Jullian Assange is going to be freed

Photo from WikiLeaks: Julian Assange has left prison

Contributed by Joe Montero

Yesterday (25 June 2024) was a good news day. We heard that Julian Assange is to be released on a deal that provides Washington with a small face saver. Today, at the time of writing, his is flying into Canberra. Make no mistake, this is a big win for freedom and a defeat for an imperialist power bent on imprisoning the WikiLeaks founder for ever.

Julian Assange walks free

Video from The Guardian

The mission has failed. People power has prevailed. This is no exaggeration, because it was the many involved over the years in campaigning, not only on media, but in the streets and at meetings, which made all the difference. Ongoing action across Australia, the United Kingdom, The United States, and across the world won the battle of public opinion decisively. It won opinion across the political spectrum.

A part of this was the emergence of the large cross-party group of parliamentarians Julian’s freedom. Similar groups of parliamentarians emerged in the two other countries involved in this persecution. It happened across Europe and the other continents.

People everywhere saw the threat of trying to impose 175 years imprisonment for being a traitor to a country that one is not a citizen of, and the threat this posed to international law, the law of other sovereign nations and the basic human rights to speak and have access to information.

But what really got decent people offside was the extent to which Washington, with London following, would go to violate their own law and supposed legal processes to get their man. They were turned off by the personal mistreatment of their prisoner over the years, and whose health suffered as a consequence. People took note of how the self-proclaimed defenders od freedom and rights under the law went about trampling them.

There is absolutely no doubt that the courage shown by Julian and his family has had a significant effect everywhere.

By their own actions, the persecutors began to undermine their own legitimacy. They damaged trust in their own institutions. The Assange case contributed to significant political crisis, along with economic failure, the whittling away of basic rights in general, and the rise of a less equal and more divided society that has become the mark of western nations.

We are witnessing the impact on coming British election, where the Conservative government is dead in the water, Labour has become the new conservatives, and the Nigel Farage lead ultra-right Reform is being promoted as the new political force. The United States is heading towards a contest between the lack lustre and reactionary Biden led Democrats, against the even more reactionary Donald Trump Republican contender.

Both cases represent a failure in the political system. A failure that is eroding its capacity to make people believe in it. Then the leaders of these countries take courses towards ever more involvement in wars.

Although there are elements of the same in Australia, the decay has not gone so far, and public pressure was able to compel the Albanese Labor government to eventually take a stand to demand the release of Julian Assange. This provided Washington and Britain with an opportunity to dodge the bullet of the scandal that would be caused by imprisoning Assange for life. Under the circumstances, they do not need this headache.

There were suspicions about whether the deal offered, that is, to drop the major charges under the United States Espionage Act. A deal that involved not putting Julian away for 175 years and opting for a minor charge of receiving and publishing secret information.

The deal has been honoured and Julian has never denied that hat he received and distributed the documents in question.

This is a major victory, which will go down in history to prove as a moment that proves how even giants can fall when challenged by the courage of ordinary people standing together.

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