British rock legend Roger Waters has slammed the authorities in London, accusing them of doing the bidding of their “masters in Washington,” at a rally in New York on Saturday, calling for the release of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange.
“Julian, you are not alone! ... We are many, and we have a message for Vanessa Baraitser, that apology for a magistrate that set you down in that kangaroo court in London,” Waters said, referring to a judge who signed the extradition order. “Ms. Baraitser, you are a disgrace to the legal profession. F**k you.”
UK district judge Vanessa Baraitser initially refused to surrender Assange to the US, citing fears that he would be subjected to inhumane treatment, but Washington managed to convince London that the journalist’s rights would be “respected.” In the US, Assange faces espionage charges that carry a prison sentence of up to 175 years.
Addressing a crowd outside of the British Consulate on Saturday, the rock musician, who has long been a vocal supporter of Assange, recalled how in 2020, he “wasted a few words on Boris Johnson, who was then the United States’ tamed poodle” and who “ignored the law and did the bidding of his masters in Washington.”
Today, the current pitiful British poodle, Rishi Sunak, is equally well-trained... ‘Rishi, sit! Good boy!’
“What about the law, Mr. Sunak? What about magna carta? What about basic human rights?” Waters asked.
Right now, at the British Consulate in NYC, rallying for the freedom of Julian Assange and the right to expose the national security state that rules usRoger Waters: “Julian Assange, you are not alone.” pic.twitter.com/IdkLdVMxlS— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) December 10, 2022
WikiLeaks supporters insist that Assange was simply practicing journalism by publishing the documents, which were redacted to remove sensitive information. Activists claim Washington retaliated against the outlet and its co-founder for exposing its own war crimes.
“Without Julian Assange we might as well be alone. Without a free press we might as well be alone,” Waters said. “Without basic human rights for all our brothers and sisters irrespective of their color, religion or nationality, we might as well all be alone.”
Julian Assange entered the crosshairs of the US government in 2010 when WikiLeaks published classified documents revealing alleged war crimes committed by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was forced to take refuge inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London from 2012 to 2019, when a new government in Quito revoked his asylum status and he was arrested for skipping bail.
The Australian-born publisher remains locked up in Belmarsh Prison in the UK, pending extradition to the US. His health and mental state are said to be deteriorating after years of confinement.