Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

On the Ground at DC’s Pro-Assange Protest

Posted by M. C. on October 11, 2022

by Jim Bovard

On Saturday, protests supporting freedom for Julian Assange erupted around the world. In London, 7,000 protestors linked hands to surround the Parliament building, demanding that the United Kingdom not extradite Assange to the United States for a show trial. Protests also occurred in several American cities, including Denver, Colorado, where Kyle Anzalone, the Libertarian Institute’s news editor, spoke.

A protest also occurred on a corner of the block housing Justice Department headquarters in downtown Washington DC. The event commenced with attendees carrying a long yellow “Free Assange” banner around the Justice Department. Perhaps 150 people came out to support the cause on a windy, overcast, chilly day. Most of the speakers and almost all the attendees were left-leaning, if not full-blooded socialists. Jill Stein, former two-time Green Party presidential nominee, opened the protest with a spiel linking Assange to a litany of other causes. Some speakers were borderline mystifying, including a guy from Haiti whose French accent was so heavy that closed captions were needed to follow his points.

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Scott Ritter, a former Marine Corps officer and U.N. weapons inspector, gave an impassioned speech linking Assange’s situation to the 1971 Pentagon Papers case. Ritter declared that the Supreme Court decision in that case would never allow the government to use secrecy as an excuse to suppress free speech. This is aspirational since the Supreme Court decision did not go nearly that far. But nuances tend to be scarce at protest events.

Matthew Hoh, a Marine Corp officer combat veteran and one of the most eloquent opponents of American warring, spoke passionately about how Julian Assange gave a voice and a name to the innocent people killed in U.S. wars since 9/11 and prevented them from “being lost to history.” The sound system mysteriously died during his presentation so he switched to a megaphone without missing a beat. Hoh concluded, “If they dare bring Julian here to the United States, we will meet him and we will meet them and we will set him free.”’s Dave DeCamp gave the best foreign policy speech of the day, walking listeners through the long road of debacles that have led the world to the brink of a nuclear conflict between the U.S. and Russia. DeCamp observed that foreign policy disasters have occurred “because we don’t have more people like Assange.” He called for more Wikileaks-style dumps of emails from government agencies on U.S. involvement in the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

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Spike Cohen, the 2020 Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee, fired up the crowd with a litany of denunciations of the U.S. government. “Julian wasn’t trying to help dictatorships – he was trying to stop the United States from becoming one and that is why they want him in jail.” He also slammed the media for failing to cover the event, a common theme at the podium.

I spoke for a few minutes early during the protest:

There’s an old saying—if exposing a crime is a crime, then you’re being ruled by criminals.

Except for Joe Biden.

Except for Merrick Garland

Except for Christopher Wray—well, maybe not.

I wanted to make sure those caveats get added to my dossier.

One lady in a wheelchair hollered: “What about Trump?”

Geez, it wasn’t like I was wearing a MAGA hat. I continued:

See the rest here

Be seeing you

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