12-12-2020 – Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing Wikileaks organisation, informed his supporters at the start of this year that he is “slowly dying”. Guilty of nothing but journalism, Julian Assange remains in Belmarsh Prison in the United Kingdom (UK), in a wing reserved for those accused of the worst forms of terrorism. Years of detention inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London had already taken a severe toll, but this has been followed by prolonged solitary confinement for 22 or 23 hours a day. Solitary confinement is psychological torture under any definition of the term, which is an open abuse of the rights of prisoners in supposedly democratic states. Julian Assange is a Walkley journalism award winner, but also the first journalist to be prosecuted as a spy by the US government under its 1917 Espionage Act. It is unfortunately no coincidence that this act was introduced by the US government for the prosecution of socialists and anti-war activists at the time of tremendous influence of socialism in the months prior to the October Revolution in Russia in the same year. For, just over 100 years later, imperialism is once again driving workers towards revolution if only to free themselves from the state repression against which Julian Assange had issued dire warnings.
Intimidation the aim
The severe and prolonged physical and psychological torture being meted out to Julian Assange has the aim of intimidating anyone else who is considering exposing the blatant crimes of Anglo/US imperialism, at home and abroad. Another aim is to remind workers that “democracy” and all its trappings has extremely strict limits in the year 2020 and can even be removed if the super elite sees fit to do so. Some semblance of freedom of the press may have been tolerated by Western ruling classes to an extent during the 20th century – but these rights have only cursory observation today. The further world capitalism declines economically, the more it must increase the amount and the severity of political repression of “their own” working people.
During 2020, Anglo/US imperialism has utilised the cover of a fake pandemic to launch the most severe attack on the working class since the 1930s. We are expected to believe that the very same people who waged cataclysmic war on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria taking the lives of millions in the most brutal manner imaginable – are now primarily concerned with “saving lives”. We are expected to believe that the very same people who have subjected Julian Assange to inhuman torture for at least 10 years because Wikileaks exposed their criminality – are now doing their utmost to protect democratic and human rights. We are expected to believe that the very same people who have savagely defunded public healthcare systems for more than 30 years – are now most keenly concerned to avoid public hospitals being overwhelmed. More than anything else, Julian Assange was sickened by such boundless hypocrisy, and was prepared to risk his life to expose it.
Colossal hypocrisy of the lockdown left
The hypocrisy of finance capital and their governments which enforce its rule through Covid-19 fraud is not only matched, but exceeded, by the hypocrisy of the lockdown left on the issue of the detention, i.e., lockdown, of Julian Assange. The lockdown left refers to “socialist” parties, Union officials and liberal social-democrats who swear blind that they uphold progress, humanitarian values or even socialism and Marxism – but in practice have moved so far to the right that they are today outflanked on the left by the entire spectrum of supporters of US President Donald Trump, QAnon followers, “anti-vaxxers”, and those concerned about the danger of radiation from 5G telecommunications towers. The lockdown left is oblivious to the fact that it has practically merged with the capitalist state as it descends into a tyranny which arguably exceeds that of the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s.
In 2010, the lockdown left mobilised as one to defend Assange, for, at that time, Wikileaks was exposing the crimes of the US Empire in its wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. However, the instant that Wikileaks began to expose the war of regime change on Libya, followed soon after by the war of regime change on Syria – the lockdown left dropped Julian Assange like a hot potato. According to them, exposing the war crimes of Republican President Bush was fine and dandy – but exposing the war crimes of then Democrat President Obama and then Secretary of State Hilary Clinton? Well, that was just too left-wing for them. For eight long years, the lockdown left said and did virtually nothing while Assange was held hostage in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Then, when Assange was expelled from the embassy and faced being extradited to the US to face a virtual death sentence – the lockdown left sheepishly and very cautiously found their voice again. That is to say, only when liberals outflanked them from the left, did the “Marxist” lockdown left change their tune.
Today, the lockdown left calls for the release of Julian Assange from lockdown, but strongly defends government lockdowns against almost the entire population under the ludicrous claim of a “pandemic”. They are not able to see that their own actions in defending lockdowns and facemasks has lent political legitimacy to the capitalist state – which has then used this endorsement to dramatically increase severe political repression against workers, and against Julian Assange above all. This is not just a matter of the political bankruptcy of the lockdown left, and most especially the overpaid Union officials who have basically not lifted a finger to help free Assange. What this also means is that the campaign to free Julian Assange will not succeed unless it opposes all facets of the imperialist offensive today; from the barbarous detention of Assange, to the Covid lockdowns, to forced Covid vaccines, to mass unemployment, to the abolition of the right of assembly, to the abolition of free speech via Big Tech censorship, to imperialist war provocations against Russia, China, Iran and so on. Freedom for Assange and freedom from lockdowns are therefore directly linked with a struggle for collectivised and planned economies, led by a vanguard party committed to working class rule.
PO Box 66 NUNDAH QLD 4012