Australian Citizens Party Citizens Taking Responsibility



Freedom at last for Assange!

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Lead Editorial

26 June 2024
Vol. 26 No. 26

After 12 years without freedom, Australian hero for truth Julian Assange is finally free and, likely by the time you read this, back in Australia.

Assange - free
Former SBS presenter Mary Kostakidis tweeting the first image of Assange leaving the US Court in Saipan, officially a free man. Photo: Screenshot X

Wednesday 19 June was the 12th anniversary of Assange entering the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, which prompted his wife Stella Assange to remark: “Throughout the years of Julian’s imprisonment and persecution, an incredible movement has been formed. People from all walks of life from around the world who support not just Julian ... but what Julian stands for: truth and justice.”

Who would have thought that just six days later Assange would walk out of Belmarsh prison?

By now readers would know the details: Assange agreed to plead guilty to one count of espionage and be sentenced to time served, making him a free man. He flew in a private jet (for which his team is required to pay) from London to Bangkok and then to Saipan in the Northern Marianas Islands, the closest US jurisdiction to Australia, where he entered his guilty plea before a US judge, received his sentence and resumed his journey. He was accompanied from London by Australia’s High Commissioner to the UK Stephen Smith, and met in Saipan by Australia’s Ambassador to Washington Kevin Rudd, who escorted him into court—presumably for the Australian government to ensure nothing goes wrong. He’s scheduled to arrive in Canberra on Wednesday evening, for a press conference on Thursday.

The real story is how this outcome was achieved, which is an extraordinary affirmation of the power of people to force governments to act.

Enormous credit goes to his family, including Stella, and father John and brother Gabriel Shipton, and their team of supporters, who fought not just tirelessly for his freedom, but profoundly. Stella, John and Gabriel were able to rise above the victimhood of Julian to convey to people all over the world the noble mission that drove him to act as an agent of truth against the permanent war agenda. Their supporters all over the world turned Assange into a global symbol, whose name was on the lips of Presidents and Prime Ministers everywhere.

The Australian Citizens Party increasingly advocated for Assange in the years he was in Belmarsh prison, adding energy to the campaign for his freedom which was noticed. The ACP was able to mobilise large numbers of Australians to bombard politicians with phone calls demanding they insist, not merely request, the USA and UK release him.

The most decisive factor, however, was the Australian people, an overwhelming majority of whom supported his freedom, according to consistent opinion polls. That support was the product of the tireless and relentless work by Assange’s supporters over many years, and it was essential in making it politically impossible for Australia’s politicians not to act.

The reason why is because to advocate for Assange, Australia’s leaders had to stand up to the United States and Britain, an action with which they are very unfamiliar. Aussie leaders are accustomed to bowing to US and UK governments, especially in recent decades when they have become the ultimate yes-men for the Anglo-American war agenda against China and Russia. Standing up in a sovereign way for an Australian citizen was unusual, but they ultimately didn’t have a choice. Assange had become the Achilles heel in an alliance supposedly based on shared values of freedom and democracy—his incarceration proved that to be mere propaganda—and the Australian public’s support for Assange’s freedom turned him into a burr under the alliance saddle that couldn’t be ignored, by either side. Albanese risked electoral backlash if he didn’t advocate for him; Biden would undermine the alliance if he didn’t respond. The result is freedom for Julian Assange.

This victory rightly deserves to be celebrated, but the fight against the war agenda goes on, and is more urgent than ever. Again, it will be the people who make the decisive difference.

In this issue:

  • Rennick shock exposes sham of Australian ‘democracy’
  • Li visit continues ‘stabilisation’ of Aus-China relations    Neoliberalism sabotaged home ownership, Part II
  • China in Europe’s future and Europe in China’s future II
  • Putin’s Asia tour—sign of a changing world
  • Is the world ready for Trump 2.0?
  • Post bank: a ‘genius of an idea’!
  • French citizens in Australia can vote for Cheminade
  • Letter from Jacques Cheminade
  • ALMANAC: Lincoln, JFK, Gettysburg, & the war against Wall Street

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Page last updated on 26 June 2024