Protests Being Organised Against Imminent Eviction Of Julian Assange From Ecuador’s London Embassy

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Above Photo: From FLickr

Protests are being organised in London and internationally in response to credible sources claiming that the Ecuadorian government is on the verge of reneging on the political asylum it granted to WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange and handing him to British police.

Anonymous Scandinavia, a twitter account believed to be closely linked with WikiLeaks, has published a video announcing a “Condition Red” and stating that the “situation is critical.”

This follows a July 20 tweet by Russia Today editor Margarita Simonyan, which stated: “My sources say that Assange will be handed over to UK authorities in the coming weeks or even days…”

In a lengthy article published in the Intercepton July 21, journalist Glenn Greenwald reported that he also had a source “close to the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry and the President’s office” who had confirmed that Julian Assange will be evicted from Ecuador’s London embassy “as early as this week.”

The protest in London will be taking place at 10am, Monday, July 23, at the Ecuadorian embassy. Protests in other cities have been called at US embassies and consulates, to take place the day after Assange was evicted. Rallies are organised so far in Melbourne, Australia; Wellington, New Zealand; Paris; and Los Angeles. Click here for details.

The WSWS endorses all protest action against the persecution of Julian Assange and urges its readers to participate.

Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno arrived in London on July 21 to deliver the keynote speech at the 2018 Global Disability Summit. Greenwald reported in the Intercept: “The concealed, actual purpose of the President’s trip is to meet with British officials to finalize an agreement under which Ecuador will withdraw its asylum protection of Julian Assange, in place since 2012, eject him from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and then hand over the WikiLeaks founder to British authorities.”

Assange was granted political asylum in its embassy by Ecuador in 2012 after his legal appeals against extradition to Sweden, to answer “questions” on manufactured allegations of sexual assault, were rejected by the British courts. Assange legitimately feared that he would be rapidly extradited from Sweden to the US to face charges over WikiLeaks’ publication of leaks that exposed American war crimes and diplomatic intrigues around the world.

If Assange leaves the embassy he will be imprisoned by Britain for breaching bail and almost certainly face an application to extradite him to the United States to stand trial on manufactured charges of espionage.

On the Moreno government’s orders, the Ecuadorian embassy in London has deprived Assange of all external communication, and all visitors apart from his lawyers, since March 28.

After six years of confinement due to the British threat of immediate arrest if he sets foot outside the small building, Assange’s health has been seriously compromised. The deprivation of communication is a vindictive attempt to add immense psychological pressure on him to leave the embassy, as well as to silence him while lurid accusations permeate the American and international media that WikiLeaks was part of a nefarious Russian conspiracy to “interfere” in the 2016 US presidential election.

Ahead of Moreno’s visit to London, his national secretary of political management, Paul Granda, asserted on July 19 that “there is no specific meeting planned on Assange.” The same day, acting Ecuadorian foreign minister, Andres Teran, claimed that Moreno’s government is “not in talks with the United States” over the WikiLeaks editor.

These statements have no credibility. All evidence, reinforced by the Interceptreport, points to the opposite conclusion: A conspiracy is well advanced, involving the US, British, Ecuadorian and Australian governments, to have Assange hauled before a show trial in the US.

The American intelligence agencies are determined to prosecute Assange as a “spy.” The campaign to arrest him was escalated to a “priority” in April 2017, after WikiLeaks began publishing the “Vault 7” leaks that revealed how the CIA had developed malware to hack phones, PCs, servers, smart televisions and vehicle computer systems in every part of the world.

Moreno’s government has betrayed Assange as part of its venal attempts, on behalf of the Ecuadorian business elite, to restore economic and political relations with Washington. The London embassy cut off Assange’s communications just one day after top-level meetings in Ecuador with representatives of US Southern Command on re-establishing military cooperation.

Moreno will speak with leading figures in the Conservative government of Prime Minister Theresa May over the coming days.

The UK-Ecuadorian talks will take place amid total hysteria in the American political and media establishment, following Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki this week, over purported Russian “meddling” and “interference.”

At the centre of the allegations is the July 2016 publication by WikiLeaks of a trove of emails sent by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), revealing that ostensibly impartial party officials conspired to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party primaries.

The information outraged millions of Sanders’ supporters, especially young people who had voted for the Vermont senator due to his claims to be a “democratic socialist” and to oppose the “billionaires.” Top DNC officials were forced to resign in disgrace for their attempt to manipulate and rig the primaries for Clinton’s benefit.

History, however, has since been rewritten by the Democratic Party, the American media and the US intelligence agencies. The DNC leaks were instead transformed into purported “evidence” of a Russian-orchestrated attempt to manipulate the 2016 presidential election in favour of Donald Trump. WikiLeaks and Assange were accused of being accomplices of the Putin regime.

On January 6, 2017, the US Office of National Intelligence alleged: “We assess with high confidence that the GRU [Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate] relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks. Moscow most likely chose WikiLeaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity.”

Claims of Russian “fake news” and “meddling” also have been used to justify the sweeping and ongoing campaign to censor oppositional publications on the Internet, including WikiLeaks and the World Socialist Web Site. At the same time, the assertions of Russian “interference” have been used to stoke a frenzy of demands in the American establishment for a stepped-up economic and military confrontation with Russia, threatening to trigger war between nuclear-armed states.

The allegation that Assange is a “Russian agent” is crucial to both the assault on freedom of speech and democratic rights, and to the preparations for war.

A media organisation cannot be prosecuted for publishing leaks. So, in November 2010, Vice President Joe Biden labelled Assange a “high-tech terrorist.” In April 2017, CIA director Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, branded WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence agency.”

If Assange were charged as a Russian spy, it would establish a far-reaching precedent. International media organisations and journalists that publish leaked information could be pursued and prosecuted without recourse to any constitutional and legal protections of freedom of speech.

The slander of Assange as a Russian tool serves definite ideological purposes. It has been seized upon internationally by the ex-liberal and pseudo-left milieu in the media and political establishment to align with US imperialism, the Democratic Party and the American intelligence agencies and justify their refusal to defend WikiLeaks and democratic rights.

The truth is that, regardless of the source, WikiLeaks published information that was both newsworthy and further clarified people as to the corrupt, militarist and big business character of the Democratic Party and its candidate Clinton. Any genuine media organisation that received such leaks would have published them.

The immense danger Assange faces was underscored on July 20 by comments made during a media conference held by UK Foreign Affairs Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who was in Britain for annual ministerial talks.

Hunt gloated: “Serious charges have been laid against him [Assange] and we want him to face justice for those charges but we are a country of due process. At any time he wants to, he is free to walk out on to the streets of Knightsbridge and the British police will have a warm welcome for him.”

Bishop exuded the utter contempt of successive Australian governments for the rights of an Australian citizen and journalist being persecuted by the US. She indifferently responded to Hunt’s threats, effectively washing her government’s hands of Assange’s fate. She told the media: “We understand there are still matters where Mr Assange is subject to British legal proceedings so therefore that would be a matter of British law enforcement authorities and agencies.”

In fact, the only “charges” that Assange faces in Britain arise from breaching bail when he sought asylum, a necessary step to avoid the sinister warrant to extradite him to Sweden.

No charges were ever laid by Swedish prosecutors, who finally agreed to question him in London in December 2016. Sweden abandoned the bogus investigation in April 2017, yet the British authorities and courts refused to drop the now-redundant alleged bail offences.

The only “serious charges” against Assange are likely to be espionage-related charges in the United States, which could result in life imprisonment or even the death penalty.

The ongoing motive behind the persecution of Assange is to terrorise and intimidate whistleblowers and independent media organisations into remaining silent on imperialist war crimes and intrigues, corporate abuses and corruption, and US-led war preparations.

All defenders of media freedom and democratic rights must step up the fight to demand the unconditional right of Julian Assange to leave the London embassy and the UK unhindered and return to Australia, if he chooses to do so, with a guarantee against extradition to the US.

 

  • Lili-Ann Berg

    You are a complete disgrace Julie Bishop for letting down an outstanding Australian citizen who has committed no crime other than exposing the truth and nothing but the truth. You will go down in history as a miserable coward, like the rest of your gutless government. Shame on you.

  • Assange colluded with Putin to destroy the American 2016 election and elect that destructive idiot Trump. I have no pity for him anymore. I’m all for transparency, but when it only is directed at one side to manipulate voters – that’s devilish.

  • Margaret Flowers

    We don’t tolerate false accusations on this page. If you can’t prove what you are saying, don’t post falsehoods here.

  • The timeline constructed by Bob Mueller’s indictment of the 12 Russian hackers that included Wikileaks’ dumps of stolen emails is irrefutable.

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    No, there’s nothing to refute. No connection has been shown between these 12 private individuals and the Wikileals’ dump. Would you like to try to generate one?

  • kevinzeese

    You mistake an indictment for a conviction. An indictment is an accusation by a prosecutor. It is not a finding of guild. In this case the prosecutor is Robert Mueller who was a loud spokesperson claiming Iraq had weapons of mass destruction a lie that got the US into a disastrous war. He issued an indictment that he knows he will never have to prove because there will never be a trial of Russian officials out of US jurisdiction. There is no extradition treaty between the US and Russia.

    An indictment is not proof. And, this indictment is very sketchy on the details. This seems to be more of a political document which is why it was issued right before the Trump-Putin meeting.

    See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTDO-kuOGTQ

  • kevinzeese

    You seem to be blaming the messenger rather than the person who the media reported on. Assange published real documents. There was not even an accusation of falsehood. It was the content of the documents that got Hillary Clinton, the DNC and her campaign into trouble. Rather than blame Assange for publishing the truth, don’t you think the blame is on the DNC for not being independent but taking sides with Clinton against Trump? Don’t you think it was Hillary’s emails where she showed her allegiance to Wall Street, fracking, big business and war that was the problem? Or, her saying that she had a public position and a private position when she spoke at a Wall Street even where she was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars? These are just a few examples of many of the faults of Hillary Clinton, the DNC and her campaign that were exposed by a publisher who published the truth. You should be blaming Hillary Clinton and the DNC for losing the campaign. If she was not such a terrible candidate and so corrupt in her dealings with Wall Street, war and big business people would not have disliked her so much.

    Sorry you do not like the truth, but that is all Wikileaks exposed.

    And, there is no evidence of Wikileaks colluding with Russia. I am awaiting some evidence from Mueller. As I explain below, indictments are accusations, not proof of guilt. In the indictments against Russians, Mueller knows that these accusations will never come to trial as the defendants are in Russia, so he knew he could say anything as he would never have to prove them.

  • JR

    Kevin is soo smart isn’t he? I mean he’s an expert in law, Nicaraguan history, Syrian war tactics, this guys expertise is just fkn boundless…… said as I say fart noises, Troll!!!!

  • Kevin, you’re mixing apples and oranges here. I know what an indictment is and a conviction too (i love it when people try to paint other people as ignorant to make a point). But when I see a lot of good press on how Assange might have been a tool of Russia (something Snowden has NOT been from what I’ve read), then I’m not gonna protest in support of the guy. There are too many other people I’m protesting against.

  • kevinzeese

    It was you who said the indictment proved Assange was working with Russia to defeat Clinton. My response was an indictment is not evidence, it is an accusation, it is not a conviction.

    Now you say there is press on how “Assange might have bee a tool of Russia.” Yes, the corporate media hates Assange. He challenges the control of the media by a handful of corporations as he is helping to create a democratized media. And, the best you can say is “might have been” even from the biased media.

    It comes down to you blame Assange for Trump and you preferred Clinton. Fine. Don’t protest. Those of us who care about Freedom of the Press in the 21st Century, Internet Freedom, Transparency in government and exposing war crimes will support Assange. We don’t expect Clinton supporters to favor Freedom of the Press for the most important publisher and editor of the 21st Century.

  • Bob Beal
  • Suzanne Cloud

    Kevin, I didn’t vote for Clinton. Thought she was too corporate. I love in jersey so I voted for Bernie. I support everything you mentioned and protest against anyone who is trying to gaslight me via media and march for net neutrality. Assange? Sorry He’s a big ego and he hates Clinton. After everything I’ve read about Assange and the Russians, I could never support him Not now. Not ever.

  • solerso

    No one cares who you voted for. You busted in here claiming that vicious, manifestly politically motivated accusations are “proof” that Assange, um, did something or other with some “Russians” (who you clearly hate for some undisclosed personal reasons). Leaving aside, for a moment, the slavering chauvinist nationalism, accusations are. not . proof of guilt.

  • Jon


    .Suzanne, Are you unaware that former British ambassador Craig Murray has very publicly stated that he traveled from UK to the US, met a courier from the DNC that contained the incriminating Podesta files, and then personally delivered them to Assange!

    There was a LEAK from inside the DNC; there was not a HACK! This is also confirmed by retired high level intelligence people in the US, namely Ray McGovern (CIA) and William Binney (NSA). I’ve paid attention, but looks like you have been following Rachel Maddow.
    ” irrefutable?” Hardly! Easily refutable.

  • Suzanne Cloud

    No, I’m not. A lot of good writers and journalists work there The Economist, the New York Review of Books, the Guardian, the Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, so so many

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    Just unsupported assertions. An illogical smear job.

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    They are all bought.

  • kevinzeese

    And, they all have a bias against Assange. You are in an anti-Assange bubble. If you do not want to hear the truth, you may want to go back into that bubble.

  • Hmmm, Kevin, I remember a long time ago in rhetoric and logic class not to use general descriptions like “all have a bias,” which demonstarte to the listener and/or reader the fallacies of the argument being presented. So I’m leaving this conversation…frankly, I’m shocked you’re a moderator. I’M in a bubble? Better check your soap suds, my friend.

  • Dee

    No it isn’t, because time lines prove nothing.
    Attribution is the issue, dummy.

  • Hi Dee, I don’t have to prove anything. I’m not Interpol. All I have to do is decide if I want to support him and protest for him. Well, I don’t. And I won’t. FYI: ad hominem attacks signal that your argument isn’t a sound one. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d433017b5ee08eb0ac2749fa3a3e4e605cd96355644a1109ec0b45475e0a63cc.jpg

  • kevinzeese

    There are definitely a lot of good journalists in corporate media. It is the system of corporate media and who owns them. Journalists are trained into that system and become part of it. They get bigger jobs and better salaries if the fit in the system.

    Some in the corporate media see what they have been part of and give up their big salary and percs and reject it. One example is Pulitzer Prize winner and best selling author, Chris Hedges. He is kept off of corporate media but has a big following and significant impact. I hope more of the good people un media revolt against the system.

  • Suzanne Cloud

    Me too. I love Chris Hedges. War is a Force .. Is one helluva book. Bern a groupie since that came out

  • Dee

    I was being ‘nice’.

    Assange has dedicated most of this adult life to exposing truth – at the expense of his health, freedom and safety.

    And your narcissistic response to this selflessness is ‘I don’t care.’

    Frankly, you and your complacent ilk deserve more than a mere clinical observation.

  • Dee, if that is your real name, you don’t even have the courage to use your complete name and your photo. Talk about exposing truth…you ought to be more transparent yourself before you start preaching to others. Over and out for good.