26 June 2019 — Defend Wikileaks
The Courage Foundation announces #WeAreMillions, a massive photo campaign to demonstrate global support for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange as he fights extradition to the United States, where he would face unprecedented prosecution. The campaign has been launched at defend.wikileaks.org/freeassange/.
We Are Millions features supporters holding signs to express simply and clearly why they are standing up for Julian Assange, whom the US seeks to punish for publishing hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and military documents in 2010. Those releases exposed war crimes, uncounted civilian casualties and rampant corruption and abuse. The Trump Administration has brought 17 counts of Espionage against Assange, the first ever such charges for a journalist, threatening a lifetime in prison.
Filmmakers Ken Loach and Oliver Stone, economist Yanis Varoufakis, theatre director Angela Richter, philosopher Slavoj Žižek, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges are among hundreds who have already taken a stand for Assange.
Ken Loach explained why he was joining the campaign:
“Politicians and the courts, who knowingly put Julian Assange in mortal danger by sending him to the USA, will be excoriated for not defending the freedom of the press.
The unprincipled hacks, from the far right to the fake lefts, who join in his abuse, are revealed as dishonourable cowards, a disgrace to their profession.”
Assange, currently a resident in healthcare at maximum-security HMP Belmarsh, wrote a letter from the prison last month, detailing isolating conditions and imploring supporters to come to his defence:
“The days when I could read and speak and organize to defend myself, my ideals, and my people are over until I am free! Everyone else must take my place.”
An initial extradition hearing for Assange was held at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on Friday 14 June, with substantive hearings currently scheduled for February 2020.
The Courage Foundation (couragefound.org) is an international organisation that supports those who risk life or liberty to make significant contributions to the historical record. Courage runs Julian Assange’s official defence site at defend.wikileaks.org.