Don't Extradite Assange protest, 7 September 2020. Photo: Chris Nineham Don't Extradite Assange protest, 7 September 2020. Photo: Chris Nineham

Protesters assembled outside the Old Bailey to voice the opposition to extraditing Julian Assange, reports Shabbir Lakha

As the trial of Julian Assange resumed at the Old Bailey, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the London crown court to oppose his extradition.

The irony was not lost on the crowd of protesting against a government looking to serve up Assange to the US just days after the Home Secretary and Prime Minister were waxing lyrical about defending a “free press” in response to the Extinction Rebellion protests. It seems our government’s principles only apply if you’re Rupert Murdoch.

The protest was organised by the Don’t Extradite Assange campaign and joined by Stop the War, human rights organisations including Amnesty International (who were later denied entry into the court to observe the trial), and the National Union of Journalists. Speakers included Vivienne Westwood, John Pilger, a German MP and a representative of the NUJ among others.

Vivienne Westwood. Photo: Shabbir Lakha

As John Rees succinctly summarised from the stage, this is a fight to defend all of our rights. The demonisation of Julian Assange, the disregard of his basic rights and the determination of those in power to condemn him to death in a US prison goes beyond attacking just him. It’s an assault on our collective right to know the truth – especially when it comes to our elected governments’ decisions to invade and bomb other countries – and our ability to organise against those in power.

We must continue to build the movement that will stand up for Assange and against the warmongers, for all our sakes.

Don’t Extradite Assange van. Photo: Shabbir Lakha

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Shabbir Lakha

Shabbir Lakha is a Stop the War officer, a People's Assembly activist and a member of Counterfire.