HomeArticleMy Speech For The Melbourne Free Assange Rally

My Speech For The Melbourne Free Assange Rally

I gave a speech for the Socialist Equality Party Australia rally for Julian Assange today, and I figure I may as well share the transcript for those who weren’t able to be there:

Today is the day when the rubber meets the road.

Today is the day when the nice guy mask has been ripped from the face of the inverted totalitarian state under whose boot we live.

We were told, concern trolled, that it was all about his cat, his body odour, his love affair for Trump or Putin or the Catalan people, Nazis, rape, transistor radios, and his hatred of truth, justice and the American way.

A thousand different stories about what this was all about, all created to confuse the casual viewer as to what was going on. 

In the end, it was about what any clear-eyed rebel could see from day one. It was the reason he was granted asylum in the first place. The powerful people he embarrassed with his leaks want to punish him. He is being bullied by the power whose wrongdoings he exposed. And those powerful people want to make an example of him and send a message to all of us.

Now I’ve heard it said, and I’m sure you’ve heard this too, that this sting was timed in part so that it occurred within the timeframe of the caretaker government given our forthcoming federal election here in Australia on May 18th. They reckon this’ll be good for them. They reckon this’ll mean that nothing can be done!

Ha, yeah well I don’t think so mate. I know that I will bailing up every politician I see on every street corner and demanding to know what their position on Julian Assange is.

I know that I will be making this a core election issue from which they cannot sheepishly demur as they have done til now.

I know that this will be the election issue that will be the decider on who I vote for, and who I do not.

And I know that I am joined by many of my fellow Australians in my outrage.

Australians are pretty easy-going, but only to a point, and that point has been reached.

Australian politicians and the Australian media have been put on notice as of today – we will not lie down quietly and utter that infamous Aussie phrase of the defeated – “Aww well whatever you reckon’s a fair thing…”

Because this not a fair thing.

We will not let this rest.

We will not let a son of ours be made a precedent for the death of the free press everywhere.

That will not happen on our watch.

Because that’s what’s happening. He is the thin edge of the wedge for the death of press freedoms all around the world. 

Think about it – this is an Australian, wrenched from the Ecuadorian embassy, being held by the UK, for journalism via WikiLeaks which has no office or affiliation in the US at all.

The long arm of the US empire has shown that it can nab any journalist, anywhere in the world, if it doesn’t like what you’re revealing, whether you’re a citizen of theirs or not.

This is truly a global totalitarian show of might and it must not go unchallenged. We have to win this one.

Without the ability to shine a light on the evil wrongdoings, on the war crimes, of this empire through journalism, we are lost.

Once our ability to bring power to account has been neutered, you can forget about fighting for anything else.

Our environment will continue to be degraded beyond habitability, our rights will continue to be eroded to nothing, the war crimes will get more flagrant and more deadly in the endless stupid wars that will continue to fuel the oil addiction that is poisoning our planet.

The fight for Julian Assange’s right to shine a light on war crimes is the nexus point fight for all of us humans as a species.

Without the ability to make the powerful accountable for their crimes, we have lost already.  May as well smooth the pillow on a dying world. That much is clear today.

On that point, keep an eye on where the Australian journalists fall on this.

There is no doubt that by now it is clear, in their minds at least, how this will be a fatal blow to investigative journalism everywhere and this is a mortal threat to every journalist who has ever sourced evidence to fight wrongdoing at the highest echelons of power. They all understand this now. There is no doubt that by now they are crystal clear on that point.

Watch which side they fall on, because it will be clear that those journalists who fall on the wrong side of this never intend or intended to do any kind of journalism in their lives.

They don’t care because they are not in danger.

They are lackeys, bootlickers, mindless repeaters of power, blue-tick propagandists who never ever intend to upset even one of their plutocratic masters.

They don’t care because they do what they’re told. They don’t care because they know that underneath it all, that’s not their job, their job is to protect power, not to bring it to account.

They don’t care because they are not journalists.

Where they fall on this will tell you what they are. Watch carefully and take notes.

So on that note I want to thank you all for coming today. You too, have shown me who you are. You are on the right side of this.

When history has had time to put things in its proper context and looks back on this day in abject horror, when it is realized that this is the day that nice guy mask was ripped off and the full brute force of the corporatist totalitarian state was seen in the harsh light of truth, you will be remembered as the ones who did not flinch.

You did not freeze.

You did not run and hide.

You will be remembered as the ones who stared down this horror with the same conviction as Julian Assange.

When you get a chance, do something for me. Take a look at Julian’s face as he is being taken to court.

I know you were probably as shocked as I was at his physical appearance. We were warned that his detention was taking its toll on his health but it still was really hard to see.

But now the shock has worn off, take a second look.

Look in his eyes.

You will see, the fire still burns bright.

That is no broken man.

They have not broken him, and they have not broken you.

Looking around today I see the same fire in all your eyes.

This is our time.

This is when we rise.

This is when we shout a giant “NO!” to those who have us suffocated into a fatal dream at this crucial moment in human history, a moment where our eyes must be wide open, where we must stare down our plutocratic masters who are driving our species into extinction, and take back the wheel.

So I urge you to pull from your convict roots,  your refugee beginnings, or your indigenous stock, from all the many ways that the people of this country largely come from either being imprisoned by, fighting off, or fleeing the very self-same empire that has its talons in Assange today, I urge you to pull from that anger that is wound deep into your DNA.

And say NO, we will not be silenced any more.

NO, we will not be enslaved anymore.

NO, we are not livestock to be herded into pens convenient to the oligarchs, bleating praise in a chorus for their demented agendas.

We demand our freedom in the same breath that we demand freedom for Julian Assange.

We must rise, now, as one, and defeat this evil once and for all.

Make this one stick, people!

Thank you.


Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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Latest comments

  • Julian Assange and Wikileaks are courageous whistleblowers. We can only hope that if our Australian son gets as far as the USA that President Trump will save him somehow. The Australian government should hang its head in shame. I also commented similar to this in The Australian newspaper; one of our best and fairest.. Guess what! it was pending for a little while, Then it was neither rejected or accepted. It just disappeared. Our free press is crumbling

  • As Corporal Jones of Dad’s Army used to say “they don’t like it up em”
    keep up the great work Caitlin. I am not a socialist, however this issue transcends those issues. At Easter just remember Jesus was a radical and put to death by an oppressive police state because he was perceived as a danger for telling the truth and not conforming As another other great nonconformist Martin Luther King explained in one of his sermons in 1954…..”This command not to conform comes…(from) Jesus Christ, the world’s most dedicated nonconformist, whose ethical nonconformity still challenges the conscience of mankind.”
    “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

  • Damn Caitlin! That was moving just to read… wish I could have been there to hear it live!!

  • Great work.

  • Sweden may reinstate rape charges. Here are a few comments from a newsletter by Ingrid N. that Sweden is the rape capital of the world. Hope it is appropriate here. “If my recollection of the original charges is correct, Assange was first charged in Sweden for “rape” but the definition of rape in Sweden includes unprotected sex. It was alleged that a condom broke during consensual sex. Only two people know what really happened, but what stands out here is the uneven application of the law. Assange’s name can be dragged through the mud for an event that was ostensibly private and for which charges had been dropped. If there was a window for action, it involved the potential risk of infectious disease or pregnancy, and the reason given for the original complaint was to require a test for STDs. However, with the passage time and the immense political and journalistic pressure on all concerned, the questions surrounding disease and pregnancy could and should have been resolved. …What is illegal in Sweden is to make similar allegations against asylum seekers. Sweden became the rape capital of the world but horrific jail sentences and fines have been levied on victims who were brutally gang raped by economic and political refugees of the very issues that WikiLeaks was bringing to the attention of the world. … Sweden, sad to say, is making a precedent of inflating the importance of the private acts of a controversial journalist and ignoring the deeds of asylum seekers …”

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  • All day websites are putting in their takes on this story, including the loan made to give Mr. Assange up to the police. I expect President Trump to use Manning and Assange to go after Hillary Clinton!! This whole thing is going to be very messy!! Great speech Ms Johnstone!!

  • First of all, my heartfelt thanks for sharing your Love, humour, insights, and passions with us. You inspire many and your reach is global. You make me laugh, and weep, and – most importantly – think! Now comes the crunch for all of us – when will we act? We ARE “the many.”

    Would it be safe to say that Sheridan, Kenny, Devine, Bolt and the rest of the corporate cheer squad of bootlickers missed hearing your speech?

    I have so much I’d like to express about what Australians have allowed this country to become, but this is a note of thanks to you and I’d prefer to keep it positive.

    Keep up the Good Fight, Caitlin.

  • The Western world has in fact broken down as a social contract in our time as if we were not supposed to be a just world but a confederacy of stupid ,murderous gluttons Its becoming ever more grotesque. Thanks Caitlin for the great effort you put in your constant and persistent resistance to the inexhaustible forces of oppression .It is imperative that we fight otherwise we will all be Palestinians.

  • “If wars can be started by lies,
    Peace can be started by truth.”

    Julian Assange


  • Dear Caitlin:

    I am presently in Berlin – shocked yet not shocked! I have sent a note asking my Federal MP Pat CONROY ALP to do something to force this current pusillanimous (thanks Monty P.) LNP to do something – to send a diplomatic rep. stronger than Bully/Bigot/Bookshelves Brandis – equally snivelling successor to the Alexander Downer of the “Nation Builder”/massacre perpetrator of Indigenous Australians Downer Family) to demand Julian ASSANGE’s release and return to safety in Australia well away from the clutchy-angry-vengeance of the US State. I await word from Pat as to his action.

    In any event – thanks for the copy of this excellent speech – says it all – brava!

    Sincerely, Jim

  • It’s just hyperbole if we are not willing or able to connect the dots and expose the real wire pullers–who briefly come to the forefront of criticism–but then quickly fade back into the memory hole–as if they never existed. It is obvious who controls the most powerful politician on the planet [abdicating Iran nuclear deal, designating Jerusalem as capitol israel, most recently recognizing the Golan Heights as a legitimate israeli possession].

    If this tiny pariah criminal state controls the Empire–than they control every aspect of what happens on the global stage. At some point–we all have to stop pretending that we are not aware of this–that we know who and why they pull the wires–as the infrastructure for the NWO digital cage [5G] is being fast-tracked thru the world’s communities without any meaningful safety studies [beyond the antiquated thermal studies]–while 64, 000 signatories from 168 have signed a protest amendment to stop this insane technology: https://www.5gspaceappeal.org/

    Assange is important–but there are more pressing issues before us–and they a probably just using Assange as a distraction–as is the soap opera starring Donald Trump–which continues to this day–despite the waning numbers of viewers.

    To cut to the chase: It’s the Zionists stupid.

  • April 12 @ 9:25 AM PCT
    Re: Caitlin Johnstone
    Thanks for sharing the text of your speech in Melbourne, the ‘kidnapping’ of Julian Assange is a crime; regardless of who did it or why.
    I was awakened this morning at 5 AM by the distinct voice of Noam Chomsky speaking Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. https://www.democracynow.org/
    All of us, regardless of generation or social or political bias need to come together and thoughtfully pay careful attention to the wise information imparted by Professor Chomsky on several important topics; conveyed, as is his habit, without the use of gratuitous sloganeering or hyperbolic rhetoric. It is a time for informed and serious concentrated activism!
    “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”
    As Usual,

  • The majority of the British MP’s cheered.

    In the US Congress, only MC Tulsi Gabbard stood up for Julian.

    Bernie ‘ ‘the sheepdog’ ‘ Sanders didn’t say a word.

    • Bernie is a gutless wonder Typical politician, he folded to Hillary without a whimper of protest.

  • Do you want a better world? If so, here’s what you must do. Find candidates who are saying what Caitlin said in her speech and what she has written in her great articles of the past and VOTE FOR THEM, EVEN IF YOU THINK THAT THEY DON”T HAVE A HOPE IN HELL OF WINNING!
    Because the DNC and RNC will squelch candidates running within those parties, pick candidates from other parties or independent candidates. Those candidates are ALREADY out there. All you have to do is find them and vote for them. IGNORE THE POLLSTERS!

  • I was looking for some ACTION for people to take, and the strongest was “we must rise, now, as one, and defeat this evil once and for all.”
    That’s fine, but no one knows HOW to defeat this evil peacefully, and neither do you.
    You admit that, and have called for new ideas, lots of them.
    So I gave you an honest and reasoned analysis for what won’t work and what will, as a way to defeat them.
    And you took it down, presumably because you are afraid that your website will be taken down for sedition.
    That’s censorship, and totally pathetic considering you have just called for more ideas.
    The post is now on my blog at http://palloy.earth/Palloy's_News_Commentary/2019-04-12.Assange%20arrested.htm .
    All the rest is just fine, stiring words at a rally of supporters, which will achieve absolutely nothing.
    You are not living in hiding in fear of your life, because you don’t want to know the TRUTH about what it takes to successfully rise up and defeat the Empire.

    The new Equadorean President gave Assange up, he wasn’t snatched by the British. The British Empire will give Assange up to the US Empire, because they have mutual interests. There is absolutely nothing the Australian Government can or will do about it. Today Morrison and Shorten both said “Assange will get consular support, no more, no less.” which is “no change” and so not an election issue. This is not an issue that people will rise up about, and it is fake to suggest it is.

    • I went to your site Palloy. What you recommend there is illegal, and also pathetically ineffective to deal with the problems being considered on this site. Caitlin is overly generous to allow you to post your nonsense here.

  • You’ve said it all so brilliantly, so much so I have tears in my eyes. Everyone who’s coming together in support of Assange and Manning are restoring my faith in humanity. Bless you, Caitlin.

  • Well Caitlin you had me sobbing and I thought I was a strong person. I don’t know where these emotions are coming from. If some of these politicians are not forthcoming I will refuse to vote and refuse to pay the fine.

  • Look around you. you know who are thirsty for Assange’s blood and hellbent to enslave you.

    BDS them and everything associated with them, in every way you can.

    don’t buy what they sell. chances are, what they sell are toxic to humanity, anyway.

    don’t part take in their systems, which are designed to trap you.

    don’t support their cause, as it is against yours.

    do not invite them to your parties, nor go to their parties.

    do let them know what you think of them at every opportunity.

    your soul and your wallet will thank you.

    and watch the ghouls and their NWO shrivel up and blow away.

  • Terrific speech Caitlin! Makes me proud to be your student and supporter. You are speaking for a lot of us awakening folks out here. Keep dishing it out, we love to hear you tell it like it is! Your voice is that of a free human being, and that is so precious in these darkening days.

  • Thanks so much to you and Helen Razer and everyone else who went today. I have MECFS and today was not a day my body would let me leave the house. Maybe next time.

  • Great Speech Caitlin.
    I live in Rural Nevada, US. and I just woke up and turned on the Local News. A Reno News Reporter was showing a clip of Assange being drug out of the embassy, and laughing about it. Like it is all some joke.

    I will be sending him a copy of your speech. This is a huge issue, this is about no less than the future of Free Speech, and I am heartened that so many people around the World seem to get that.
    If we don’t have that, we have nothing.

    Way to go Australia!

  • Excellent speech, Caitlin.

    I emailed Bill Shorten a week ago and told him my vote would depend upon what he did about Julian Assange. Thus far no word from the ‘Honourable’ Leader of the Opposition.

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