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IPFS News Link • Whistleblowers

On the Ground at DC's Pro-Assange Protest

•, by Jim Bovard

In London, 7,000 protestors linked hands to surround the Parliament building, demanding that the United Kingdom not extradite Assange to the United States for a show trial. Protests also occurred in several American cities, including Denver, Colorado, where Kyle Anzalone, the Libertarian Institute's news editor, spoke.

A protest also occurred on a corner of the block housing Justice Department headquarters in downtown Washington DC. The event commenced with attendees carrying a long yellow "Free Assange" banner around the Justice Department. Perhaps 150 people came out to support the cause on a windy, overcast, chilly day. Most of the speakers and almost all the attendees were left-leaning, if not full-blooded socialists. Jill Stein, former two-time Green Party presidential nominee, opened the protest with a spiel linking Assange to a litany of other causes. Some speakers were borderline mystifying, including a guy from Haiti whose French accent was so heavy that closed captions were needed to follow his points.

inspector, gave an impassioned speech linking Assange's situation to the 1971 Pentagon Papers case. Ritter declared that the Supreme Court decision in that case would never allow the government to use secrecy as an excuse to suppress free speech. This is aspirational since the Supreme Court decision did not go nearly that far. But nuances tend to be scarce at protest events.

Matthew Hoh, a Marine Corp officer combat veteran and one of the most eloquent opponents of American warring, spoke passionately about how Julian Assange gave a voice and a name to the innocent people killed in U.S. wars since 9/11 and prevented them from "being lost to history." The sound system mysteriously died during his presentation so he switched to a megaphone without missing a beat. Hoh concluded, "If they dare bring Julian here to the United States, we will meet him and we will meet them and we will set him free."