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    A War on Whistleblowers: Highlights From the 'Don't Extradite Assange' Rally Outside UK Home Office

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    Hundreds of supporters attended a rally outside the UK Home Office on Tuesday evening, where activists addressed concerns over the potential extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the USA, who could face up to 174 years in prison on 18 counts of espionage for his work with Wikileaks.

    Speakers attending the rally included Julian Assange's father, John Shipton, Diem 25 Party co-founder, Srećko Horvat, British fashion designer and activist, Vivienne Westwood, Stop the War Coalition co-founder and national officer, John Rees and UK rapper, visual artist, songwriter and activist, Mathangi Arulpragasam (M.I.A).

    MIA, who visited the Wikileaks founder and whistleblower in mid October, performed songs such as 'Borders' and 'Paper Planes' outside the Home Office as protesters chanted at UK Home secretary Priti Patel and the UK government to recall the US extradition request for Assange.

    The Stop the War Coalition, Socialist Equality Party and Julian Assange Defence Campaign supported the rally, among others. The following are highlights from speeches addressed to audiences.

    John Shipton, Julian Assange's Father

    Speaking on international support from NoffYT, Guardian and Italian, German, Australian and UN governments:

    "All of these people with you and us will ensure that Julian Assange has the freedom to be with his family and have a coffee in a coffee shop whilst watching past the parade of life, rather than spending nine years without sunlight. I want to thank you all, and we will win this."

    John Shipton, Julian Assange's Father
    © Sputnik / Demond Cureton
    John Shipton, Julian Assange's Father

    Srećko Horvat, Diem 25 Party Co-founder and Croatian Philosopher 

    Explaining the importance of Europe fighting against Julian Assange's extradition to the US:

    "This is a war on whistleblowers. This is a war on Europe’s democracy, and this is not just a UK issue, it’s a European issue. If Europe loses Julian Assange, Europe will lose its soul. Europe will lose its ability to think, and if it loses its ability to think, we will lose our democracy."

    John Rees, Stop the War Coalition National Officer and Co-Founder 

    Encouraging attendees to back future rallies against Assange's extradition:

    "If the main extradition hearing against Julian Assange begins in February of next year, I want you to pledge with me that you will be down there outside the court in Belmarsh on the first day, the second day, the third day, the fourth day, and every day that that rotten, stinking trial takes place, and a no-jury trial at that."

    Vivienne Westwood, UK Fashion Designer and Activist

    Speaking on the crimes of the US government exposed by Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning's whistleblowing:

    "The UN has charged the UK government with torture. They say it is torture to take away someone’s identity and reputation. This has been going on for the last nine years. The UN demands that Julian should be freed with compensation. For the last nine years, America has been preparing its secret court, with a staff of 800 people. Julian has known about this all along. Julian has been charged. It is a crime to expose American war crimes. If he goes to the secret court, it is again another show trial. You are guilty of exposing American war crimes. Therefore, you have been telling the truth and we sentence you to 174 years in concrete."

    "[...] Free Julian, save the world. Rock and roll."

    Vivienne Westwood speech
    © Sputnik /
    British fashion designer and activist, Vivienne Westwood, delivers a speech outside the UK Home Office supporting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on 5 November 2019
    Mathangi Arulpragasam (MIA), UK Rapper, Visual Artist, Songwriter and Activist

    Speaking on the need to highlight Assange's work and join anti-extradition campaign:

    "I just really thought about something. We live in a time where I have to like somebody’s driving a private jet on Instagram, and they got a million likes on that sh*t, and nobody gives a f*ck about where that fuel comes from. And there were a million people that got bombed for that sh*t, and those don’t get likes. And that’s why we’re here today."

    © Sputnik /
    UK rapper Mathangi Arulpragasam (MIA) performs outside the UK Home Office for a rally supporting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on 5 November 2019
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    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange case (73)

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    Tags:
    Hip Hop, Leaks, whistleblowing, whistleblower, UK Home Office, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange arrest, Julian Assange
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