2012-02-19 Don't Shoot the Messenger: Wikileaks Assange & Democracy Feb 17, Sydney #wlad

The Wikileaks Assange and Democracy Public Forum held at the University of Technology, Sydney on Friday February 17 attracted over 400 people who packed the aisles and spilled out into the corridors.

Chaired by Australian journalist and broadcaster Mary Kostakidis, speakers at the forum included socialist historian Humphrey McQueen, Greens Senator Scott Ludlum, London-based human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson and Christine Assange, the mother of Julian Assange.

On February 18 Simon Butler of Green Left Weekly reported on the Forum:

"Veteran journalist and former SBS broadcaster Mary Kostakidis chaired the meeting. She told the audience WikiLeaks had won several prestigious awards for excellence in journalism. She said the US government is persecuting WikiLeaks for publishing material that other media outlets have also published. The difference was that WikiLeaks has done it better, she said.

McQueen gave historical examples of how ruling elites have always tried to restrict the public’s access to information, lest they learn enough to want to challenge the social order. He said WikiLeaks’ revelations are dangerous to elite interests because they help educate people about the real nature of society.

Photo: Peter Boyle

Photo: Peter Boyle

Ludlum said he was pleased with the big turnout and denounced the Labor government’s attacks on WikiLeaks and Assange. He urged WikiLeaks supporters to put the pressure on the government to choose democracy and freedom of speech over the US-Australia alliance.

Robinson said Julian Assange has been held in custody for more than a year but has been charged with no crime in any country in the world. She also said WikiLeaks has been crippled by an illegal financial blockade by big companies such as Visa, Mastercard and Paypal.

Robinson, who is part of Assange’s legal team, said Assange faces a very real threat that he will be extradited to the United States from Sweden or Britain.

Christine Assange said when she first heard of the charges against Julian, she reacted as any mother would. But since then, she said she had studied WikiLeaks’ releases on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and the leaked US diplomatic cables, which gave her a wider appreciation of the importance of WikiLeaks’ work.

She said she was very frustrated at the mainstream media’s misleading reports on WikiLeaks and Julian’s case.

The newly formed Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition organised the meeting, with the support of the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism and Stop the War Coalition, Sydney."


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Expendable-Leaks Needs Help

I find it strange that GreenLeft is defending Wikileaks (good as this is) yet turning a blind eye to the leaks being published by Expendable, in their own country, particularly as those perceived to be associated with it in Australia are being persecuted and harassed. Is it a blind spot?

I urge you to watch the film:

And then read the PROOF for yourself. Start with the Transit Report. Read the cables between Ministers and the AFP, which show exactly what they did.

NONE of this is being reported by the mainstream media there. And neither are the intimidatory steps being taken against Expendable supporters.

Expendable continue to publish leaks and material proving the scale of the corruption. Why are you not helping them, GreenLeft?

AP are reporting this as follows:

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