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The American working class must stand up for Assange

 The American working class must stand up for Assange

Julian Assange's father and brother John and Gabriel Shipton are touring the United States to demand the release of the founder of WikiLeaks. They visit several American cities, including Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, San Francisco and Denver, before ending in Washington DC.

Assange is a multi-award winning journalist. Her most significant work, done by WikiLeaks with heroic whistleblower Chelsea Manning, is the publication of Iraq and Afghanistan War Diaries and American Diplomatic Cables in 2010 and Guantanamo Files in 2011. These publications exposed war crimes, torture, coup plots, and corruption of the United States and its allies around the world.

For this reason, Assange suffered more than a decade of brutal and uninterrupted persecution by the imperialist powers. He is currently in Belmarsh High Security Prison in London fighting his extradition to the United States, where he faces a potential 175-year sentence on charges under the Espionage Act.

The American working class must stand up for Assange
Gabriel Shipton speaking at a 2019 event in London in defense of Julian Assange (Photo: WSWS media)

On January 4, British judge Vanessa Baraitser blocked Assange's extradition to the United States on the grounds that it would be "oppressive" because of his mental health and the risk of him committing suicide in the American prison system. . However, Baraitser upheld all other aspects of the US government's blatantly undemocratic extradition request. This decision therefore put Assange's case on hold while the outcome of former US President Donald Trump's fascist coup was still unclear. Assange has since been denied bail and is being held in Belmarsh while the United States prepares its appeal to the High Court.

His continued incarceration is inhumane. The UK court ruled Assange's only charge inadmissible, but that same court ordered him to remain in prison. He is kept in a ten square meter cell for 22 hours a day, with permission to go outside to shower, exercise, and get food and antidepressants.

Stella Moris, Assange's companion, said he "is just hanging on to Belmarsh ... it feels like endless punishment." Sometimes he's so desperate that he thinks he's a burden, so suicide is a very real fear. "

Moris continues, “He needs human interaction and mental stimulation. I saw him in a terrible state, unable to line up a sentence ”.

“It's hard to live indoors. The prison has its own criminal justice system and he had problems [with his guards] for the smallest things, like asking for a spoon when he was not entitled ”.

John Shipton at the 'Candles 4 Assange' event in Berlin in 2019 (Photo: WSWS media)

Shipton's visit to the United States, which follows tours of Australia and Europe, is recognition that, if the appeal verdict is against Assange, the main front of the campaign for his freedom will be fought in America.

There is no reason to exclude such a corrupt judgment. One of the first acts of the incoming Biden administration was to signal its determination to maintain the Trump-instigated pursuit of Assange. The British state will therefore feel much more comfortable shipping the founder of WikiLeaks to America than it was when Trump's coup was still in play.

The threat of extradition which motivated the American tour in the defense of Assange brings to the fore the question of the questions of his defense campaign: what social force can obtain his release?

The Shipton's US tour highlights the most politically important aspect of Assange's case: his systematic defamation and isolation by the media and pseudo-left groups.

Nowhere is this more true than in America. For most of a decade, major news organizations ganged up to slander the founder of WikiLeaks and pass him off as a hacker, terrorist, sexual predator, or Russian agent. The fact that the New York Times and other publications recognized at the last minute the frightening implications of his case for democratic rights has not fundamentally changed the situation. These protests were presented as humble appeals to President Biden that did not risk even embarrassing his government.

John Shipton protests outside Belmarsh Prison in February 2020 (Photo: WSWS media)

The utter degeneration of the American media into an appendix of the national security state will be highlighted this Sunday: the 50th anniversary of the first publication of the Pentagon Papers by the New York Times . At the time, the newspaper was ready to publish documents leaked by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg that detailed the dire state of the US invasion of Vietnam, and to defend itself in court against the lawsuits of the State.

Pseudo-left organizations like Socialist Alternative have joined the witch hunt against Assange by giving credibility to the Swedish state's invented sexual assault accusations, or have remained silent like Jacobin and the Democratic Socialists of America (Democratic Socialists of America). Jacobinonly recently broke his silence with two comments posted before Biden took office, and an April interview that cited former CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling that Assange will not get a fair trial . The belated warnings of the threat to press freedoms and democratic rights only underscore a politically criminal refusal to mobilize anyone in Assange's defense.

We cannot give the slightest faith to these soporific gestures adapted to the political imperative to support the Democrats. The US ruling class is determined to see Assange destroyed as part of a preemptive attack on mass opposition to his imperialist warmongering.

The only force that can secure Assange's release is a movement of the international working class, in which the American contingent must play a leading role.

The day before yesterday, John and Gabriel Shipton were in Boston to receive the 2021 Sacco-Vanzetti Memorial Award for Social Justice from the Communitarian Church of Boston, on behalf of of Assange. This price is quite appropriate.

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were Italian anarchists accused of murder who were executed in the 1920s, at the height of the wave of red fear that led to the arrest of thousands of left-wing figures. Espionage law has been used in particular to imprison and censor socialists, originally for their opposition to the imperialist massacre of World War I.

A massive global campaign was launched to secure the release of Sacco and Vanzetti. But over time, campaign organizers sidelined efforts to organize a working class response in favor of respectful appeals to “progressive” politicians, elements of the state and the judiciary. In the words of Max Shachtman, who soon after played a role in founding the American Trotskyist movement, “Because it failed to understand or refused to understand the intensely class nature of the case, the defense succumbed. requests from lawyers; she traded the workers 'movement for the lawyers' motions; she betrayed the imprescriptible class right of Sacco and Vanzetti for a bunch of liberal nonsense ”.

The “World Socialist Web Site” follows in the tradition of those who sought to obtain the freedom of Sacco and Vanzetti by the only means possible: the class struggle. Today as yesterday, the fate of Assange is in the hands of American workers and their class brothers and sisters internationally.

In conditions where the Biden government and the US media are spewing out the poison of the Wuhan laboratory lie in preparation for military confrontations with China, where news of the Covid-19 outbreaks are removed from the news and striking workers suffer a silence of the press, the struggle for truth and democratic rights against lies and war will seize the masses of the working class. The campaign to free Assange is the backbone of this struggle.

I have ambitions and goals in my life, and I am now trying to achieve them calmly, as the name also came on my channel and website.