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Byron Shire
February 25, 2024

Lismore Council votes against supporting Assange

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At Tuesday’s Council meeting Councillor Adam Guise proposed a motion that Council writes to the Federal Government, Prime Minister and relevant Ministers denouncing the extradition of Julian Assange from the UK and urging the Prime Minister to make a public statement denouncing the extradition.

Cr Guise said that Julian Assange has been imprisoned since 2010. ‘He is facing a life sentence in the USA for exposing war crimes.

‘His extradition and potential sentence is a grave threat to public interest journalism and incompatible with the human rights that Australians hold.

‘The power of a public statement from Julian Assange’s home country cannot be understated.’

Where’s the mandate?

Cr Andrew Gordon wanted to speak against this motion. ‘Seriously, like where’s the mandate to do this, like, you know, it’s okay to say “everyone thinks that Mr Assange should be freed” and all those sorts of ideas – I’m not sure that’s the case.

‘Any allegation [levelled] against Julian Assange is simply just an allegation. He hasn’t had his day in court.

‘You know, I agree that the law, as Councillor Guise said, needs to be upheld. He needs to have his day.

He made choices

‘He made choices – free choices of his own free will. He done certain things. He’s being held accountable for those things.

‘I don’t know if he’s spent every day in jail since 2010. I think he has been living in embassies and probably not quite jail-like, but living in embassies nonetheless.

‘I imagine if you went down to the pub and said to the guys, if you went to Casino Street, if you went down the Union Street and started talking to the people that don’t have a house anymore, they’d say to you: “Why are you talking about Julian Assange?”

Cr Gordon this was a jurisdiction for which we have no control. ‘We write a letter, I can imagine they get the letter and say: “Oh, look we’ve made a terrible mistake. This was written to us and said he should come home”.

It’s going to go straight in the round filing cabinet [the bin].

‘Here we are debating this, spending time, when we should be looking at those people that are dispossessed and displaced and struggling and all this sort of stuff. And here we are talking about Julian and his choices, the choices he’s made.

We sent a murderer home

‘I remember the last time that Lismore got involved with a matter of the law and it appears right now that we sent the alleged murderer home. We did, we bought a ticket!

‘I think we should leave it to the people who know what they’re doing. And let’s get back to the business of sorting out Lismore and making this place a better place for everyone.’

Definitely a local matter

Cr Ekins said that you could tell by the passion in the room that it is definitely a local matter of local interest. ‘Obviously we know that Julian Assange lived in this community and his father visited last year – to quite a significant gathering of people – and spoke about this very matter and its importance. The media within it was covered widely in the local press.

‘Council, in the past, has written to the government on two occasions on this matter. Take that as a reference from Lismore. I think it is a local matter of quite a lot of interest to local people and it’s worthy of debate in this chamber and thank you, Councillor Guise, for raising it, yet again.

Protect our freedom of speech

Cr Guise said he was asking the federal government to protect Julian Assange and to protect our freedom of speech. ‘To actually say – to the United States government: “leave this alone” – to the UK Government: “don’t extradite him”, and allow this person to come home to Australia, his own home country.

‘Julian Assange has been in prison since 2010! That’s 12 years in incarceration. He’s facing a life sentence in the USA for exposing war crimes. It’s a grave, grave threat to public interest journalism, and it’s incompatible with human rights if we can allow this to continue.

‘The power of our federal government, the power of us making a public statement cannot be underestimated. ‘He was imprisoned for speaking truth to power, by exposing US military wrongdoing and war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan – two failed wars, we are seeing a result of now.

‘The news outlets that shared this information that he enabled, aren’t being prosecuted, but Julian Assange is being made scapegoat. His enabling the publishing of this information is in the public interest and press freedom and we should be supporting that.

Assange is an Australian citizen

‘He’s an Australian citizen and we need to protect his interests and the rights to be given freedom and essentially asylum to his country, home country – Australia.

‘So we should not be extradited him to the USA. We shouldn’t be allowing the UK Government which itself is in turmoil, and about to change and dictate this person’s life. He has a young family, he has kids, and he should be allowed to return to them. And their futures together.

‘It’s an overwhelming issue in our community. It’s one our community strongly feels about. It’s one that our federal government needs to hear loud and clear. So please support me in this endeavour.’

The motion was put to a vote: Councillors Bird, Ekins and Guise were for and Councillors Gordon, Jensen, Bing, Rob and Krieg were opposed and the motion was defeated.

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  1. So the Lismore Council couldn’t give a damn about Assange.
    Lock-up’s more of a taste tango than reporting ‘the truth?’
    The Council should just ‘give up’ sitting & maybe go & play
    in one of its parks.

    • I STAND with Julian Assange he needs to brought home. To me the council should have AGREED. I wonder how They would feel if one of their loved ones were stopped from coming home to their family SHAME ON LISMORE COUNCIL. To make a good descision Would Not have stopped ANY SUPPORT OF OUR FLOOD VICTIMS. that’s just rubbish. And a ridiculous excuse. 🤔 Yes the People are hurting I know I moved here to be with family 7 weeks ago💔💔🙏

  2. Iam Egyptian man. 12 th Aug 2022

    60 percent of the population on planet of earth support China and Russia against USA because “Julian Assange” is being tortured with a horrible way in Belmarsh prison in England . The red indians and the Black Africans know very well that Julian Assange is suffering now and he is trying to kill himself many times because of the torture on his body in English prisons .

    • Funny how most westerners are oblivious to the popularity Russia and China have in the world. 60% is a conservative figure.

  3. In 2020 lcc passed a motion in support of juilian assange
    In 2022 juilan is still in jail still facing extradition to the United States there is nothing lcc can do for julian councillors posturing themselves as defenders of Freedom are just wasting rate payer time and money on issues they and their communites have no control or say. Protest at the American embassy organise boycotts of American products and companies do something real.

    • Most of what councils do is a waste of time. At least this is something people agree on. Even I will virtue signal on this one.

      • Yes, OK – why not do another 87% “vote” on anti-nuclear and CSG while they are at it ?
        Lefties – ‘fiddling while Rome (Lismore} burns’ !
        What a complete disgrace to the majority of our ratepayers you are.

        • If they are going to shut off coal we are going to need nuclear as it’s the only other reliable source of power.
          Nuclear works really well until it blows up or needs a fuel change.
          CSG just flat out doesn’t work. It’s a pump and dump share price scam.

  4. Incredibly disappointing attitude for a Lismore Councellor, I thought he was elected to represent his community, not his personal views !

  5. Well it is telling to find that Lismore council, as a whole , is just as gutless and unconcerned as the Federal and State government at the welfare of an Australian citizen incarcerated on trumped up political charges, for performing one of the most heroic services to this nation in it’s entire history.
    This is a case of barstardry on the multi-national scale, merely because he published the proof that “The Coalition of The Willing ” were and still are, committing horrendous war crimes, after illegally invading random countries at their “WILL” . We as a nation are just as guilty as Putin and Russia, and the Bravest freedom fighter we have, we are happy to leave to our co-conspirators to torture at their pleasure, while we are more concerned with how to deal with the levels of suicide amongst our returned war criminals , who find it impossible to live with their guilt of the atrocities they have committed.
    Do the right thing and free Julian and gaol Howard ! G”)

  6. Unbelievable!!

    Julian Assange for a time was a resident of Lismore when he was a kid, and he is a fellow Australian citizen. And Lismore Council won’t stand up for him. It’s a disgrace!!

    I was affected by the 2022 Feb/March Flood and lost everything from my rented Unit in the Lismore CBD. And I am still homeless, sleeping on a couch in temporary accommodation. Yes, my situation is important, as well as other flood affected Lismorites who are also in dire straights, but I still support in freeing my fellow Lismorite and Australian citizen, Julian Assange.

    The Lismore Council should pull thier heads in and support Julian by writing to the PM to use his LOUD hailer to stop the extradition. This is a very disappointing move from Lismore Council.


  7. Assange: This insipid germ and what he has done makes my skin crawl. My hand is up for The Lever, be it gallows or electric chair. In the ranks of D!@4hE@b$, this guy is a gold Cardholder. Good health and enjoy your day.

  8. Dave, you need some serious treatment for your mental health; probably more than the persecuted Julian A.
    He has exposed US war crimes in the manner of a journalist reporting the truth. Our great and powerful friends are not so friendly when their misdeeds are exposed.
    Shame on you Dave and those in LCCwho opposed the motion.

  9. Iam Egyptian man .12 th Aug 2022.

    The secret English police MI6 or MI5 has original paper, documents and video clips of English governmental members who have been spying for the Russian military intelligence against the interests of England for more than 40 years . England does not arrest them . In the end of the story , The English police is doing intensive torture on the body of Julian Assange . Julian Assange is suffering from mental problems now because of the torture on his body in English prisons. He needs help now . “Mike pompeo” tried to kill “Julian Assange” many times in England. 88 percent of the Australians support Julian Assange

    • I sometimes think that MI6 exists to make the CIA look civilised. Whenever there is something bad for the west, an MI6 agent pops up in the middle of the CIA guys to do the really dirty bit. They’re sneakier than the Israeli Secret Intelligence Services.

  10. We exist just..the Nuclear Clock is now 100 seconds to midnight!!! Assange was the messenger against War, he has sacrificed his life exposing the lies that maintain the Military Industrial complex…a huge economy. Its very scary to realise that Lismore Council seems to be so parochial and lacking compassion. At a protest for Assange yesterday a placard stated his own words “Its lies that start Wars..it is Truth that can create Peace”. He is an Australian citizen, tortured for over a decade. he deserves support to return home with his family. No person can seriously believe that ignorance is life sustaining. “Give Peace a chance”

  11. DISGUSTED TO BE AN AUSTRALIAN CITIZEN – forefathers came to South Australia as original free settlers, with every generation since being proud, contributing Australians who built the country. HOWEVER, what successive Governments have done to this country in the last 20 or so years has absolutely destroyed the joint. Hanging Julian out to dry, as they have, is the second biggest stain on the fabric of our society, or should I say, what’s left of it. THIS IS NO LONGER ‘OUR, THE PEOPLES’ COUNTRY’.

  12. Too gutless to face sexual assault chargers that’s why he hid out in the first place.Creep deserves to be in the position he’s in.Surly LCC has better things to do with it’s time .Huge congrats to those councillors who voted not to to support the creep!

    • Next time your going up against a super-power with secret agents everywhere and someone falsely accuses you of something, just go turn yourself in Phil. It’s just a conspiracy theory that spies literally lie for a living. How much money you got Phil, cause I have some once in a life time investment opportunities for you. Ever wanted to own a bridge in Sydney?

  13. Well let it be noted that the Lismore council doesn’t have time for one of its own, apparently 88% of Australians support the release of Assange but not the Lismore council.I take it that they support the slow murder in Belmarsh Prison of Julian instead ..after all he is guilty of telling the truth, anyone in politics knows this is a no no. Let it be noted the name’s of those that failed to support the human rights of one of their own..It’s not as if they had to personally take 10 minutes out of their time in the token gesture,they have secretaries for that..So they are making a vindictive stand ,I hope they know that and will be remembered as such.Btw this council’s feebleness is not representative of the people of Lismore, they have shown to have hearts of gold and understand resilience and humanity.

  14. Does the ‘truth’ hurt? Obviously it does. Julian told the truth
    as it was exposed to him & therefor put his own life on line.
    He had guts enough to report the Cane & Able stuff that
    brought about his own downfall. Our PM now needs to pick
    up the phone. Bloodied hands are at issue here.

  15. Lismore city council are facing bigger issues than worrying about mr Assange just more time wasting . Do the people who want to free mr Assange really understand what is going on

  16. Congratulations lismore city council to sticking to what most of you were elected for to look after lismore. Let Julian Assange look after himself as he made is own mess.

  17. Iam Egyptian man. 14 th Aug 2022

    If you do not make “Julian Assange” return to his family quickly , the power of the Australian passport will be weak around the world and the position or the situation of the Anglo saxon
    British prisoners in Russian prisons and other places will be difficult .

    Sending ” Julian Assange” to prisons of the death in USA will make China and Russia give lessons of human rights to USA.

    The Egyptian educated people know that ” Mike pompeo” tried to kill ” Julian Assange” many times in England . Iam astonished because the Australian government does not take legal action against ” Mike pompeo”.

    Few Egyptians or some educated Egyptians feel too much worried about ” Julian Assange”

    ” Julian Asssnge” faces the death penalty or torture or 175 years imprisonment in U.S prisons and English prisons.

    The Egyptians hope that ” Julian Assange” will return to his family .

    President of Mexico is worried about ” Julian Assange”

    It will be difficult drama and tragedy if the English government sends “julian assange” to prisons of the death in USA

  18. Perhaps you’d enjoy a spell in Russia itself, Christian.
    Over there the crabs walk sideways & the lobsters walk

  19. If one Australian is in exile – we all are. The truth is being suppressed and the reluctance to support this cause paints a daunting picture with regard to future freedom of speech and room for honesty in our society

  20. 17 th Aug 2022

    The Egyptians hope that “Julian Assange” will be free as soon as possible .

    I do not support the torture on the body of ” Julian Assange” in Belmarsh prison in England


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