Julian Assange was recently awarded the Sydney Peace Foundation (SPF)’s peace medal, presented to him in London. The event was organised at the Frontline Club. Assange’s acceptance address follows introductions by the SPF’s Stuart Rees and Mary Kostikidis.
A write up of a Q&A section with Assange, which followed the speeches, can be found here (part I) and here (part II).
‘Breaking Australia’s silence: WikiLeaks and freedom’ was a public forum held on 16 March 2011 at the Sydney Town Hall. The event was staged by the Sydney Peace Foundation, Amnesty, Stop the War Coalition, and supported by the City of Sydney.
Chaired by Mary Kostakidis, it featured speeches by John Pilger, Andrew Wilkie MP (the only serving Western intelligence officer to expose the truth about the Iraq invasion) and Julian Burnside QC, defender of universal human rights under the law.
A panel of leading thinkers explore WikiLeaks and its implications for access to information, security, first amendment rights, innovation, and more. Moderated by The Real News founder Paul Jay and presented by the Churchill Club, the panel speakers are Daniel Ellsberg, Clay Shirky, Neville Roy Singham, Peter Thiel and Jonathan Zittrain.
The U.S. Justice Department is now considering charging WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange with espionage under the 1917 Espionage Act. In a recent interview, syndicated on PacificaRadio’s Flashpoints show, I spoke to Robert Meeropol, founder of the Rosenberg Fund For Children. Meeropol is the son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the only U.S. citizens to be executed under the 1917 Espionage Act. In a strong defense of Wikileaks, Assange and Bradley Manning, Meeropol released a statement stating:
My parents were executed under the unconstitutional Espionage Act, here’s why we must fight to protect Julian Assange.
In the following interview he talks about the history of the 1917 espionage Act, the execution of his parents and some of the political “Echoes” from the 1950’s red scare days that are reverberating today. Meeropol also talks movingly about how his parents’ unwillingness to cave in the face of government intimidation, even at the cost of their lives.
I think that resistance is inspirational. When people resist, they inspire others and if you combined the resistance with the inspiration you end up building a movement of support.
DB: Let’s begin this way, Robert Meeropol. The U.S. Congress is back in session, the Republicans are in charge of the House, and today they read the Constitution. Would that be relevant in your defense of Julian Assange?
Update: John Pilger writes in The Independentdefending Assange against a defamatory piece published by the Guardian.
by Dennis Bernstein
An interview with John Pilger
Dennis Bernstein (DB): Let me get your overview here of Julian Assange and what is happening to him. How do you see this?
John Pilger (JP): Well, it’s a very complicated and very suspicious case, of course. Today [Thursday] we saw a pinch of justice, that’s all. But his bail is weighted down with conditions. He’s virtually under a kind of house arrest. Now if he wasn’t Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, none of this would have happened. I doubt whether there would be any prosecution, we’d be having this conversation.
And we learned today [Thursday] that the Swedes had not initiated this appeal against bail that was heard today in the London court. It was the British. Why were they doing it? Were they doing it on behalf of the U.S.? I don’t know the answer to those questions. But suspicions really do mount in this case.