Globe, Human Rights, United Kingdom

8 October: A human chain to save Asssange

A human chain surrounding the British Parliament is the symbolic act of a group of defenders of the Wikileaks founder. They seek to show how thousands of people surround him and demand that he is not extradited to the United States. They know that silencing Assange means silencing freedom of expression, intimidating journalists, burying the truth.


Monica del Pilar Uribe Marin


The call is an invitation to add links to that chain on 8 October and to make it 5,000 voices loud enough to protest in support of Assange and for the free press.

As planned, the chain will run from the front of Parliament over Westminster Bridge, along the south bank of the Thames and back over Lambeth Bridge.

To achieve broad appeal and engagement, the campaign Don’t Extradite Assange has put forward a model resolution for organisations, groups and others to adopt. It draws attention to the imprisonment of Assange in Belmarsh high security prison; the attempt by the US government to extradite Julian Assange for revealing the truth about the Iraq and Afghan wars, and about Guantanamo bay; and the US government attempt to use the 1917 espionage act in order if convicted to imprison Assange for a 175 year sentence.

It is also believes that a free press is essential to the proper working of a democratic society, that Assange revealed material that was wholly in the public interest, that he should not be extradited to the US and the charges against him should be dropped.

Stop injustice

Assange’s case has been going on for several years and has evolved in a life-threatening way. Stella Assange herself has said:  “Julian is fighting for his life – his life depends on not being extradited to the United States. This is a political case, it can be stopped here and it must be stopped here.”
The injustice against Belmarsh prisoner number A9379AY did not begin in this high security prison located in south east London. It began years earlier, in 2012 when he sought asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy. It was his only option to avoid a political and judicial persecution that began to loom over him for publishing thousands of classified US government files and exposing the horrors of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Since then, the US has been targeting him. It wants to catch him, prosecute him and convict him on its territory for espionage. Yes, on its territory, even if Assange is not a US citizen, even if he is a journalist who has the right to keep his sources confidential and to disclose information when, as a journalist, he or she discovers that others are putting people’s lives at risk. The UK government has been their right hand in this persecution and criminalisation of Assange.

Julian Assange. Image by LaMoe79/ Flickr.  Creative Commons License.


These governments, and others, have not minded having put the founder of Wikileaks through 10 years of injustice and torture, because from the moment he entered the Ecuadorian embassy, his freedoms began to be lost, including the freedom to see the light of day in all its splendour. Since then he has been spied on, stigmatised, libelled, subjected to public ridicule, persecuted and even targeted for assassination. Worst of all, he has been requested for extradition to face up to 175 years in prison.

The right to know the truth and the right of the people to know what their governments are doing was, in the eyes of powerful governments, as reprehensible as the right to inform them.

Not only governments have had a hand in this infamy, in this injustice, but also the press or sectors of society that want to call him guilty for revealing the truth or that refuse to defend him.

The various judicial proceedings have been bringing him closer to his death, the press – which has judged his personality more than the truth of the facts – has contributed its fair share of disinformation and manipulation, and the patriotism of many has prevented them from seeing the tragedy of Julian Assange. None of them care if he is extradited to the United States, where the journalist’s life will have come to an end. The US wants him dead, but first they want to see him in pain, to push him to his emotional and physical limits. And they want to destroy him, denigrate him, and strip him of all dignity and credibility.

What has stopped and postponed Assange’s end has been a furious fight led by those who, from different parts of the world, believe in his innocence. A movement for his life and freedom that began a decade ago and has grown stronger over the years, although at times all hope has seemed lost.

Race against the clock

On 17 June this year, the then Home Minister Priti Patel approved Julian Assange’s extradition order to the United States. A couple of months later, on 26 August, Assange “filed his Perfected Grounds of Appeal before the High Court of Justice Administrative Court”.

The defendants were the United States Government and the former Secretary of State for the Home Department, Priti Patel.

The appeal contains “the arguments on which Assange intends to challenge District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s decision of 4 January 2021, and introduces important new evidence that has developed since that decision”. If the appeal is unsuccessful, Julian will be extradited and that could happen this year. That is why this race against the clock is being led by celebrities, ordinary citizens, grassroots organisations and groups from all social sectors and from all countries.

Today, more than ever, we urgently need to raise our voices to demand that the founder of Wikileaks be released immediately, that justice be done, and that freedom of the press be respected.

Julian Assange. Image: OperationPaperStorm / Flickr. Creative Commons License.

Hundreds, thousands of campaigns and activities around the world are trying to ensure that this happens. And one of them is this Sunday in London: the Free Assange human chain- Surround Parliament event.

Date and time: 1 pm..Saturday 8th October. Place: Parliament Square, London, SW1A 0AA. Organiser: Don’t Extradite Assange. More information: Free Assange Human Chain Oct. 8.

(Translated by Rene Phelvin – Email: Photos: Pixabay


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