By Joe Montero
Moving through Melbourne on an evening with a group of campaigners drumming up support for Julian Assange, was a great experience. It showed that there is a lot of support around town for the journalist, editor and founder of WikiLeaks.
This was an action supported by WikiLeaks.
A small truck was loaded up with a big sound system, which could blast music and speeches through the streets led the cavalcade. Behind this, there was a truck with a billboard, calling for Julian Assange to be brought home. Behind that several cars. All moved along in a slow procession. Beside this, on the footpaths, walked groups of people, holding banners and signs, and talking to people along the way.
The whole thing had an air of a carnival. It worked too. Being a Friday night, pubs, restaurants and other venues on the commercial strips were loaded with customers. Many came out to see. People leaned out of upstairs windows. Many brought out their mobile phones and took photos. Quite a few, no doubt, to send along on social media, so others would know about what was going on.
Hardly anyone came out with a negative attitude. Although one or two drivers showed a little frustration, the overwhelming majority understood, and quite a few honked their support.
The whole experience left a clear impression, about how Julian’s home town feel about the matter.
The first major street was Brunswick’s Sydney Road. The journey has begun from near the northern end, and when it reached near the southernmost end, there was a stop a near busy a pub, to get a bit more time to talk to the many people there.
It was here that the police suddenly arrived in their blue light flashing cars. They came from all directions.
They wanted the convoy to go and free up the traffic jam. The big number of police was an over reaction, and the only thing it achieved, was to draw even more people to the spot. And this provided an opportunity to talk to even more people than would have been possible without the police.
After dispersing and regrouping, the convoy headed for Fitzroy and to Brunswick Street. The same story there. The extent of support was fantastic. Then it was off to Smith Street, where there were even more people about. The vehicles parked outside a pub again, with a crowd inside and outside.
Once again, The police came from all directions. The pub crowd booed them as they approached, and showed clear support for the pro-Assange campaigners.
The cavalcade broke up again. Police cars followed vehicles down side streets. After a time this regrouping, it was decided to call it a night. It was hitting midnight. To continue would risk arrests. The point had been made anyway.
The experience showed that with a bit of creativity, it is possible to find novel ways to reach a bigger audience.
Julian Assange is still facing the British legal system, which is hearing an application to have him extradited to the United States. to face charges of espionage. He faces a total of 175 years imprisonment. More charges are likely. For what? For telling the world about the wrongdoing powerful political and corporate leaders.
They are afraid of being further exposed. This is the reason why they are doing everything they can to shut him up.
An effort had been made to divert attention, and damage Julian Assange’s reputation with a set-up, over alleged sexual misconduct in Sweden. It turns out that there is no case and the Swedish authorities have dropped it.
Now the truth is out in the open and starkly naked, without a sideshow throwing in confusion. Collusion between the governments of the United States, Great Britain and Australia is being revealed.
Julian Assange is an Australian citizen, and his treatment at the hands of this government, and we must add to this previous Labor governments, is nothing short of a scandal.
Australia is seeing the rise of inhumanity under the name of the law, alongside the obvious subservience of political hacks to Uncle Sam. It seems like Australian governments must be told how to think and act.
Many Australians are saying they want an end to this, and the call for the freeing and bringing Julian Assange home is coming from more voices. His supporters around Australia, are working to build the campaign until he is brought home.
Last Friday night was an installment for what is coming.