Hands Off Julian Assange!
The latest news that Assange will be imminently expelled from the Equadorian Embassy in London should remind us that the political reality has not changed fundamentally since he sought asylum nearly 7 years ago. The following are extracts from a presentation given by Boshevik Tendency member, Roxanne Baker, in 2012:
“Unfortunately, several socialist groups in this country have lent legitimacy to the campaign against Assange. The Socialist Workers Party [SWP] proposed that: ‘if the Swedish authorities were serious about investigating [the charges], they would guarantee that Assange would not be extradited to the US. That could clear the way for him to face his accusers’ [Socialist Worker, 21 August 2012]. Such a ‘guarantee’ is not on offer, but if it were, it would not be worth the paper it was printed on, and Assange would be a fool to accept it.”
“Assange is being hunted by America for daring to shine a light on some of the crimes of imperialism, a capital offense in the eyes of the oppressors. He is no Marxist—he is a liberal who considers himself a realist, and he has serious illusions. Speaking from the Ecuadorean embassy on 19 August , he said: ‘I ask President Obama to do the right thing: the United States must renounce its witch-hunt against WikiLeaks’.
“Assange is certainly aware that the US ruling class will not cease its attempt to make an example of him. The reason he is reduced to calls on bourgeois authority figures to reform themselves is because any notion of the potential of class struggle lies outside his political framework. We must defend Assange because he is an advocate of freedom of the press whose revelations have helped the working class and other victims of capitalist rule. Only by defending the rights and liberties won through the difficult struggles of past generations—which the capitalist class often tries to reverse during times of reaction—will it be possible to go forward to win new gains and lay the basis for overturning the entire system of global oppression and mass murder that imperialist rule entails.”
Published 5 April 2019