27.6 C
Byron Shire
February 5, 2023

Father of Julian Assange to speak in Mullum tonight

Latest News

Natural history

While I have not the informed authority to confirm John Bradley’s musings on the birds that seem to be...

Other News

Family and domestic violence leave comes into force tomorrow

New laws to provide 10 days paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave will come into force tomorrow for workers...

Environment law fails to protect threatened species

A University of Queensland finding says that the federal environmental laws are failing to mitigate against Australia’s extinction crisis.

Big fleet chases class championship

Twenty-one boats took to the water to compete in one long race that made up the fourth instalment of...

60 farmers blockaded Santos trucks and oppose CSG

More than 60 farmers blockaded Santos trucks on Saturday and police were called to a state forest near Gunnedah amid disputes over potential water extraction and fracking.

Trove runs out of funding in June. How will the loss of the service affect Australian and Pacific research?

Most of Trove’s 22 million annual page visits come from members of the public: family historians, students, and general browsers interested in the six billion records it houses. But over the past 14 years, the archive has also become a crucial resource for academic work.

Tributes for songstress Sara Tindley

Hundreds gathered at a small rural property at Lindendale last week to say their final farewells to Sara Tindley, a very much loved personality from the Northern Rivers. 

Julian Assange and wife Stella Assange in slightly happier times. Photo WikiLeaks

John Shipton, father of detained Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, has returned briefly to his beloved home-away-from-home on the Northern Rivers to reunite with supporters.

Mr Shipton is to share updates on the campaign for Mr Assange’s freedom in Mullumbimby and Nimbin, with the first event scheduled for tonight in Mullum’s Courthouse Pub.

Turning Points is hosting the event.

Teal independent pressures PM on Assange detention

Last Wednesday, Monique Ryan, the independent Teal member for Kooyong, asked Prime Minister Anthony Albanese what the government was doing to support Julian Assange.  

‘Journalists obtaining and publishing sensitive information is in the public interest and essential to democracy,’ Ms Ryan said in parliament, ‘Julian Assange is still detained in Belmarsh prison, charged by a foreign government with acts of journalism’.

The independent then bluntly asked the Prime Minister, ‘will the government intervene to bring Mr. Assange home?’ 

Anthony Albanese

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese responded with his most forceful statement yet on the Assange question. 

‘Some time ago, I made my point that enough is enough,’ Mr Albanese said, ‘it is time for this matter to be brought to a conclusion’.

The prime minister continued.

‘The government will continue to act in a diplomatic way but can I assure the member for Kooyong that I have raised this personally with representatives of the United States government,’ he said.

‘My position is clear and has been made clear to the US administration: I will continue to advocate as I did recently in in meetings that I have held.’  

Mr Albanese thanked the member for her question and for her ‘genuine interest in this, along with so many Australian citizens’.

Parliamentary friends of Assange freedom campaign expands

Ms Ryan’s interest was later echoed in the senate thanks to Tasmanian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

A parliamentary friends in support of bringing Julian Assange home to Australia group, started by Tasmanian Independent Senator Andrew Wilkie, has expanded to 35 members.

Mr Shipton responded warmly to Mr Albanese’s comments last week, saying the prime minister stood firmly alongside the 88% of the Australian population in firmly requesting that Julian be returned home to Australia.

The figure is based on survey results published recently in an Essential Media poll.  

Mr Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, said the Prime Minister had finally publicly called for the ‘endless persecution of Australian publisher Julian Assange to be brought to an end’.

‘Australians will be keenly watching to see how the U.S. reacts and if it will respect the calls of the Australian Public and Government to show mercy to Australian citizen Julian Assange,’ Mr Shipton junior said. 

Legacy media call for Biden to drop Assange charges

Monique Ryan’s question came just a few days after five leading media outlets released an open letter denouncing the US prosecution against Mr Assange.

Editors and publishers of The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel and El Pais warned the Assange indictment set a dangerous precedent, threatening to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press.

‘Publishing is not a crime,’ they declared. 

The campaigning international outlets were all media partners with WikiLeaks in publicising the infamous Chelsea Manning material that led to Mr Assange’s prosecution.

Mr Shipton said the most important institutions in legacy media had abandoned his son for many years and had even previously helped to bring about the decline in Julian’s public persona.  

He described the editorial change as an ‘important statement from the most important media outlets in the Western world, particularly The New York Times’.

‘This is a vital assistance to bringing Julian home to Australia,’ Mr Shipton said, ‘the persecution of Julian Assange by the United Kingdom and the United States must stop’.

Assange campaign updates in Mullum and Nimbin this week

John Shipton, father of detained WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, speaking in Mullumbimby in May 2021. PIC: Hielrick G Dajon

Mr Shipton is visiting northern NSW and Brisbane this week to share updates on the campaign for Mr Assange’s release.

He is to speak in Mullumbimby this evening, alongside Greens Byron Shire Councillor Duncan Dey, who recently led a council motion in support of the Bring Julian Assange Home campaign.

Local journalist for The Echo and Bay FM Community Radio*, Mia Armitage, is to facilitate a Q and A session in Mullumbimby.

Mr Shipton is also to appear at a screening of the documentary about the campaign, Ithaka, in Nimbin on December 9. 

Event details are below:

Courthouse Hotel, Mullumbimby, 7 pm, Thursday 8 December 

Bush Factory, Nimbin, 7 pm, Friday 9 December (starts with screening of Ithaka followed by Q+A with John Shipton) 

Food is to be available with entry by donation to go toward’s Mr Shipton’s campaign fund.

Dr John Jiggens is a reporter for Bay FM Community Radio. Listen to his most recent interview with John Shipton here (about half-way through December 2 episode of Bay FM’s Community Newsroom).

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. The Guardian finally calling for Assange’s release after being one of the major media outlets that contributed greatly to his systemic character assassination.
    I lost respect for that neolib sheep herding rag a long time ago – first Assange, then Corbyn. They have become nothing more than shills for regime change wars, the military industrial complex and the pharma lobby.
    Free Julian !!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Community advocacy

I am a small business owner of Byron Central Apartments. Tamara Smith MP has recently supported us on two separate occasions advocating effectively with...

Swivel by name, drivel by nature

The lack of authenticity of Byron Councillor, Mark Swivel, does not come as a surprise from this side of the fence. A well-to-do lawyer...

Land values rise

Your cover story on 25 January claims that land valuation rises could herald increases in Council rates. This is potentially misleading. A council’s total...

Go Thistles!

Lismore Thistles Soccer Club has launched the Thistles Acceleration Program, in the process becoming the city’s only player development academy.