stop the extradition of Julian Assange, while suspended in a large bird cage. Dressed in a canary yellow suit, the fashion designer chanted “free Julian Assange” from a 10ft (3m) cage outside the Old Bailey in London on Tuesday. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is due to appear for a full extradition hearing on 7 September. Dame Vivienne said she wanted to get Julian Assange “out of the cage”. If extradited to the US, Mr Assange will face 17 charges under the Espionage Act and conspiracy to commit computer intrusion after thousands of classified documents were published in 2010 and 2011.”

Dame Vivienne said the stunt was based on the “canary in the coalmine” expression. The protest of about 20 demonstrators was organised by Dame Vivienne’s son, Joe Corre, who co-founded Agent Provocateur. Dame Vivienne, 79, said she had dressed in yellow because canaries were used by miners to detect poisonous gas. She said: “If the canary died they all got out. Julian Assange is in a cage and he needs to get out. Don’t extradite to America.”

EXCLUSIVE: Vivienne Westwood handed over the reins of her £70m fashion empire to outspoken mogul Jeff Banks and her husband just two weeks before she died (see photos)

Dame Vivienne Westwood handed over the reins of her £70million business empire on the eve of her death, MailOnline can exclusively reveal today. The godmother of punk, who changed the fashion world forever and passed away peacefully last night, put her friend and fellow designer Jeff Banks, 79, in charge of her clothing company just before Christmas.

Mr Banks is now a director of Vivienne Westwood Ltd, according to a filing to Companies House on December 22. The profitable firm holds cash and assets of more than £50million. On the same day, in a suggestion that she may have been gravely ill, her third husband Andreas Kronthaler, an Austrian designer 25 years her junior, was made a director and secretary of his wife’s property business, which is worth £18million.

Her two sons, one an erotic photographer and the other the founder of the Agent Provocateur lingerie brand, have no formal role in their mother’s business but may inherit her £150million fortune.

Farewell to the Godmother of Punk: Fashion world mourns Dame Vivienne Westwood after she died peacefully at her London home aged 81 (see photos)

  • The fashion designer died peacefully surrounded by her family in Clapham
  • Husband and creative partner said: ‘I will continue with Vivienne in my heart’
  • Pioneering designer made a name for herself on the fashion scene in the 1970s
  • She gained notoriety with slogan t-shirts and irreverent attitude  establishment
  • Tributes have quickly flooded in from heartbroken fans on social media

Dame Vivienne Westwood, the godmother of punk who changed the fashion world forever, has died at the age of 81.  The ‘undisputed Queen of British fashion’ died peacefully surrounded by her family in Clapham, South London, her fashion house revealed yesterday.

Dame Vivienne was one of the most influential British fashion designers of the 20th century, cultivating the punk rock movement with her unapologetically political designs. As the person who dressed the Sex Pistols, Dame Vivienne was synonymous with 1970s punk rock, a rebel spirit that stuck with her throughout her career including going commando when receiving her OBE from the Queen.

Incredibly her career began when she was a primary school teacher, making jewellery and then dresses in her spare time after marrying Hoover engineer Derek Westwood. Her life changed when she met and married second husband Malcolm McLaren, with the couple finding fame with their ‘Sex’ boutique on the King’s Road and dressing bands including the New York Dolls and then the Pistols.  And later in life her activism on climate change, opposing fracking , as well as her support for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange dominated her work and were all fodder for protest T-shirts or banners worn by models on the runway.

Her third husband and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler said last night: ‘I will continue with Vivienne in my heart.  We have been working until the end and she has given me plenty of things to get on with. Thank you darling.’

The statement from her representatives added: ‘Vivienne continued to do the things she loved, up until the last moment, designing, working on her art, writing her book, and changing the world for the better.

‘She led an amazing life. ‘Her innovation and impact over the last 60 years has been immense and will continue into the future.’ It also said that The Vivienne Foundation, a not-for-profit company founded by Dame Vivienne, her sons and grand-daughter in late 2022, will launch next year to ‘honour, protect and continue the legacy of Vivienne’s life, design and activism’.

The pioneering fashion designer made a name for herself on the fashion scene in the 1970s, with her androgynous designs, slogan t-shirts and irreverent attitude towards the establishment.

In July 2020, Dame Vivienne sounded a warning over an Assange ‘stitch-up’ while dressed in canary yellow in a giant bird cage. Dame Vivienne led a colourful band of protesters chanting ‘Free Julian Assange’ outside the Old Bailey in central London. Suspended inside the cage, she said: ‘Don’t extradite Assange – it’s a stitch-up.’

The designer’s most infamous reveal was while receiving an OBE at Buckingham Palace in 1992 when she turned for the cameras and her suit skirt went flying, it became evident she left her underwear at home. She dressed up as then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher for a magazine cover in 1989 and drove a white tank near the country home of a later British leader, David Cameron, to protest against fracking. ‘The only reason I am in fashion is to destroy the word ‘conformity’,’ Westwood said in her 2014 biography. ‘Nothing is interesting to me unless it’s got that element’.

Together with the Sex Pistols’ manager, Malcolm McLaren, she defied the hippie trends of the time to sell rock’n’roll-inspired clothing. They moved on to torn outfits adorned with chains as well as latex and fetish pieces that they sold at their shop in London’s King’s Road variously called ‘Let It Rock’, ‘Sex’ and ‘Seditionaries’, among other names.

Assange Requests Leave To Attend Vivienne’s Funeral

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange set to apply for prison leave to attend funeral of Dame Vivienne

The unlikely friendship stemmed from the pair’s ‘anti-establishment’ views on society and politics

Assange said via his wife Vivienne was a Dame and a pillar of the anti-establishment. Bold, creative, thoughtful and a good friend. The best of Britain. She will be missed terribly by me and many others.

Assange Requests Leave From Prison to Attend Funeral of Style Icon, Supporter Vivienne Westwood

The wife of one of the world’s most famous political prisoners says his legal team is asking that he be allowed a brief leave from HM Prison Belmarsh – but authorities say they’re unlikely to grant it.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is requesting a leave from prison to attend the funeral of pioneering British fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood, according to the wife of the jailed publisher.

Dame Vivienne had been in contact with Assange for over a decade and remained a stalwart supporter until the end.

In comments published on Twitter by his wife Stella, Assange wrote that “Vivienne was a Dame and a pillar of the anti-establishment.” “Bold, creative, thoughtful and a good friend,” Assange wrote that the deceased style icon represented “the best of Britain.”

“She will be missed terribly by me and many others.”

Stella’s Interview of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

On December 28, in her role as guest editor of the BBC’s Today program on Radio 4, Stella interviewed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who was detained in Iran from 2016 to 2022.  You can listen to the program here. Stella’s contribution begins at 1:20.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to publish memoir about her years in jail in Iran

The book, to be written with her husband Richard Ratcliffe, will detail her six years in prison and the campaign for her release

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Richard Ratcliffe. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who spent six years in jail in Iran, is to write a memoir with her husband Richard Ratcliffe. The book, which is currently untitled, will tell the full story of Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s imprisonment in Iran and her husband’s campaign for her release.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in 2016 and separated from her daughter as she was about to board a flight home from Iran. She was in Tehran visiting her parents. She was accused of spying by Iranian authorities, an accusation she denied. Her husband organised a long-running campaign to free her, which included a 21-day hunger strike outside the Foreign Office.

Following the campaign and negotiation between the British and Iranian governments, Zaghari-Ratcliffe returned home to the UK in March. Following her release, Zaghari-Ratcliffe accused the UK Foreign Office of being complicit in forcing her to sign a letter of false confession to the Iranian government as part of the last-minute terms. The government said it had not forced her to sign the letter, but advised her the Iranians would not allow her to leave the country unless she did so.

Night Carnival For Assange: February 11

Stella spoke about the toll Julian’s imprisonment is having on their two young children, Gabriel and Max. However, she said she believes Julian will be free. In the video below, Stella describes the process she and her children have to endure when she visits Julian in prison.

On Saturday, February 11, a Night Carnival for Assange will assemble at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3LU, London. You can find the details here.  Following the ‘Night Carnival’,  there will be a rally in the Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, Westminster, SW1P 3DW. Speakers will include Stella Assange, Kristinn Hrafnsson, and others. .You can book tickets here.

After a successful #FreeAssange #HumanChain event last October Stop the War are going to be supporting the Don’t Extradite Assange campaign as they to take the streets of London for a Night Carnival. Bring torches, lanterns, masks, drums, pots and pans!

Why Biden May Free Assange Now

THE GREAT REALIGNMENT: 2023 Trends and Predictions:

Free Julian Assange – Late in 2022 a noticeable shift occurred in Western mainstream media coverage regarding the US and UK persecution of political prisoner and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Suddenly, major newspapers in the US, UK and EU were openly calling for the Biden Administration’s DOJ to show clemency and drop the 18 superseding indictment charges which could result in a sentence of up to 175 years in US federal prison. In a belated open letter, The Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel and El País – declared that the case against Assange under the Espionage Act “sets a dangerous precedent,” which threatens to undermine the First Amendment and the freedom of the press in the West.

Of course it does. But the question is: why now? Qui bono? The answer may in fact be a political one. After the Democratic party lost control of the House of Representatives in November’s Midterms, and barely held the Senate, there are serious worries at the DNC about the viability of keeping the White House and Senate in the upcoming 2024 Presidential Election.

Moreover, as America’s new warmongering party, the Democrats are hemorrhaging many centrist and old-school anti-war liberals; and the Assange issue is one of the major thorns in their side which draws criticisms of hypocrisy when it comes to defending “democratic values.” Showing compassion on this issue might release some political capital that Democrats can harvest during the debates leading up to what is going to be an explosive 2024 contest.

Remember: Assange is a political prisoner, and so the solution to his legal stalemate will not likely come in the courts, or by a broken and corrupt Western justice system. Rather, it will be a political solution.

So, now we wait, even though he, along with his loved ones, can ill afford to any longer.

See It’s Time To Free Julian Assange Now!

Neenah Payne writes for Activist Post and Natural Blaze

Top image credit: Express UK

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