SEP meetings on June 10th: Defend Wikileaks editor Julian Assange

Date and Time: 
Sunday, June 10, 2012 -
2:30pm to 4:00pm
Arts House, Meat Market 5 Blackwood Street North Melbourne. Melway Reference: 2B A9

The Socialist Equality Party will be holding public meetings in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth on Sunday, June 10, to defend WikiLeaks’ editor and Australian citizen Julian Assange. The British Supreme Court has rejected his appeal against attempts to extradite him to Sweden on dubious sexual assault allegations, for which he has not even been charged. The Swedish authorities are functioning as nothing more than a tool of the US Obama administration, which wants to force Assange to Sweden. The goal is to create the conditions where he can be seamlessly extradited to the United States and brought before a secret Grand Jury to face espionage charges. Assange is threatened with the prospect of lifetime imprisonment or a potential death sentence.

Washington is seeking to destroy Assange and the organisation he founded, WikiLeaks, because its courageous leaks of videos and diplomatic cables have exposed before a world audience the daily criminality of the US government and the anti-democratic machinations and intrigues of governments around the world, including in Canberra. As many as 40 people associated with WikiLeaks have been pursued by intelligence and police agencies internationally, and the organisation remains subjected to unprecedented financial blockades. Alleged WikiLeaks’ whistleblower, US Army private Bradley Manning, who has been held for more than 740 days without trial, faces a military court martial in September.

The Australian Labor government is intimately involved in the vendetta against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. In 2010, under conditions where American politicians were calling for the execution of an Australian citizen and labelling Assange a “high-tech terrorist”, Prime Minister Julie Gillard vilified his actions as illegal. She established a taskforce of Australian intelligence and police officers to actively aid US efforts to fabricate criminal charges against Assange and others. With the support of the Greens, Labor enacted new legislation this year that is designed to ensure the WikiLeaks’ editor can be extradited to the US for “political offences” if he returns to Australia.

The Greens, who are responsible for keeping in the minority Labor government in power, have played an utterly cynical and duplicitous role throughout the entire persecution of Assange. Backed by various pseudo-left protest groups, they have sought to channel popular opposition into the dead-end of appeals to Gillard and Labor to do more on his behalf—promoting false illusions in the very forces that are collaborating with Washington to criminalise WikiLeaks, crush freedom of speech and intimidate political dissent.

The SEP’s public meetings will discuss the perspective that is urgently required to defend Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and the fundamental democratic rights of the working class. They cannot be defended through the decayed façade of parliament or appeals to the reactionary Labor and trade union apparatuses, but only through the independent political mobilisation of the working class in the fight for a workers’ government and socialist policies. We urge all WSWS readers and SEP supporters, and concerned professionals, workers and young people, to advertise the meetings as widely as possible and attend them on June 10.

$3/$2 concession for all meetings