The people have spoken. But will the politicians listen?
If history is any kind of guide, it’s very unlikely.
Nonetheless, WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange had to be heartened as protesters gathered at US embassies and consulates around the world to protest his extradition.
Though, back home, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has washed his hands clean of any responsibility regarding Assange — rather believing he should be treated like any other Australian criminal, falling under the respective country’s laws. Instead, he is receiving the standard treatment any other Australian would receive from their embassy.
This is, we remind you, someone being smothered for the greater risk of free speech.
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Assange will not go quietly
Australian-born Julian Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday, after his asylum was withdrawn.
He emerged from the doors of the embassy, being forcibly dragged, looking fragile and distressed. It comes after being locked away in one of the embassy’s confined rooms for several years, with very little privacy, especially towards the final weeks of his stay.
Since the images of his thick white beard and spacey eyes emerged, many have grown concerned for Assange’s mental state and general health, looking well past 47 years of age.
And Assange looks well on the way to further decline, with the US requesting his extradition over charges of conspiring to break into a Pentagon computer system.
But with the way information travels so quickly, we doubt US President Donald Trump and Morrison will be enough to silence the opinions travelling from everywhere around the world with internet access.
More locally, protestors in Melbourne gathered at the US consulate on St Kilda Road on Sunday, pleading for his life.
And while we don’t often find ourselves in strong support of the Green’s positions, they’re the only party showing any backbone in supporting Assange.
Greens Senator Richard Di Natale believes we should make good use of our relationship with the United States to bring Assange back to Australia, as his father so desperately wants, according to AAP.
Activist activity has also occurred at consular offices and embassies in Sydney, Auckland, Wellington, Dublin and Toronto.
Ecuador says Assange brought arrest upon himself
The sudden news of Assange’s arrest shocked many as it was received on Thursday night in Australia. But even more shocking was the reasoning why, which his lawyer has deemed nothing more than ‘outrageous allegations’.
According to reports from the embassy, Assange had repeatedly breached the terms of his asylum, with the hacking of private phones and accounts. Additionally, they have revealed erratic behaviour, which they said included physical assault towards caretakers, and the smearing of his own faecal matter on the walls of the diplomatic mission.
ABC reports further accusations of Assange skateboarding late at night through the embassy building, playing loud music through the building, and walking around in his underwear.
We’re not quick to dismiss — who knows what would have happened between those claustrophobic walls over seven years?
However, Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, says there is no truth in these claims — and that they may have been stirred by the change in Ecuadorian government.
Julian Assange has long been wanted by the US, firstly held with the allegations of rape made by a Swedish woman, which has since been dropped. However, it’s the WikiLeaks material which painted the target on his back — the release of confidential US government documents in 2010, including diplomatic cables and video footage of US troops killing civilians and journalists in a ‘mistaken’ attack in Iraq.
Many supporters now fear that if the US succeed in pulling him back across the water, Assange could be facing the death penalty.
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