Category: Politics

Imperialism on Trial: 8th September 2020 ‘The Phone Hacking Scandal and the Case of Assange: a Comparison’

In my talk for the ‘Imperialism on Trial: Free Julian Assange’ speaker meeting of 8th September 2020 – the second day of Assange’s extradition trial – I compare the relationship between the government and journalists revealed by the phone hacking scandal of 2005-14, and by the case of Julian Assange of 2010-20. I argue that the wrong journalists have escaped prosecution, and the wrong one is being subjected to it, and that the causes of Hacked Off and of freedom for Julian Assange support each other by demanding a distanced relationship between press and government, and access to justice for victims of press abuses.

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Free the Truth: 11th April 2020

One year after Julian Assange was removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy and transferred to Belmarsh Prison, and twelve days after the refusal of his application for health-related bail during the COVID-19 outbreak, seven journalists, politicians and academics argued from their virus-related lockdown for the urgency of his release – for the sake of his life and of democracy.

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Imperialism on Trial: Free Julian Assange February 25th 2020

Yesterday, on the verge of Lent and the second day of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing, I again went to a church for political reasons: to hear speeches in Assange’s defence and in denunciation of the inhumanity of his treatment and of derogations from the rule of law in his case.

‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God’

[Matthew 5:9].

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International Jurists’ Letter in support of Julian Assange, February 2020

I here publish the International Jurists’ letter to British authorities in support of Julian Assange, which was send to its recipients and made public on 22nd February 2020.

With Assange’s extradition hearings set to begin on February 24th, 2020, eminent jurists (actual and former judges, lawyers and legal academics) from around the world have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. They detail numerous violations of the law in the case of Assange, and urge the UK authorities to deny the US extradition request and to immediately release him.

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Free the Truth: Academics, Lawyers and Journalists speak out for Julian Assange, London, 3rd February 2020

On 3rd February 2020 a second speaker meeting in support of Julian Assange entitled ‘Free the Truth’ took place at St. Pancras New Church, London. The speakers included Craig Murray (former UK ambassador, now human rights activist), John Shipton (father of Julian Assange), Eva Joly (former French prosecutor, Green EU parliamentarian and member of the development committee), Lisa Longstaff (Women’s rights campaigner and spokesperson for Women Against Rape), and Nils Melzer (UN Special Rapporteur on Torture).

I would observe that it has repeatedly turned out to be churches that are the venues most open to hosting events in support of Julian Assange.

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White Angels: the Perversion of Good Impulses to Negative Ends

A propos of the event in support of Julian Assange (‘Free The Truth’, 28th November 2019), I’ve been thinking through why so few young people seem to support Assange, and the effect that the weaponisation of feminism in the smear campaign against him has had…

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Free The Truth: Academics and Journalists speak out for Julian Assange, London, 28th November 2019

On 28th November 2019 St Pancras New Church, London, was filled by around five hundred people to hear several distinguished academics and journalists speak in defence of Julian Assange: Deepa Driver (organiser), Lowkey (rapper), Lissa Johnson (clinical psychologist), Fidel Narvaez (former Ecuadorian diplomat), Lisa Longstaff (spokesperson for Women Against Rape), Mark Curtis (historian and journalist), Nils Melzer (UN Special Rapporteur on Torture), Craig Murray (former UK diplomat, blogger and historian), and John Pilger (investigative journalist). This is my write-up of the evening.

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Reflections on the People’s Vote March, October 19th, 2019

Yesterday, Saturday 19th October 2019, I marched in London for ‘A People’s Vote’. Because I think that a second vote is democratically necessary, and because I want the chance of the UK staying in an EU which, for all its obvious (but remediable) faults, is vastly better for its member states than the greater subjection to the US which is the alternative.

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‘The Character Assassination of Julian Assange’: Imperialism on Trial – Free Julian Assange, June 2019

The transcript of my speech against the character assassination of Julian Assange given at ‘Imperialism on Trial: Free Julian Assange’ on Tuesday 11th June 2019 at the Crypt on the Green, Clerkenwell, London. I also summarise some of the other speeches given that evening and at the linked event on the following evening in St James’s Church, Clerkenwell. Speakers included Vivienne Westwood (fashion designer), Chris Hedges (Pulitzer Prizewinner), Clare Daly (Irish TD and MEP), and Ogmundur Jonasson (former Icelandic Interior Minister).

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Imperialism on Trial: Free Julian Assange May 2019

My transcript of the event ‘Imperialism on Trial: Free Julian Assange’, which was held on the evening of Wednesday 1st May 2019 in Bloomsbury Baptist Church, London, and included speakers including editor-in-chief of Wikileaks Kristin Hrafnsson, former-MI5 officer Annie Machon, and former UK ambassador to Syria Peter Ford.

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The Hearing of Julian Assange on the Charge of Skipping Bail, 1st May 2019

This my best attempt at a transcription of the hour-long hearing of Julian Assange before Judge Deborah Taylor this morning, 1st May 2019, at Southwark Crown Court, London, on the charge of skipping bail.

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Russian Actor Vassily Livanov MBE’s Open Letter to the People of Britain

Russian Sherlock Homes actor Vassily Livanov MBE today published an open letter to the people of Britain, critiquing the current anti-Russian hysteria. He had offered it to The Guardian, which declined to print it; fittingly, then, it was published by the OffGuardian instead. I share its sentiments entirely.

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Where Anti-Trumpism is Getting it Wrong; or, My Enemy’s Enemy is Not Above Reproach; or, Ends Do Not Justify Means

  It is with some trepidation that I blog for the first time about Donald Trump.   It is partly because I feel such trepidation that I feel the need to do so.   Donald Trump is a gifted demagogue,

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