Speech read by Matt, 14-May-2021

This is the seventy-seventh weekly Julian Assange Town Hall Gathering! It has become a tradition for people from Sydney and nearby to gather here every Friday to raise awareness about the political persecution of the multi-award-winning Australian journalist, Julian Assange. Consistent with Julian’s belief in the public’s right to know the truth, we provide news and information relevant to his situation and his ideals. We are compelled to do this because Julian’s journalism has shown us the mainstream media collaborate with powerful interests at our expense. Free speech is the heart of democracy and we must keep that heart beating as strongly as possible!

A major blow to truthful journalism came on Tuesday, when Craig Murray, a journalist, and a friend of Julian Assange, was given a severe sentence of eight months imprisonment for the rather obscure speech crime of ‘jigsaw identification’. Craig has stated he “did not identify accusers and that the court’s application of jigsaw identification is far too unspecific”.  Craig was given three weeks stay and is appealing the decision along with the severity of the sentence. Craig has a serious health condition which will be made worse through spending time in jail. The eight months jail sentence, especially for someone with a dangerous health condition appears overwhelmingly disproportionate!

On the 20th of May, Craig was due to appear, as a witness, in a Spanish court, concerned with the alleged spying of the CIA on Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy. Craig was one of Julian’s most frequent visitors to the embassy so his testimony would definitely be valuable! Craig will now be unable to attend this important court case because he has been ordered to surrender his passport before the 19th of May, just one day before his scheduled court appearance in Spain. How convenient!

Truth about corruption is NOT a crime but corrupt governments will find ways to treat it as one! We must be vigilant about our right to free speech and we must call out the mechanisms used to curtail it. Julian Assange is held in solitary confinement preventing him from commenting on the many abuses currently taking place. It is up to us to make a stand! It is vital that we are morally engaged and prepared to speak the truth even when many around us don’t wish to hear it!

Julian’s journalism has focussed on our need to know the truth. His publishing of original documents has informed us about the value of evidence-based scientific journalism in determining what is true and what is not. Julian Assange is the catalyst for a new culture, a culture of truth! At the core of this culture is the realisation that truth is our power and that we must resist attempts to suppress it!

Julian Assange stands for the need for greater transparency of governments and of powerful entities, while at the same time, standing for greater privacy for individuals. Julian founded WikiLeaks, which helps achieve both. WikiLeaks is a platform designed to protect the privacy of individual whistle blowers, allowing them to anonymously submit public-interest information for publication and achieve increased government and corporate transparency.

Julian Assange has always been a true hero of truth!  Ten years of unjustified smearing, persecution & outright torture have shown us that the character of Julian is exemplary. Propaganda against him is still circulating but it is becoming less effective by the day as people become more attuned to understanding the need to consult verified evidence before making conclusions!

We must speak the truth even though we know the powerful will smear and ridicule us! We must speak the truth because it is the right thing to do! We must speak the truth because it is the only viable path to freedom!

Censorship and suppression of speech lets us know we are being excluded from the democratic process! We are seeing more and more ways being developed to censor and otherwise limit speech. It is vital we maintain ways to be heard!

Support for Julian’s freedom is growing but our freedoms are fast diminishing. We are being lied to about many things by our media and by politicians. We must resist restrictions put on free speech. We must be extremely wary of the introduction of new technologies that increase the power of the surveillance state to limit our freedom and our ability to speak truthfully. It is up to ordinary people to make a stand! We must not allow ourselves to be ruled by evidence-free propaganda! The fight for free speech is the fight for our right to know the truth and the fight for democracy! Keep fighting! Truth is our power!

It is over ten years since the arbitrary detention of Julian Assange began. This is, in itself, clear evidence of a seriously corrupt system! Julian Assange is completely innocent; he should be free and he is a hero for publishing truthful information!

Free Julian Assange!

Free Julian Assange!

Free Julian Assange!

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