Contributed from Victoria
A petition calling for the release of Julian Assange has attracted more than a quarter of a million signatures and has been presented to the Australian parliament. People are still help support the petition. But it has already become the fourth biggest petition to have ever been presented to an Australian parliament.
This is how strong the support for the WikiLeaks founder is.
But it also tells about the collusion of the political class in the persecution, and willingness to betray and Australian citizen, who is only guilty of what a journalist is supposed to do, and that is, to expose the truth.
It tells of their willingness to trample over Australia’s sovereignty, as they become willing puppets of Washington, intent on shutting us all up. Julian Assange is to be made an example of. It is a warning to all, even if it takes some bending of the law. The extradition hearing, which is about to begin in London, is no more than an intended show trial.
Most of all, the ignoring of the petition and the lack of big media reporting, suggests that some powerful people are being protected. This is what it’s really all about.
Julian Assange has had his name dragged in mud and faced ongoing persecution, because he exposed, through evidence, deliberate lies that cost many lives, the scale of tax dodging by the vrry wealthy, and the massive level of other forms of business and political corruption that exists.
Thankfully, there is a group of politicians, across party lines, who have shown the courage to stand by Julian Assange. They join in, with the wish of so many Australians for him to be freed and allowed to return home.
In a further twist, the petition has been used to back a call to Queen Elizabeth 11 of the United Kingdom, to apply her Royal Prerogative Power of Mercy, to intervene and have Assange freed.
She responded on 17 February, stating that she will not intervene, because she must remain “non-political”. The application for mercy was based on the claim that the extradition hearing is politically motivated. Her response seems to agree.
Getting around this may prove to a significant embarrassment to the Magistrate’s Court hearing the case. It has already made a name for itself by bending the rules and intervening to restrict the capacity of the defendant.
Although the Queen’s admittance is unlikely to lead anywhere on its own, it doesn’t hurt either.
The turning tide of public opinion, aided by the constant exposures of the denial of basic rights, and the coming on board of an expanding range of experts and influential people, will collectively make a difference.
Only the pressure must be kept up to ensure that justice is done.