High Court/London Solidarity for Julian Assange Tuesday July 12
Read on for full report...
I have been at all nine of Julian's London court appearances, over the last seven months, as he has run the gauntlet of an intensive and unprecedented media smear campaign. From the right wing U.S. Fox News to the liberal left British Guardian, one agenda shared - to destroy this man. There are no juries in Sweden, this is not a jury scene in England, so no subjudice restrictions, the stage has been set for open season ass kickin' party/trial by media with little scope for right of reply.
In the 20th year of the US/UK war on the people of Iraq and the 10th year of their war on the people of Afghanistan, the powers that be have no popular support for their wars, but little visible opposition. They are comfortable with no popular support for their wars, so long as the media corporations can serve up silence and sedation in the imperial centres... London, New York, Sydney et al.
The media has surely COVERED the wars, covered up the human cost of the daily grind of never-ending imperial warfare. WikiLeaks has upset this arrangement by showing us the true nature of these wars as in the Collateral Murder footage http://www.collateralmurder.com/, also revealing the Iraq & Afghan war logs, the cables from the horses' mouth of U.S. embassies exposing how they conduct the killing and manage domestic dissent. At the start of court it was fortuitous to have the media obliviously lined up behind our banner "The first casualty of war is truth"
Photo - http://www.daylife.com/photo/04lO4A1dWw7Ih?q=Julian+Assange
Julian has made so many powerful enemies in such a short space of time, it is truly astounding. To see the the principalities and powers unleashed against him, his character, his work and all he holds dear is also truly astounding to behold.
To witness his abandonment before the courts by what claims to be the anti-war movement is both typical and outrageous. The way I, as a former anti-war prisoner, look at it is - if two million people marched in this country against this war, we implicity incited folks in the military and civil society to nonviolently resist the war. When those folks... whether it is Ben Griffin, Bradley Manning, Joe Glenton, Michael Lyons, the Pitstop Ploughshares, EDO 9, Raytheon 9 or Julian Assange... are dragged before the courts, electronically tagged, put in chains, if you incited them you're obligated to support them. It's not rocket science! Unless those marches in '03 were merely therapeutic, ego lifiting and brand enhancing for the self appointed leadership at the time... this is the math!
The documentary (free on the net) "Route Irish" deals with this disconnect very well...
Last Sunday, I travelled with my friend, Iraq combat veteran Ben Griffin, to Norfolk to celebrate with Julian, his 40th birthday. We met under a tree in the grounds of Ellingham Hall where Julian has been electonically tagged and bailed after being released from HMP Wandsworth in December.
Julian Assange House Arrest: WikiLeaks Exclusive Insider Video
Julian appeared sincerely touched by the simple acts of human solidarity we have mustered for him over his sojourn through the "criminal justice" system. He expressed delight in the take off we did recently of Dylan's "(Assange's) Subterranean Homesick Blues"
and gratitude for the solidarity. His only anxiety expressed was that people would have a good time at the party that day, rather than the days of court ahead of him this week. It made me recall the words of Luke 9: 51-56 "he had set his face like flint" to go to confront the powers, like others who have gone before him it is going to be a lonely journey.
Julian is resolute, but still maintains a sense of humour. Check out this great Mastercard spoof
I have spent 30 years inside and outside of court resisting war preparations, war and expressing solidarity for others doing the same. Courts are exhasuting places, but it is human solidarity that keeps us going. I truly believe if 1% of those of us who had marched against this war in '03 had gone into noviolent resistance until they had jailed us AND the other 99% who had marched had undertaken proactive solidarity with the resisters... fed the cat, paid the rent, dealt with the hysterical parents etc... we could have stopped these wars. I choose to believe that we can still stop these wars.
There isn't much anti-war resistance presently, because there's not much solidarity! I know from my own experiences that the more solidarity the resister experiences the easier the resistance is to maintain and expand. The resistance continues with or without us! Navy medic Michael Lyons was sentenced to 7 months last week in Portsmouth for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan. He made this decision because of what he had viewed on WikiLeaks about the illegal nature of the war he was ordered to participate in. Michael is presently in Colchester military prison; he needs to be hearing from us. Courts and prisons are designed to isolate and defeat the resister, convince them that s/he is forgotten and abandoned. The only anti-venom to this process is community and a culture of proactive solidarity.
On Tuesday July 13 outside the High Court we set up banners, a shrine to the war dead of Iraq & Afghanistan, our dead Brian Haw & Simon Levin, our prisoners Bradley Manning & Julian Assange. Peter Tatchell, Ben Griffin and I spoke from the steps and did some media outreach, we spoke to passers by, we shared food and drink, we kept our spirits up, we read the live twitter feeds from the courts, we played music, we sang, we signed a solidarity card to Michael Lyons, we realised human community on the sidewalk outside the High Court. We demanded an end to their wars and persecution of war resisters.
We will be back outside the High Court/The Strand/London Wed July 13 from 9am in solidarity with Julian Assange and calling for an immediate end to these wars. Consider joining us.
For info and updates through Wed call Ciaron 079 392 90576
High Court Solidarity for Julaian Assange Tuesday July 12