“Free Julian Assange! “- The world of workers
October 23 – A broad coalition of anti-war and anti-imperialist groups converged here at the Grand Lake Theater, known for its historic strong support for free speech, to demand that the US government drop all charges against Julian Assange and the end of all extradition plans.
Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is currently being held in Britain pending his extradition to the United States. Today’s rally was part of an international effort to protest a hearing scheduled for October 27, when the United States pleads for his immediate extradition to that country.
Assange is charged with conspiring to publish secret US military documents leaked by Chelsea Manning, a former military intelligence analyst who exposed US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The campaign to force Assange’s extradition to the United States has been a bipartisan effort by both American political parties and is now led by President Joe Biden.
The Grand Lake Theater marquee boldly proclaimed “Free Julian Assange” at the rally, hosted by Free Julian Assange-SF Bay Area. The rally was a speech with recorded messages by prominent activists and writers, such as Mumia Abu-Jamal, Alice Walker and Daniel Ellsberg. Statements of solidarity were read by representatives of many organizations, including the Action Committee for Haiti, the United National Coalition Against War, the Task Force on the Americas, Code Pink, ANSWER and the Center for International Action. .
Hundreds of people passed during the rally, stopping on the way to a popular farmers’ market nearby, and listened to the many statements demanding the freedom of Assange and all political prisoners. Speakers also demanded the freedom of foreign diplomat Alex Saab, recently surrendered and illegally kidnapped in Cape Verde and imprisoned in the United States for his support of the Venezuelan Bolivarian government.
More than 40 international human rights groups, including the International Federation of Journalists, Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, have called for Assange’s freedom. Protests are scheduled in the United States and around the world until the Oct. 27 hearing in London.