The controversy surrounding Julian Assange depends daily and his case goes to a US extradition hearing in London on Monday. Many Australians are demanding that the UK Government immediately release the Australian Journalist and publisher.
The Brisbane Assange Action Queensland is a community group formed by Queenslanders fighting for the WikiLeaks journalist’s immediate release.
They will stage a protest at the British Consulate in Brisbane today (Monday, February 24), with speakers and performers from 12-2pm.
A letter of demand for Mr Assange’s immediate release, will be issued to the UK Consular General Ms Joanne Freeman at the protest.
Speaking at the protest will be former Queensland Senator Andrew Bartlett, Queensland veteran civil rights activist Ciaron O’Reilly, activist and filmmaker Dean Jefferys and civil rights advocate Father Pan Jordon. Along with performances from Kel On Earth and Artist Q.
Mr O’Reilly says that as Assange is taken in chains from Belmarsh prison on Monday to an extradition court in London, local protesters will make their way to the British Consulate in Brisbane to demand his immediate release. ‘Julian Assange was born a Queenslander and we are going to do our best to make sure he doesn’t die a political prisoner in the United States.
‘Julian is one of the most significant journalists and publishers of our time,’ he said. ‘The UK Government must defend a free press, journalists and whistleblowers.’
For many years Mr O’Reilly has kept watch and organised protests outside the Ecuadorian Embassy and recently Belmarsh Prison in London to support his friend. Mr O’Reilly has been protesting outside the British Consulate in Brisbane for the last two weeks.
Former Senator for Queensland Andrew Bartlett said it’s time for every Queensland Member of Parliament to speak out in support of Julian Assange’s basic rights, and the essential principle of supporting journalists and publishers who are brave enough to expose the activities and misdeeds of governments.
‘When I was in the Senate last year, it was deeply disappointing to see so few politicians willing to stand up and be counted by speaking out in support of Julian Assange.
‘Currently, George Christensen is the only Queensland MP to be part of the Julian Assange Support Group. Why are the rest still staying in the background and keeping their heads down?” said Mr Bartlett.
Dean Jefferys says Assange’s only crime is that he exposed government lies and war crimes in Iraq where over a million people needlessly died.
Jefferys, who says he worked in Iraq at International Peace Camps in 1991 and 2001, says that he met many Iraqi parents who lost their children in what he calls the ‘bogus war’.
‘Americas justification to go to war with Iraq was that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction,’ says Jefferys. ‘Everyone now knows that was an elaborate, fabricated lie, yet the US, Australian and UK governments have put revenge of a whistle blower over justice, rule of law, a free press and real democracy.’
Mr Jefferys says our politicians, including Prime Ministers, Morrison, Gillard and Turnbull have have all betrayed Julian Assange and by doing so have endangered free press worldwide and may cause our Aussie Hero to die in an American jail.
‘This is unacceptable and Australian and UK politicians have to stand up for its citizens and what is right and not just be the lapdogs for America,’ said Mr Jefferys.
The Brisbane Assange Action Queensland and other supporters will converge on the UK Consulate in Brisbane, 100 Eagle St, at midday today.