At a "Home Run for Julian" event in Boston, June 9, Dr. Jill Stein continued to lead the effort to demand justice for the founder of Wikileaks and for a defense of democracy itself. Dr. Stein was joined by Julian Assange’s father and brother, John and Gabriel Shipton, to raise awareness of the dire conditions under which Assange is being held, and the role three successive American presidents have played in demanding his extradition to the United States.
At the rally, hosted by the Community Church of Boston, Assange was given the Sacco and Vanzetti Award in absentia. Stein congratulated him and his family. "He should be getting not only the Sacco and Vanzetti prize, but he should also be getting a Pulitzer Prize..." What Assange did "is not JUST okey, but it's essential in a democracy." (emphasis added)
Stein reported, "Assange is imprisoned in the United Kingdom after revealing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Trump administration demanded his extradition to the US on espionage charges; the Biden administration has followed the same course. Assange is a journalist, not a spy."
"Assange is a political prisoner," Stein said, "it is the US empire that should be in criminal court. The founders of the United States realized that a free press was essential to a peoples' democracy."
"Assange has brought a transformation of journalism," Stein declared, "in an age of journalism that has lost its way, to put it charitably, that is corrupted in a corporate consolidation...This is a critical case that we need to stand up and fight if we want to have a future. It's not just journalists who are at risk here, it's not just publishers. It's the very fabric of our society and our democracy."
Jill Stein co-founded Doctors for Assange in May 2019, after Julian Assange “was forcibly dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy in London” and placed into solitary confinement in Belmarsh, which houses Class A male prisoners “...who, if they were to escape, pose the most threat to the public, the police or national security.”
The group, Doctors for Assange, was formed in response to reports that Julian Assange’s life may be at risk. These professionals consider his situation to be a medical emergency, and an assault on medical ethics. In their letter, published in the Lancet, and signed by over 117 medical doctors from 18 countries, the doctors issue a stark warning, "Should Assange die in a UK prison, as the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture [, Mils Melzer,] has warned, he will have effectively been tortured to death."
Stein was the Presidential candidate of the Green Party of the US in 2012 and 2016, polling several million votes. She spoke out at the June 9 rally with other personalities, including Amar Ahmad of Massachusetts Peace Action and Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst who is now an anti-intervention activist.
Stein has spoken out for Julian Assange before and her invitation to speak this month is an acknowledgment of that and her stature as a prominent spokeswoman for peace and social justice.
The Shiptons are on a month-long 17-city tour of the United States to argue that the 17-count federal indictment against their son and brother is an attack on freedom of the press.
"You are heroes," Stein said. "You are standing up not just for Julian Assange, but for justice, for press freedom, standing up for accountability from empire, standing up for democracy."
She concluded, "It is an act of ultimate hypocrisy for the US media to proclaim concerns over the Russian dissident, Alexy Navalny while remaining mute about the role of President Biden in continuing the US persecution of Julian Assange. The cause of Julian Assange must be carried forth by all progressive groups and any individuals who believe in the critical notion that democracy is dependent upon a free press."
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Talk by Jill Stein: https://youtu.be/mJ8QzSP_JFc