Courage to Resist adds it name to this important statement issued by many peace and justice organizations. We do so in the memory of our recently deceased comrade Robert Meola who’s last political event he was able to attend was a rally for Julian Assange in Oakland, California.
Imprisoned Wikileaks founder, journalist and free speech champion Julian Assange today faces life imprisonment for telling the truth about U.S. war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and at the U.S. torture base in Guantanamo Bay.
Assange faces charges under the 1917 U.S. Espionage Act. Prosecution under that WWI anti-democratic law placed thousands of antiwar activists in prison for exercising their free speech right to protest WWI.
Ironically, the Dec 19, 2021 New York Times front-page two-part series entitled, Hidden Pentagon Records Reveal Patterns of Failure in Deadly Airstrikes, follows in Assange’s footsteps in reporting U.S. war crimes, yet The Times staff writers remain free.
Some 100 Times reporters evaluated Pentagon confidential document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. These included reports on 50,000 U.S. airstrikes on Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan conducted under the Obama and Trump administrations. The Times on-the-scene reporters subsequently confirmed tens of thousands of civilian casualties – collateral damage.
“The [Pentagon] documents,” according to The Times, “identify children killed or injured in 27 percent of cases; in The Times’s ground-breaking reporting it was 62 percent.”
The Times and several other major publications worldwide reprinted much of the same Pentagon material that Assange’s Wikileaks released to the world. Yet Assange faces a life in prison for publishing the truth.
The persecution of Julian Assange by the U.S. government is a threat against free speech and free press. It is also a threat to the Peace Movement and all movements for social change since without information and the ability to speak and write freely about U.S. wars and war crimes we are greatly limited, and the people of the world are kept in the dark.
Therefore, Peace and Justice organizations and activists demand:
- Free Julian Assange!
- No to U.S. wars!
- Freedom of the press!
- Free journalists!
- Free speech!
Courage to Resist, Veterans For Peace, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), ANSWER coalition, Code Pink, Black Alliance for Peace, International Action Center, US Peace Council, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom US (WILPF US), World Beyond War, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Popular Resistance, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), Alliance for Democracy, Ban Killer Drones, People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism and Racism, Free Palestine Movement, International Solidarity Movement (Northern Calif), Palestine Children’s Welfare Fund, Syria Solidarity Movement, NakbaTour, Resumen Latinoamericano, One State Assembly, Association for Investment in Popular Action, Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, Sanctions kill Coalition.
The Espionage Act should be used to prosecute spies, not whistleblowers or journalists.