Freedom for Assange = freedom of information
It doesn't matter there were few hundreds in Parliament Sq, journalists now have to prove to have power to guarantee our rights and reach millions
London - On Saturday 22 February 2020 some of the artists who showed the world that Britain is (or was) a country where democracy makes possible to genius and talent to freely stand out and not get suppressed in the name of commercial and political interests, gathered in Parliament Sq to support Julian Assange and call for his liberation as "Julian is an innocent man": Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Vivienne Westwood, Chrissie Hynde, took the mic in defense of Wikileaks founder ahead of his trial Monday. With them the human rights activists and former Finance Minister of Greece, Yanis Varoufakis, Wikileaks editor in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, representatives of the National Union of Journalists and many other prominent figures supporting freedom of speech.
John Shipton, Assange's father, from the stage with a feeble and moving voice, said the Wikileaks' founder is under increasing torture from years as the Human Rights rapporteur on torture confirmed: Brian Eno made reference to an interview to Nils Melzer on the Italian daily La Repubblica as a confirmation.
London, 23 Feb 2020 - When we talk of media and journalists we talk about power. This power, along with the development of technology, is increasingly eroding both our collective and individual rights. Why? Because political power infiltrates, surveils and controls the media directly. Wikileaks has been and is today one of the main 'threats' to this "dark force" as its editor in chief said yesterday. "We have to stop this dark force."
As the DEA (Don't Extradite Assange campaign) is becoming a movement potentially bringing hundreds thousands of people in cities' squares around the world, we have no more excuses to turn our back on Julian because it would mean to back down on democracy and give up the guarantee that we are informed on what the people we elect actually do, on what companies, our employers do, what they actually produce; for instance where the dual components of chemical weapons used in Iraq, Syria, Yemen are manufactured? It is important we all know the truth, and only journalists can guarantee information reach million. That is why "your are next" said Yanis Varoufakis, meaning if Julian Assange is extradited and condemned this will be the end of freedom of press, the end of the capacity of whistleblowers to provide safely information who could damage governments and our ability to hold power to account.
Assange case is no longer the 'Assange judiciary case': over the last eight years social media and alternative media platforms along with media and newspapers with a tradition of independence and accountability, made increasingly clear that information and journalists are in danger. Listen to Varoufakis: first they will eliminate Julian, "then they will go after our friends, our neighbours, next after the good people of the Guardian and BBC, then after anyone who dares to challenge the power of their oligarchy without frontiers."
"I cannot leave this stage without talking of the courage of Chelsea Manning - said Roger Waters. His notes hit deep, as usual, and today wake up our conscience ahead of our souls with the verses of Amina Aziz young poet symbol of the fight against fascism and racist laws in his country:
"Everything will be remembered: kill us, we will overcome ghosts and write of your killings with all the evidence. You write jokes in court; we will write 'justice' on the walls. We will speak so loudly that even the deaf would hear, we will write so clearly that even the blind would read. You will write injustice on the Earth, we will write Revolution in the sky" .
Report by Emy Muzzi