Solidarity for Julian Assange and Bradley Manning in Australia
anti-war / imperialism |
Wednesday June 13, 2012 13:32 by Free Assange! Free Manning! Free Yourself! Stop the Wars!
BRISBANE - Australian Prime Minister confronted with Betrayal ofJulian Assange
jAs Prime Minister Julia Gillard arrived at the Stamford Plaza in Brisbane Tuesday night to deliver a speech at the opening dinner of the Economic Forum, she was confronted by Catholic Workers and other anti-war activists over her betrayal of Australian born citizen Julian Assange to the U.S. war machine.
Like Bradley Manning, Australian Prime Minister Gillard has Welsh roots, coming from a small village in the Vale of Glamorgan called Cwmgwrach or ‘Valley of the Witch’. Her family emigrated to Australia in the sixties. The synchronicity of events was compounded by Lady Gaga also being ensconced at the Stamford Plaza on Tuesday night. The U.S. military has accused Bradley Manning of downloading secret cables including footage of U.S. war crimes in Iraq while he was pretending to listen to a Lady Gaga CD. In 2010, the then 22 year old Manning was serving as a U.S. Army intelligence analyst in Baghdad Iraq at the time of the alleged offence. Bradley Manning. whose grandfather came from Dublin, was shipped through Shannon Airport to Iraq.
The Assange solidarity vigil in Brisbane comprised of four Catholic Workers and two doctors who support WikiLeaks. The vigil took up position at 4.30 p.m. on the footpath outside the Government Corporate LoveFest branded as an "Economic Forum". Those gathered inside included the Prime Minister, the Treasurer Wayne Swann, Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens, Rio Tinto managing director David Peever, GM Holden chairman Mike Devereux, QR National chief executive Lance Hockridge, and ASX chief executive Ed Funke Kuepper.
As the solidarity vigil was established with a banner reading "JUSTICE FOR JULIAN ASSANGE: Help WikiLeaks keep Governments Open", Catholic Worker Ciaron O'Reilly deployed with a portrait of Julian reading "TRUTH" to the other side of the driveway taking up position where P.M. Gillard would surely enter.
After a short time, two suited and booted members of the Public Order Squad approached Ciaron from behind calling him by name. Threatening him with arrest for failing to possess a permit related to public indemnity laws related to an empty taxi rank, Ciaron walked away from the Plaza driveway toward the corner where the Prime Mnister's cavalcade would surely have to enter the street. Another plain clothes police officer and two uniformed officers were deployed to keep Ciaron company for the evening. Ciaron was joined by Dr. John Jiggens carrying a "Justice for Julian Assange" sign and Dr. Peter Kuestler carrying a "made for measure for the occasion & assembled" placard reading "The only Economic Question Remians Have I Taken too Much, Have I Given too Little?"
Meanwhile, at this stage, the Lady Gaga fans assembled outside the Stamford were left unharassed by the police. The good Lady herself was inside her suite recovering from a bruised and black eye sustained in a stage accident during her performance in New Zealand the previous Sunday. The injury occurred when she was whacked in the head with a pole. An experience and injury shared by some of the WikiLeaks supporters at the hands of the Queensland police on other occasions over previous decades on the streets of Brisbane.
The Prime Minister's all white wedding-like cavalcade of sedans and four wheel drives turned into the street at 6.30 pm. As the great and the good unloaded from the now gridlocked vehicles Ciaron, the doctors and their uniformed and plainclothes police tails moved into driveway. Ciaron berated his captive audience with the crime of Julia delivering Julian to the U.S. war machine, the continued deployment of cannon fodder from Brisbane's Gallipoli Barracks to kill and die in a lost U.S. war in Afghanistan that her government can't defend or rationalise. Ciaron shared the saying "truth is the first casualty of war", appealed "Don't be scared of the truth" and delivered the scriptual promise "the truth will set you free, Julia"
REPORT, PHOTO & BACKGROUND CONTINUED ON THE WISEUP for Bradley Manning Site
2nd. Photo from Brisbane Vigil Brisbane WikiLeaks Blog Spot
Action in Brisbane
Earlier today, activists in Brisbane held a vigil outside the opening dinner for the Economic Forum where Julia Gillard was due to speak, to confront her over her betrayal of Julian Assange to the U.S. War Machine.
Vigil organiser Ciaron O’Reilly said:
'Julian Assange is a target of the U.S. military and elite for exposing the war crimes of the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq. These are illegal U.S. invasions that the Gillard government has continued to service with Australian cannon fodder, hi tech targeting from Pine Gap, refuelling of U.S. warships and harassment of Australian nonviolent anti-war activists at home and abroad.
'Gillard has co-operated with the U.S. strategy to isolate and pursue Australian citizen Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. The Labor Party line struts a cultivated “we no nothing” ignorance, “we have got no advice from the U.S. government seeking the extradition of Mr. Assange” from Australia (WE DON’T WANT IT YET!, JULIAN IS NOT HERE YET!”)… “and things are at an early stage” (A SECRET GRAND JURY INDICTMENT IN THE UNITED STATES IS NOW OVER 12 MONTHS OLD).
'“We have provided him with full consular assistance. He’s got exactly the same assistance that any other Australian faced with legal difficulties would get.”'
The quality of that assistance when it comes to be an Australian citizen/anti-war activist in trouble with the U.S. military/government is fully exposed in this ABC radio interview.
[ABC Radio (4mins 50secs) "The Present Persecution of Julian Assange" interview with Australian anti-war activist Ciaron O'Reilly, Australian nonviolent anti-war activist and former U.S. political prisoner.]