Former Greek Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, editor in chief of WikiLeaks Kristinn Hrafnsonn, Assange’s Father John Shipton and singer Roger Waters attend a protest against the extradition of Julian Assange outside the Australian High Commission in London, Britain, on February 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Peter Nicholls)
#VWAW2021 – Valentine’s Day
My job as an activist is to demolish the narrative. I’m taking the opportunity of London Fashion Week to defend human rights and free speech. Misrule of law is now global; all governments use it for their own protection. The American Government charges Julian Assange because it is a crime to publish American war crimes. They have invented a sentence of 175 years in concrete. Public opinion is crucial in overcoming this situation.
Julian is currently in Belmarsh prison awaiting his four-day trial, starting 24th February at Belmarsh Magistrates Court. My exhibition ‘True Punk’ is staged a week before to raise awareness of the most important human rights case in history. The UN consider the destruction of someone’s reputation as torture, this is not only a crime against Julian, but it’s a loss for society. Julian is a noble freedom fighter and an aspiration. If Julian goes then responsible journalism goes with him.
The exhibition’s central work is a structural installation entitled, ‘WikiLeaks’:
Julian Assange represented by a gorse bush in pain and in a stress position, his neck in a pillory. He’s covered in public abuse, protected by a cloak belonging to John Lilburne – 17th century founder of human rights – first pilloried then solitary – gagged for speaking the truth, released by Oliver Cromwell when he won the civil war.
It is represented by a champagne bottle, a motif which expresses victory after a battle – when the hurly burly’s done, when the battle’s lost + won. It represents the triumph.
Join the action: Saturday 22nd February
Don’t Extradite Assange
Australia House (71 Aldwych, WC2B 4HN) at 11:30am
Marching to Parliament Sq for 12:30pm
Attendees: Roger Waters, Chrissie Hynde, Vivienne Westwood, M.I.A, Lowkey, John Shipton (Julian Assange’s father), Tariq Ali