Hundreds attend London meeting to demand freedom for Julian Assange
By WSWS reporters
30 November 2019
The platform at the meeting
Hundreds packed the St Pancras New Church in Euston Thursday night for a meeting demanding freedom for imprisoned WikiLeaks founder and journalist Julian Assange.
The largest meeting held in London to date reflects growing opposition to plans by the US government to extradite and imprison Assange for exposing war crimes, illegal mass surveillance and state corruption.
Headlined “Free the Truth,” speakers included UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, former UK ambassador Craig Murray and veteran investigative journalist John Pilger.
An accompanying art exhibition featured paintings, drawings and sculpture, while the meeting opened with a piano recital of “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”—a favourite of Assange. The meeting was organised by academics Deepa Driver and Iain Munro, with the support of the Julian Assange Defence Committee.
Rap artist Lowkey began by quoting the words of jailed Chartist leader Ernest Jones: “Because I tried to extend your liberties, mine were curtailed. Because I tried to rear the temple of freedom for you all, I was thrown into the cell of a felon’s jail… Because I tried to give voice to truth, I was condemned to silence.” These words, Lowkey explained, were taken from an article by Karl Marx written in 1852 for the New York Herald Tribune. Marx was then a political refugee in London.
“Julian Assange is not being punished for anything he has done wrong. He is being punished for everything he has done right,” Lowkey said to applause. The brutal treatment of Assange was a “slow motion crucifixion… what they are trying to crucify is the truth.”
Condemning the mainstream media’s vilification of Assange, Lowkey said its journalists were just “stenographers.”
“Those who have joined in this demonization of Julian Assange are like turkeys voting for Christmas. How much profit did you generate off of Julian’s three million cables that WikiLeaks revealed?... Today Julian Assange, tomorrow you.”
Fidel Narvaez, former Ecuadorian counsel at the Ecuadorian Embassy, said that Assange was “along with Chelsea Manning, the most important political prisoner in the world today.”
The allegations against Assange in Sweden had never been credible and the investigation had been “opened and shut more times than a fridge door.” Assange was being “denied the chance to adequately prepare his defence against the fiercest persecution of a journalist so far this century, which is a powerful reason to demand due process for Julian Assange.”
Narvaez said, “Julian’s case is also a precedent for the institution of political asylum, because he, along with Edward Snowden, was the most important political asylee in the world.” His treatment was an attack on a small country, Ecuador, by some of the most powerful nations in the world.
“Ecuador had every sovereign right to determine whether Julian Assange was being politically persecuted in 2012. In order to protect him from the odious persecution of a Grand Jury…that can open a secret investigation against you and indict you on secret charges that will only be revealed once you are arrested. That is what happened to Julian Assange this April.”
“This Grand Jury wants to sentence a journalist to 175 years in prison for publishing truthful information about war crimes,” he said. For years the world’s media had attacked the warnings made by Assange about the existence of a Grand Jury “as paranoia…an excuse to hide from Swedish justice.”
The United Nations had ruled that Assange was being subject to arbitrary detention and the UK should free him and provide compensation. Lenin Moreno’s government had “committed the crime of delivering a political refugee to those who persecuted him.” This had broken the “sacred principle of asylum.”
Lisa Longstaff from Women Against Rape addressed the meeting. “The pursuit of Julian Assange is not about rape. It’s the US government weaponising and distorting rape in order to punish him for the WikiLeaks exposés of war crimes, rape and torture.”
“In 2010 and 2012, we pointed to the unusual zeal with which Julian Assange was being pursued. It’s unlike any other rape investigation we’ve seen anywhere… In his case the judicial process was corrupted from the beginning.”
“Evidence emerged that the UK ordered Sweden not to drop the case sooner,” Longstaff explained, “so it’s clearly politically motivated.”
Longstaff said, “Rape and sexual allegations have been used to pursue a political agenda from the start, intent on actually hiding rape, hiding torture and hiding murder committed by the state. They are the rapists, they are the racists, they are the murderers.”
Professor Nils Melzer was given a prolonged standing ovation. He explained that his mandate as UN Special Rapporteur on Torture was to report to states when their actions contravened international law. He had assumed that signatories to international law would “act in good faith.”
“In my investigation I found that this isn’t about the law…because if it was about the law, then Julian Assange would not be sitting in extradition detention, accused of espionage for having exposed serious misconduct on the part of states, including war crimes.”
Assange, he explained, would not have been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for a bail violation for seeking and receiving political asylum, or had his asylum terminated and his citizenship withdrawn by Ecuador without explanation, or been portrayed as a suspected rapist by Sweden for more than nine years with no charges ever brought.
He would have been granted the right to prepare his defence and would not be detained in a high security prison, “under oppressive conditions of isolation and surveillance” and facing extradition for a political offence in contravention of UK law, “to a country where he will be exposed to a politicised trial, with secret evidence, behind closed doors, facing draconian punishments that is unlawful under US law and the First Amendment and sentencing to a supermax prison for the rest of his life.”
Assange’s persecution, he stressed, “is about setting an example, about scaring other journalists away, of instilling fear, preventing others from following the example of Julian Assange and of WikiLeaks, and to show to the world what happens when you expose the misconduct of the power of a state.”
During his May 9 visit with Assange at Belmarsh Prison, he had “found typical evidence of someone who has been exposed to a prolonged period of psychological torture,” Melzer explained. “Psychological torture is not ‘torture lite.’ Psychological torture aims to wreck and destroy the person’s personality and identity…to make them break.”
“We were able during our medical examination to confirm that this ill treatment had already had neurological consequences. If that is not stopped, it can end up having irreversible consequences on the cardiovascular system and the neurological system. This is extremely serious… Today I am extremely concerned for his life.”
Melzer had written to the UK, Sweden, the US and Ecuador to present his conclusions and ask them to take urgent measures to alleviate the pressure on Julian Assange and protect his human rights. All refused to do so: “If they no longer engage with the institutions that they have created to report their compliance with human rights, then I only see a very dark future for us and our human rights and for the rights of our children.”
Clinical psychologist Lissa Johnson spoke on behalf of more than 60 medical doctors who have issued an open letter calling for Assange’s urgent transfer from Belmarsh Prison to a tertiary care hospital: “If the UK government fails to heed their advice there will be very serious consequences, including that Julian Assange may die in prison.”
Johnson cited the findings of medical experts led by Nils Melzer who examined Assange inside Belmarsh on May 9: “Julian does show signs typical for someone exposed for a prolonged time to psychological torture… the doctors know that is very serious physically for Julian’s life and survival.”
Pointing to the public’s response to worldwide media coverage of the doctors’ open letter, she observed, “There’s a lot more public support for Julian than the media’s censorship and antagonism toward him suggests.”
“While institutions are failing us, while authorities are failing us, while the courts are failing us, here’s a group of people who took a matter of weeks to get this letter together. I think that’s where the pressure and the change is going to come.”
Former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, began his remarks by pointing to the meeting’s magnificent venue. At the rear of the church were monuments erected to honour those families—the Burnleys of Barbados, the Beale family of Canton, the Page family of Bombay—who gave funds to build the church and who were doubtless involved in the slavery and opium trade.
“This building is like the British Establishment itself—on the surface it is beautiful, solid and harmonious, but inside it is rotten and corrupt to the core,” he said.
“We are seeing illegality in the treatment of Julian Assange. The abuses of process by the British justice system throughout the last decade have been absolutely astonishing,” Murray recounted. “There is no legality, there is no justice.”
“It is not only that he is the victim of torture. It’s not only that his life is at stake. It is not only that we need to save him from this dreadful injustice. We also want to save him because the world needs Julian Assange as a symbol of resistance!”
Historian, author and journalist Mark Curtis told the audience, “Julian has support all over the world.” He suggested actions that people could take to fight for Assange’s freedom, beginning with information available on the defend.wikileaks.org website. “Obviously there’s no point in relying on the establishment media, not unless you want to brainwash yourself.”
Curtis attacked the “propaganda tropes” employed by the media against Assange—that he is a “rapist,” a “Russian asset,” a “supporter of Trump”—singling out the Guardian’s November 2018 fabrication that Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort had met Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy.
He called for mass pressure on human rights organisations to actively defend Assange, pointing to Amnesty International’s refusal to designate Assange a “prisoner of conscience.” He called on MPs to follow the lead of former Labour MP Chris Williamson who has campaigned publicly in Assange’s defence.
The audience gave a loud ovation for the twice-suspended Labour MP, who was present, and who quit the party this month after it refused to endorse him as candidate for Derby North. Curtis explained that just four MPs had signed an early day motion moved by Williamson in defence of Assange. (Neither Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn nor Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott signed that motion).
“These are the people who are meant to represent us and hold the executive to account. I know I’m confusing the UK with a democracy… In our system, which we clearly see in this case, the law has been stitched-up, the media is a platform for the elite and the political class is an appendage of the executive. That’s why we, as ordinary people, need to take action on these issues.”
He urged the audience to become involved in grassroots organisations such as the Julian Assange Defence Committee and to take part in events being organised in the weeks ahead, “culminating in a global day of protest in February when the extradition hearing will be held.”
The final speaker, Australian journalist John Pilger, told the audience he had visited Assange in Belmarsh Prison earlier that day. He described his visit with Julian and the draconian security regime inside the prison for visitors and inmates. A transcript of Pilger’s report is posted separately.
Doctors condemn failure of British government to answer letter demanding medical care for Julian Assange
By our reporters
5 December 2019
The doctors from around the world who issued an open letter on November 22 calling for the immediate transfer of Julian Assange from the maximum security Belmarsh Prison to a university teaching hospital have written again to publicly condemn the failure of the British government to answer, or even acknowledge receipt of, their concerns.
The letter, dated December 4, has been sent to the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Robert Buckland. It concludes: “In our opinion the UK government’s conduct in this matter is irresponsible, incompatible with medical ethics and unworthy of a democratic society bound by the rule of law. We reiterate our grave concern that Mr Assange could die of deliberate medical negligence in a British prison and demand an urgent response from the UK government.”
The initial open letter, which was reported widely in the international and British press and has reached hundreds of thousands of people via social media, set out in detail the reasons for the doctors’ fear that the physical and psychological conditions imposed on Assange could lead to his death.
For nearly seven years, the WikiLeaks founder was confined inside the small Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he sought political asylum in June 2012 when he faced imminent extradition to Sweden over false allegations of sexual assault and likely rendition to the United States. British authorities rejected all legal requests that he be permitted to leave to access direct sunlight and medical treatment, instead threatening his immediate arrest if he set foot outside the building.
The doctors’ November letter cited the urgent calls that Assange be allowed to obtain professional medical and dental care that were made by doctors who examined him in 2015 and 2017. It outlined the documents and statements since February 2016 issued by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, in which they repeatedly demanded Assange’s release.
Since the Ecuadorian government of President Lenín Moreno reneged on the provision of political asylum on April 11 this year and handed Assange over to British authorities, he has been vindictively detained in Belmarsh in conditions of virtual solitary confinement. He is enduring the immense psychological stress of facing a trial beginning in February to sanction his extradition from the UK to the US, for which he is being prevented from adequately preparing his defence.
If extradited, Assange faces multiple charges of “espionage” by the Trump administration and a life sentence of up to 175 years. His alleged crime, according to Washington, is that in 2010 WikiLeaks published information leaked by whistleblower Chelsea Manning that exposed wholesale American war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as illegal diplomatic intrigues in numerous countries.
Assange was visited in May by Nils Melzer, who denounced his treatment as a form of “psychological torture” and again demanded an immediate end to Assange’s imprisonment. Prompting the decision by the doctors to take a public stand, Melzer issued a further statement on November 1, 2019 in which he warned: “Unless the UK urgently changes course and alleviates his inhumane situation, Mr Assange’s continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life.”
In their latest letter, the doctors concisely state: “[T]he UK government’s refusal to take the required measures to protect Mr Assange’s rights, health and dignity appears to be reckless at best and deliberate at worst and, in both cases, unlawfully and unnecessarily exposes Mr Assange to potentially irreversible medical risks….
“When the UK, as a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, repeatedly ignores not only the serious warnings of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, but also its unequivocal investigative and remedial obligations under international and human rights law, the credibility of the UK’s commitment to human rights and the rule of law is fatally undermined.”
Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, an Australian signatory to both doctors’ letters, told the WSWS today that he had “never seen governments completely wipe their hands of an individual, lock people up and refuse to give them medical treatment. There’s no reason why the British government could not take Assange to a university teaching hospital, to ensure that he receives good care.”
Chesterfield-Evans is a well-known medical professional and activist who has campaigned against war, in defence of refugees and around a number of health issues. The WikiLeaks publisher, he said, “is not physically dangerous, and he is very unwell. Prisoners are taken to hospitals all the time. A normal prisoner receives treatment. It’s outrageous that this is being denied to Assange. He is being treated worse than a murderer.”
Other doctors who signed the open letter made statements that were included in a press release sent out with their latest letter. Their passionate calls for action are cited in full below.
Dr Stephen Frost BSc MBChB, Specialist in Diagnostic Radiology (UK and Sweden): “How and why did it ever come about that five states—the UK, the US, Australia, Sweden and Ecuador—seemingly deliberately and cruelly conspired against one human being? We agree with the assessment of Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, that Julian Assange has been ‘psychologically tortured’ in the centre of London of all places.
“The torture must stop now, and Mr Assange must be provided with immediate access to the health care which he so obviously needs before it is too late. That doctors should have to write open letters to the UK government to demand appropriate health care for a victim of torture is beyond belief.”
Dr Bob Gill, General Medical Practitioner MBChB MRCGP (UK) stated: “The continued detention of Julian Assange in his reported physical and psychological state is inhumane and a flagrant neglect of his right to access essential medical care. These shameful actions are those of a repressive dictatorship, not a democracy, and must be reversed.”
Dr William Hogan, MD (US): “Fundamental respect for human rights in all civilized nations recognizes that denial of healthcare is a cruel and inhumane form of punishment. The United Kingdom is currently acting no better than the most totalitarian and vindictive regimes of history in its treatment of Assange.
“Furthermore, we know his medical privacy rights were also grotesquely violated in the Ecuadorian Embassy by the nation of Ecuador and the UC Global company, by the surveillance that involved filming and recording his doctor-patient visits there.
“There is ample testimony that videos of his doctor-patient visits in the Embassy were provided to the CIA. I cannot keep quiet. I must call out these egregious violations of human rights, human dignity, international law and just basic decency and call for change.”
Dr Sue Wareham OAM MBBS, General Medical Practitioner (retired) (Australia): “The Australian government’s failure to speak out to protect an Australian citizen whose life is at risk is utterly shameful, as is the UK government’s failure to respond to the recent urgent open letter regarding Julian Assange’s health. Nations that call themselves civilised are keeping a man incarcerated, deprived of adequate health care, at risk of death, for the ‘crime’ of publishing material that shed light on alleged war crimes. The Australian government should, at the very least, insist that Assange receive the health care he needs.”
Dr Richard House, Chartered Psychologist, former psychotherapist and senior university lecturer (UK): “The disgraceful treatment of Julian Assange should become a General Election issue, and the current government and Home Secretary held robustly to account for what appears to be deliberately inflicted suffering.”
Dr Victoria Abdelnur MD, Specialist in Integrative Trauma Therapy (Germany and Argentina): “The global medical community is watching, we know he needs urgent proper health care, and if he does not receive it soon, it will be crystal clear we are governed by criminals. The popular backlash will have astronomic proportions.”
On November 26 the WSWS published a perspective comment entitled “The significance of the doctors’ open letter in defence of Julian Assange,” which we urge readers to also circulate as widely as possible. It can be found here: www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/11/25/open-n25.html
Meeting of Australian teachers passes resolutions in defence of Julian Assange
By Oscar Grenfell
6 December 2019
A group of teachers and support staff at Footscray City College, a public high school in the Australian city of Melbourne, passed resolutions defending Julian Assange and calling for a campaign in his defence this week.
The meeting, attended by 16 teachers and staff, also resolved to form a committee to take forward the fight for Assange’s freedom. It demanded that the Australian government fulfil its obligations to the WikiLeaks founder, as an Australian citizen and journalist, by blocking his threatened extradition to the US and securing his release from Britain’s Belmarsh Prison.
Footscray City College teachers and support staff
The first resolution stated: “That this meeting of teachers opposes the ongoing persecution of journalist publisher and founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer warns specifically that ‘Assange’s continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life.’
“We insist that the federal Morrison government uses its diplomatic powers to organise the safe return of Assange to Australia. We resolve to send this resolution to other schools and workplaces.”
The second resolution declared: “We undertake to form a committee dedicated to taking forward the defence of Julian Assange.”
Both resolutions were overwhelmingly passed, after long-standing teacher Will Marshall gave a report to the meeting outlining Assange’s dire plight and the sweeping implications of the US attempt to prosecute him on 17 espionage charges, carrying a maximum sentence of 175 years imprisonment, for exposing US war crimes.
Marshall is a prominent member of the Committee for Public Education (CFPE), a rank-and-file teachers’ organisation established to fight the attacks on education that have been imposed by successive Labor and Coalition governments. Marshall is also a member of the Socialist Equality Party, which spearheaded the formation of the CFPE.
In his remarks, Marshall detailed the draconian conditions of Assange’s detention in the maximum security Belmarsh Prison, where he is being held in virtual solitary confinement and denied the ability to prepare a defence. He relayed the warnings of Melzer, and a group of more than 60 eminent doctors, who have said that Assange’s health has deteriorated to the point that he may die in prison.
Marshall said the various smears that had been used to undermine support for Assange had been discredited, and it was now clear to millions that the myriad attacks against him have always been an attempt to suppress WikiLeaks’ publishing activities.
The CFPE member outlined the Australian government’s legal responsibility to intervene in Assange’s defence and cited precedents for it to do so. He stated, however: “The trouble is the Australian government agrees with what is occurring. It has long-standing strategic ties to the United States that come in front of the life of a journalist.” The Australian government was also employing the “Assange precedent,” by cracking down on investigative journalism and heightening official secrecy provisions.
Marshall insisted that the fight to free Assange “will only be taken forward if there is a grassroots movement.” He made a particular appeal to the educators present. He stressed: “As teachers, we all want the children we teach to be critical thinkers. But how can this happen when governments hide what they are doing? How can anyone make informed decisions when everything is hidden?”
The teachers have taken an important stand which points the way forward for other educators, and for all sections of the working class, in the fight for democratic rights and against the persecution of Assange. They have acted on the call, issued by Assange in a letter to a supporter in France, for workers to form “blocs” in their workplaces and unions to campaign for his freedom.
The passage of the motions is an expression of a broader groundswell of support for Assange, reflected in statements over the past weeks by prominent public figures, including politicians, journalists, doctors, and United Nations officials, demanding an end to the US-led vendetta.
The same week as the teachers’ meeting, the German Association of Journalists issued a statement opposing the attempt to extradite Assange. Their French counterparts issued an open letter to President Emmanuel Macron demanding this his government act against the attacks on Assange, last week.
In comments to the WSWS yesterday, Marshall said that there had been a discernible “shift” among teachers in support of Assange. This was closely connected to growing fears over a broader assault on democratic rights.
He recounted the experience of a colleague approaching him in shock after learning last month that an Australian citizen—reportedly a former military and intelligence officer—was prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned in Canberra last year in a trial held in complete secrecy. The teacher compared this to the repressive actions of the Nazis and the US Central Intelligence Agency. Teachers were also increasingly reading the coverage of the Assange case on the World Socialist Web Site, Marshall said.
Marshall noted that the motion in defence of Assange, the first to be passed by teachers in Australia, came from rank-and-file teachers, not the education trade unions.
The unions had remained silent on the plight of the WikiLeaks editor, in line with their refusal to defend any democratic rights and their decades-long collaboration with governments in the gutting of education and the destruction of social rights. This underscored, he said, the fact that a movement to free Assange must come from below.
As part of its international campaign in defence of Assange, the WSWS and the Socialist Equality Parties around the world are calling on workers and all defenders of democratic rights to take active steps to build on the groundswell of support that has developed for the WikiLeaks founder:
● Hold meetings in your workplace, college, university or school to discuss the imminent threat to Assange’s life and the dangers this poses to the democratic rights of the entire working class.
● Pass resolutions demanding the blocking of his extradition to the US and his immediate and unconditional freedom.
● Organise delegations for global demonstrations that have been called in February.
New WikiLeaks documents expose phony claims of 2018 Syria chemical weapons attack.
By Niles Niemuth | World Socialist Web Site
Last week British-based Newsweek journalist Tareq Haddad resigned in protest after the magazine’s editors refused to publish his report on the OPCW leaks. After Haddad announced on Twitter his reasons for leaving the publication, a Newsweek spokesperson anonymously smeared the reporter, telling Fox News that he had “pitched a conspiracy theory rather than an idea for objective reporting.”
Despite the best efforts of the editors at Newsweek and the rest of the mainstream media to suppress any reporting, the continued revelations about the OPCW report make clear that there are very real grounds for journalists to raise concerns over the official line on the incident in Douma which was very nearly used to trigger a third World War. »
They didn't deny healthcare to Nazi war criminals. They are denying healthcare to Julian Assange.
NOV 27, 2019 —
Julian Assange may soon die if the UK does not change course. In an open letter, doctors from around the world have petitioned the UK Home Secretary to allow him urgent expert medical care.
Even Nazi war criminals were allowed medical treatment after WWII, before the Nuremberg Trials. It is truly despicable that the British government denies life saving medical treatment to an innocent man.
Just unbelievable the MSM did not cover that wikileaks release which makes it the scandal of the year..nearly 70 cruise missles launched by France UK and US on bogus reports covered on direct orders of the French director Sebastien Braha...yes Braha providing ammo for the Bruhaha in Syria. Its the same boilerplate method used in the Iraq WMD hoax..wear a tie get the cameras and just lie..at the same time deflect from the Skripal matter who has like Joseph Mifsud , in the FBI DOD hoax, simply disappeared..The volume of deception can't be gauged , let alone grasped, its so great.
That Trump fell for the Gina haspell pix of children of Douma shown to him..just boggles the mind...that there were no dead ducks in the Skripal pond area is besides the point
Assange's father fears son's extradition to US as Wikileaks leader's health improves
By Stephen Sorace | Fox News | Feb. 18, 2020
The father of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said his son’s extradition to the United States to face a slew of espionage charges would be “a death sentence,” while the built-up anxiety from the nearly decade-long saga continues to take a toll on his health.
Assange, 48, is being held in London’s Belmarsh Prison as he fights an extradition request from the U.S., where he faces 18 counts for his alleged role in scheming to hack a government computer and releasing thousands of classified documents.
“The ceaseless anxiety that Julian’s been under for now 10 years has had a profoundly deleterious effect,” Assange’s father, John Shipton, told BBC television on Tuesday.
“I imagine that he will be really worried because being sent to the United States is a death sentence.”
Last October, concerns grew over Assange’s health during his failed bid to delay the extradition at a hearing where he appeared to struggle to recall his age and name. A month earlier, 60 doctors wrote to the British government expressing concerns about Assange’s health and his fitness to stand trial.
On Tuesday, Assange’s spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told reporters that Assange’s health is improving and he is no longer being held in solitary confinement, Reuters reported.
“I saw him about 10 days ago,” Hrafnsson said at a news conference. “He has improved thanks to the pressure from his legal team, the general public, and amazingly, actually from other inmates in Belmarsh Prison to get him out of isolation.”
Assange spent almost seven years holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he sought shelter in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over a rape investigation which has since been dropped.
Last April, Ecuador withdrew his asylum status, allowing British police to arrest and drag him out of the embassy.
The extradition hearing is set to begin next week.
On Monday Chrissie Hynde published an open letter to President Trump on her Twitter thread. She may not always agree with President Trump but this was a respectful and endearing request by a Rock and Roll legend to the Commander in Chief.
The rock legend asks President Trump to set Julian Assange free. This was a smart move considering President Trump has pardoned and commuted sentences for numerous public personalities now.
An open Letter to @realdonaldtrump, President of the United States.
Dear Mr. President,
I often think of how much my father, Melville “Bud” Hynde, who proudly served his country as a Marine on Guadalcanal, would have enjoyed your Presidency. The other day when you gave that award to Rush Limbaugh, my father would have been so delighted. He loved listening to Rush, which is why I allowed my song, ‘My City Was Gone’, to be used on his radio show. My father and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye. We argued a lot but isn’t that the American way? The right to disagree without having your head chopped off? My father and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye. We argued a lot. Soon, I will be participating in a protest in London against the extradition of #JulianAssange (@wikileaks). I know my father would be mortified, but I feel strongly enough to do what I believe is the right thing; to protest further punishment of a man who sought to defend Freedom, albeit in a way you rightly disagree with.
I know Mr. Assange broke the law (as i have done defending the treatment of animals) but I believe he has been duly punished and should now be set free. Please consider my plea.
Suddenly..the haze just lifted..everything became crystal clear