This Sunday June 19th marks 4 years that Wikileaks founder & whistleblower Julian Assange has been unlawfully detained in the Ecuadorian Embassy here in London.
To mark the day a global event celebrating whistleblowers and freedom of expression will be held simultaneously in ten major cities.
The events will be simulcast on freeassangenow.org .
‘Before it is too late, the global event” First they came for Assange… “wants to stress that we live in a critical time in which everyone opposed to the political and financial powers might soon become a target’.
Vivienne Westwood, long time campaigner for Julian’s situation, has her MAN SS17 show in Milan on the same day & has made a video which will be broadcast both at her show & the Assange event later.
The title ‘First they came for…’ comes from the famous German Pastor Martin Niemöller poem about the cowardice of intellectuals and purging of dissidents, in his case in pre-war 1930’s Berlin, but it is also a popular model for describing the dangers of political apathy everywhere.
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me”.
British filmmaker Ken Loach, one of many supporters taking part in the event says:
“our legal system is being manipulated to keep a brave man in isolation” and that “all who care about freedom of information should demand that the threats made against Julian should be lifted. He should be able to leave his place of safety without fear of deportation or being handed over to those who intend him harm.”