Julian Assange supporters take part in London’s ‘night carnival’ to demand the release of the WikiLeaks founder

Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange held a “night carnival” in London on Saturday night to demand his release from prison.

Around 2,000 supporters of the Don’t Extradite Assange campaign gathered at Lincoln’s Inn Fields near Holborn and marched past Parliament Square. Activists carried lanterns and placards with messages in support of Assange while a carnival drum band marched behind them.

Assange is currently being held in London’s maximum-security Belmarsh prison, where he has lived since his removal from the Ecuadorian embassy in 2019 for violating prison conditions. He had applied for asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden on charges of raping two women. The investigation into the alleged sexual assault was eventually dropped.

He faces a legal battle over his possible extradition to the United States for the publication of classified information. If extradited to the United States, the journalist faces several charges, including espionage. Assange is accused of releasing classified information about crimes committed by the US government at Guantánamo Bay detention center, Iraq and Afghanistan and revealing instances in which the CIA was involved in torture and rendition.


Supporters of Julian Assange walk during a Night Carnival for Assange march in London.

Supporters of Julian Assange walk during a Night Carnival for Assange march in London.

The British Supreme Court ruled last summer that Assange could be extradited to the United States. If he is extradited, he faces up to 175 years in a US high-security prison. The WikiLeaks founder submitted an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in December.

During Saturday’s march, protesters could be heard shouting “Free Julian Assange” and carrying placards with similar messages.

Assange’s wife Stella spoke at a rally at the Emmanuel Center in Westminster after the march.

“We need to keep building until the movement is big enough that those in power and the courts realize there is no other way but to free Julian,” she told the crowd.

Some activists wore carnival costumes for Saturday’s march, while others dressed as prisoners and judges.

The national coordinator of the Don’t Extradite Assange campaign, John Rees, said at the rally that the group decided to hold a night carnival to be “dramatic” and “to bring light to a dark place”.

“Julian Assange has been convicted of absolutely no crime and justice delayed is justice denied,” Rees said. “We as activists have a responsibility to ensure that this case does not disappear from the public eye. The newspapers that worked with Assange wrote a joint letter supporting his release and it is supported by most of the major human rights organizations around the world. This is unprecedented and in most cases this would be enough to get him released. I hope our action tonight will help put pressure on the British and American governments to release Julian Assange.”


Activists urging the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange take part in a demonstration.

Activists urging the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange take part in a demonstration.

The editors and publishers of US and European news outlets who worked with Assange to publish excerpts from over 250,000 documents he received in the Cablegate leak wrote an open letter last year calling on the US to stop their pursuit of Assange. The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde, Der Spiegel and El País all cited freedom of the press when they called for his charges to be dropped.

The “Cablegate” material, for which Assange is being prosecuted, was leaked to WikiLeaks by then-US serviceman Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of espionage law violations and other offenses in 2013. The documents reveal the inner workings of US diplomacy around the world and uncovered “corruption, diplomatic scandals and espionage affairs at the international level,” the media letter said.

During the Obama administration, which was in office at the time Wikileaks released the documents in 2010, Assange was reportedly not indicted because the administration should have also indicted journalists from major news outlets. But that of ex-president Donald Trump Department of Justice tried to impeach Assange with the Espionage Act of 1917.

During the Trump administration, the CIA reportedly had plans to kill Assange for the release of sensitive agency hacking tools known as “Vault 7.” The CIA said it suffered “the largest data leak in CIA history” after Wikileaks released the materials.

A protester holds a placard during Julian Assange's procession in London to protest his continued imprisonment.

A protester holds a placard during Julian Assange’s procession in London to protest his continued imprisonment.


According to a 2021 Yahoo report, the agency was then holding talks “at the highest level” of the administration over plans to assassinate Assange in London. At the direction of then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo, the agency had created “killing sketches” and “options.” The report also outlined advanced plans to kidnap and hand over Assange and that the CIA had made a political decision to indict him.

Assange’s Wikileaks also published internal communications between the Democratic National Committee and the then-presidential candidate in 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, which exposed the DNC’s attempts to empower Clinton in this year’s Democratic primary. Assange has been accused of hurting Clinton’s chances of winning the 2016 presidency.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/julian-assange-supporters-participate-london-night-carnival-demand-release-wikileaks-founder Julian Assange supporters take part in London’s ‘night carnival’ to demand the release of the WikiLeaks founder

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