Ecuadorean Embassy Speech 74

I spent today inside the Ecuadorian Embassy with Julian Assange, who I am happy to say is both physically and mentally on very good form. I was sitting in the room behind him in a very comfortable leather armchair whilst he made his balcony speech, and I must say I thought the text of it was excellent.

I spoke immediately before Julian, from outside the Embassy. This was my own effort, which I hope provided some valuable context to the persecution of Assange.

I could not help but be struck by the ridiculously excessive police presence – hundreds and hundreds of policemen everywhere. I don’t think that the concept of freedom of information can be killed off by the extreme intimidation of a single man, but by Heavens, Hague and Cameron are going to try.

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74 thoughts on “Ecuadorean Embassy Speech

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  • intp1

    Great Speech, It outshone Assange’s really, though I heard his remarks are constrained by Ecuadorian law vis-a-vis political asylum.

  • nevermind

    An excellent speech, Craig andjust at the right time. The relevance of it to the assembled Met officers was duly noted, not necessarily by them, they would argue, but in a court of law they could say that they did not know, have never heard of it. They did!
    Non of them could possibly get away with raiding an embassy, after having listened to you warning them of the consequences of such actions.

    Looks like we all have good reasons now to organise the ‘alternative’ as someone so aptly said.
    I shall meet with a prospective Independent PCC candidate this week. There are 41 of them nationally and a good show in November will be a boost for next years County council elections.

    Sorry Charles C., your grumpy cowardly remarks are that of a barrow boy, not a diplomat, whatever your thoughts of Assange this is not relevant.
    Who put you up for this Charles?

  • N_

    @Jon – I will try to tone down my language as requested, but I am not expecting a response from Charles. I doubt he can do anything other than bilious when he’s talking about foreigners HMG doesn’t like. Or home-grown oppositionists for that matter.

    @expat – Norway did create an oil fund (which they now call a ‘pension’ fund), but they use hardly any of it for internal industrial development. Most of it’s invested abroad. Norwegian economists are trained to think that investing it internally would be ever so dangerous, inviting ‘Dutch disease’!

    One of the differences with the UK is that in the UK that kind of thing is widely accepted to be the elite’s business. Although some of us are old enough to remember the ceremony in which the queen started the oil flowing, we’re not supposed to figure out that the oil gets sold and therefore the money must go somewhere. So there’s no need for those of us outside the elite to be given a line we can parrot!

    It remains true that they run the UK as if it were the British Empire. Look at the school system for one thing.

    @Craig – great speech, mate. That it was from the heart came out for me especially when you covered MI6, the media, the need for more people to blow the whistle, and the fake allegations made against whistleblowers, of which you too were a victim.

    I think we’ve all got to keep our anger up. I’ve seen media articles sneering at David Shayler for cracking up mentally. Got to ask what kind of editor wants such articles and what kind of scribbler types them out. When the Sun sneered at Frank Bruno for having a breakdown, at least they were forced to apologise. But Shayler exposed HMG’s crimes in Libya and what they were ‘doing a Nelson’ to in London. There’ll be no apology for him. I hope he recovers.

    @ everyone – interesting about Karl Rove in Sweden, eh?

  • Jon

    @N_, cheers.

    @all, safe ground for the BBC, who doesn’t have to look far for a wide chorus of mocking and opposition for Assange from the MSM. The Indie and the Guardian, coincidentally, both make references to comedies (Are You Being Served and Monty Python respectively), with the BBC only too happy to echo them both. Very sad indeed.

  • Sunflower

    What happened in Stockholm was by design, so it seems. But by who and for what purpose has yet to be seen. Sofia Wilen was the catalyst in the early stages, she came in from absolutely nowhere and just happened to have such strong desire to be close to her hero that she eagerly volunteered to help out and managed to end up skin to skin. Sofia has had a very low profile during the consequent time. There is very little information on her, too little.

    Then she contacted Anna Ardin and they together went to the police, not to charge him for anything but for asking about advice if they could demand Julian to be tested for VD. Then it all played out from there in the most twisted and wierd forms between the prosecutors and the police and Julian, basically they didn’t have anything on him and the prosecutors where just stalling and stalling and stalling. Nothing happened, they had plenty of time to interview Julian in Stockholm if they wanted, but that was not how it was supposed to play out.

    The only conclusion one could get out of this is that someone is pulling strings.

  • me in us

    @Jives – Hi, thanks for looking, and I’m sorry and mystified about your opinion of Michael Moore. I’ve been following him for years here and I have the greatest appreciation of him and what he does. It’s not just respect, it’s delight. He’s funny and sweet and smart and brave and gets in places others don’t. It doesn’t even have to be political. Right now he’s got a twitter thing going where he tweets when he’s going for a walk and people all over put on their shoes and go out and walk with him, wherever they are. They tweet in pictures of things they saw on their walk. He just makes friends and community everywhere. I feel like I’m a friend too so I’ll stand up for him here and disagree with you. Best wishes.

  • Jon

    @Me In Us: I agree. Part of the problem with some alternative explanation theories is that the lies are said to be so multi-layered, it becomes less about politics and more about philosophy, existentialism and choosing pills from The Matrix. If every challenge to state/corporate power (such as a film director, a whistleblower website or a leaker) is reported in the MSM, then by definition it/they must be a plant, and you should Trust No-one.

    I just don’t think this is sensible politics, mainly because it is in serious danger of eating itself. By its very rules, holders of such a worldview could easily be accused of being stooges paid to distract people with stuff about Olympic Occult Ceremonies and other nonsense. Occam’s Razor seems sensible to apply: greed is wrecking the world, and there are plenty of good people left to challenge it.

  • me in us

    @Jon, thanks. I like questions. I like questioning authority. I like questioning questioners. I want to understand everybody and where they’re coming from. A local artist and film critic here, UCSD’s Manny Farber, said something I always remember: “I have a great love of the actual.” I loved that. I am so big on the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and reasoning and jiving together. So I have sympathy with Jives’ doubts and questions, I just don’t know the rest of it.

    I watched a youtube last night, an interview of Chris Paine, the filmmaker who made Who Killed the Electric Car? (* below) and now Revenge of the Electric Car. I had seen it before and I was trying to remember what he said he took from Wikileaks:

    Chris Paine: You know, the most telling thing in this, a lot of people don’t know, but if you read the WikiLeaks, there’s a lot in WikiLeaks, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. ambassador, about, “You know, we are overstating oil reserves by about 40%. So heads up.” And I think this is why the Pentagon is like, “Electric cars are like a good idea, because we need the oil for our supertankers and our airplanes, and let’s have a Plan B.”

    So now the military acknowledges oil depletion, okay, we can try electric cars again. It’s not just crimes that WikiLeaks revealed, it’s simple world facts we should all know. If you saw Who Killed the Electric Car?, you saw a new, viable alternative to oil get not just killed but disappeared. Every EV-1 got clawed back and shredded, and it wasn’t just GM, and the swell battery technology got sold to an oil company that locked it away in a closet. Electric cars came into existence here in part because of a California zero emissions mandate, and then the car and oil companies made the mandate disappear and the cars went with it. Gone, never happened, poof. It set the world back how many years, and we’re still doing atrocities everywhere there’s oil? How sucky is that? How stupid is that? Pretty sucky, pretty stupid, pretty sad. None of these wars are just or necessary if we could just see clearly and think together. And I think thinking together is fun.

    Paine at one point talks about where he’s coming from with his films:

    CP: Listen. I majored in international relations, so I was going to be a diplomat or something. And somewhere along the line I learned that no matter how much you argue, you’re not going to convince someone of anything, because everyone’s already decided what their opinion is. So what can change people’s minds are emotions and experiences, and movies have a way of giving people emotions and experiences that don’t necessarily need to be argument. And I felt that was a better way to like be persuasive than just arguing all the time.

    So, credit to Paine, credit to Moore, credit to Craig, credit to Julian. And credit to Paine’s interviewer, whose words end the youtube:

    CP: So for a lot of people it’s just the experience can change them. Like, “Oh, yeah, I guess I’m behind this.” And the argument changes. So I – you know what I’m saying? Like, experience changes people.

    DP/30: Yeah. No, the more you know, the less likely you are to be an extreme radical on any side.

    CP: Yeah.

    So that’s my answer to Jives. Thanks all.

    (* This is the trailer for Who Killed the Electric Car? — here in Southern California I actually had the chance to lease one. I mean, I saw them myself, they weren’t just a theory or a fable: )

  • Jon

    @me in us – oh yes, I agree with your approach to questioning. And for the most part, I don’t think people should avoid any topics in order to avoid being branded a conspiracy theorist or whatever. I don’t know much about electric cars, but I can well imagine they might find it difficult to get to market as a result of corporate chicanery.

    But my basic point still stands – there is a brand of political analysis that really ignores the basic Left/Progressive analyses, and wants to see a hidden villain controlling the world, laughing maniacally. Such perspectives are self-fulfilling, since anyone who posits a more complex explanation (such as, how the media tends to follow established power, or how capitalism amplifies greed traits) will get dismissed as a stooge for the system.

    (* I’ll bookmark your video, will watch when I get a mo – thanks).

  • Damian Hockney

    As a former member of the now-defunct Metropolitan Police Authority, which held the Met to account, I would have been able to have raised absurd use of resources publicly with those responsible and heard their responses. Now that the authorities have got rid of the MPA and any proper oversight, the forum is not there. Just a part-time committee tacked on to an impotent body, the London Assembly, giving you the opportunity to address questions…to another politician.

  • Malaisia

    What impact, if any will Gallaway’s comments have? It’s pretty clear to me that this is a set up. I may not have all the facts but I can smell a rat – something’s not quite right. I even agree with Gallaway’s sentiments (that if you have consensual sex, then 3 hours later have sex “half asleep” then go on a couple of dates, it is unlikely that the “half-asleep sex” is rape) but I don’t think the way he put it helped Assange. The focus of the debate has moved more towards “was it rape” rather than “is this a set up”.

    People often say that Assange hasn’t been charged and that he has offered to be interviewed in the embassy. However, some say that the Swedish Court don’t just want to interview him but arrest him so that he can be charged (i.e. under Swedish law you have to be arrested to be charged). Others point to the fact that Sweden cannot guarantee that he won’t be extradited to the US as under Swedish law all extraditions must be looked at on their (individual) merits. I think I have a solution. Why can’t Assange reverse the situation (on the promise of no extradition)? He should offer to be tried in absentia from the embassy via web-link with the promise that if he is found guilty he will return to Sweden to serve his sentence (if he really has no charges to answer this should work in his favour). Alternatively, if found guilty, instead of returning to Sweden he could serve the sentence in Britain or even in Ecuador (surely Britain wouldn’t deny him safe passage to an Ecuadorian prison cell?).

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