Democratic rights under attack in Australia

Australian government seeking to prosecute journalists over exposure of war crimes

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 July 2019

The federal police are investigating journalists over the 2017 publication of the “Afghan Files,” which revealed Australian military involvement in extrajudicial killings and other crimes.

Twitter removes account of Assange defence organisation

By Mike Head, 13 July 2019

Unity4J, which campaigns against the persecution of the WikiLeaks founder, was given no reason for the suspension.

Australian police monitoring journalists’ travel and internet data

By Mike Head, 10 July 2019

New reports demonstrate an escalating effort to criminalise exposures about key military and intelligence operations.

Was the Australian army placed on alert during last year’s political crisis?

By Mike Head, 5 July 2019

Whether or not the military was actually activated, Australia was on the brink of a constitutional crisis last August.

Julian Assange’s birthday celebrated at vigils in Australia and New Zealand

By our reporters, 5 July 2019

Linda Tenenbaum, a longstanding leader of the SEP, indicted the Australian government and the political and media establishment for abandoning Assange, an Australia citizen.

Australian workers and youth speak out at vigils for Assange’s birthday

By our reporters, 5 July 2019

“The things he has done have changed the world. The people who hate him are usually the people who are in power.”

Australian filmmaker James Ricketson calls on journalist Peter Greste to defend Assange

4 July 2019

Ricketson’s “Open Letter” debunks Greste’s claim that Assange is not a journalist and therefore not deserving of support, and calls on him to defend the WikiLeaks founder, as he did Ricketson who was wrongly jailed in Cambodia.

Video: Watch the Sydney Free Assange rally

4 July 2019

The demonstration is one of a series of rallies organised by the Socialist Equality Party to defend Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning; the next will be in Brisbane on Saturday followed by Melbourne on Sunday July 14.

Australian workers and youth speak out in defence of Assange at SEP rally

By our reporters, 3 July 2019

“No other political party, none of the human rights groups are acting. Amnesty is doing nothing! Getup is doing nothing!”

Australian media chiefs seek to divert anger over police raids

By Mike Head, 2 July 2019

There was no mention of the violent arrest of Julian Assange, which opened the floodgates for a broader assault on free speech.

Australian PM refused to raise persecution of Assange with Trump

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 July 2019

At the G20 summit Morrison fawned over Trump, who is seeking to imprison the WikiLeaks founder for life, or execute him.

Watch the Sydney rally to free Assange live!

28 June 2019

The SEP rally is among the first events to be held since the WSWS International Editorial Board called for the formation of a Global Defence Committee to demand freedom for Assange and Manning.

Terry Hicks, father of former Guantánamo Bay prisoner David Hicks, demands freedom for Assange and Manning

28 June 2019

“There’s only one word to describe the victimisation and persecution of Assange and Manning, and that word is barbaric.”

Join the Sydney rally this Saturday demanding freedom for Julian Assange!

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 June 2019

The demonstration will insist that the Australian government take immediate action to prevent the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition to the US, where he faces life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Australian filmmaker James Ricketson to speak at SEP rally in defence of Assange

26 June 2019

“We must do all in our power to prevent Assange’s extradition to the US. Signing petitions is not enough. We must make our presence felt in the streets at vigils and demonstrations.”

Assange legal advisor: Pentagon spearheaded pursuit of WikiLeaks founder

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 June 2019

Geoffrey Robertson’s statement is another demonstration that Assange would not receive anything resembling a fair trial if he were extradited to the US.

Australian Labor Party leader determined to expel building union official

By Mike Head, 21 June 2019

Corporate outlets have declared that John Setka’s removal is the first “test” of Anthony Albanese’s leadership in turning Labor further to the right.

Professor Stuart Rees to speak at SEP rally to defend Julian Assange

20 June 2019

“The rally must increase public awareness of the outrageous injustice if Julian is extradited to the US to face a possible 170 years in prison.”

John Pilger urges participation in SEP (Australia) rallies to defend Assange

19 June 2019

“In my career, there has never been a more important case. If we lose Julian and Chelsea Manning to the dungeons of a rogue America, once-liberal societies will never be the same again; democracies will be in name only.”

Prominent Australian journalist Mary Kostakidis calls for campaign to free Assange

18 June 2019

“We must not wait till it is too late to recognise the broader significance of the persecution of Julian Assange and fail to defend his human rights.”

Two protesters arrested at Melbourne rally in defence of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 June 2019

The arrests were aimed at intimidating supporters of WikiLeaks and preventing broader layers from joining the campaign to defend Assange and all democratic rights.

Australia: Another Sydney apartment block evacuated over major structural cracks

By John Wilson, 17 June 2019

The event underlines the escalating crisis in housing and apartment building and the cost-cutting methods used during the past two decades.

WikiLeaks publisher Assange faces US extradition trial next February

By Robert Stevens, 15 June 2019

The UK government has made clear that it will do everything possible to expedite Washington’s vindictive attempt to render the courageous journalist to face imprisonment, torture, and execution in the US.

Activist Lauri Love and others speak out in defence of Assange

By our reporters, 15 June 2019

Members of the Julian Assange Defence Committee and the SEP were joined by people from across London and further afield, including two “Yellow Vest” protestors from France.

Australian Labor Party’s hypocrisy on police media raids exposed

By Mike Head, 12 June 2019

The opposition Labor Party has joined hands with the ruling Coalition to pass legislation handing unprecedented powers to the police and intelligence agencies.

Australian journalist calls on colleagues to defend Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 June 2019

Andrew Fowler warned: “If Assange is left to swing in the breeze, it will be an open invitation for any journalist, anywhere in the world, to be extradited to the US.”

US issues formal request for Assange’s extradition

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 June 2019

The Trump administration is pressing ahead with its attempt to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder over his role in the exposure of US war crimes and diplomatic conspiracies.

SEP (Australia) calls rallies demanding freedom for Julian Assange

11 June 2019

The protests will demand that the Australian government take immediate action to prevent the WikiLeaks founder's extradition to the US and secure his complete freedom.

Australian police chief links media raids to US-led “Five Eyes” spy network

By Mike Head, 8 June 2019

Gaughan’s statement points to the targeting of journalists in order to cover up Washington’s preparations for wars and mass political surveillance.

“Is there going to be a future for journalism?”

Australian media workers denounce police raids

By our correspondents, 8 June 2019

ABC workers spoke of their shock and alarm at the arrival of federal police in their building.

The global war on journalism

By Mike Head, 6 June 2019

The arrest of Julian Assange has set a precedent for the state persecution of journalists, triggering police raids in Australia and France against reporters documenting government crimes and corruption.

Australian Federal Police raid journalists over exposures of government spying, war crimes

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 June 2019

The raids, targeting a News Corp journalist and the Sydney offices of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, are part of an expanding assault on democratic rights and press freedom.

Australian government forces refugees back to face repression in Sri Lanka

By Max Newman, 5 June 2019

At least 20 more asylum seekers have been detained by the Australian navy and deported to Sri Lanka to face possible torture and imprisonment.

SEP Australia meetings on Labor’s election debacle and the defence of Assange

4 June 2019

The leftward movement of workers and youth can find no means of expression within the present political framework. It must be developed into a conscious political movement, based on a socialist perspective.

Britain and Australia dismiss UN report that Assange has been tortured

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 June 2019

The brazen responses demonstrate the criminality of the US-led vendetta against Assange, which is proceeding in violation of due process and the fundamental tenets of international law.

Sydney Peace Prize recipients demand Australian government defend Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 June 2019

The statement was a powerful indictment of the Australian political and media establishment, which has abandoned the WikiLeaks founder or openly participated in his persecution.

Australia: Children detained in adult watch houses in Queensland

By John Harris, 31 May 2019

Children as young as ten have been held in maximum security facilities, where they have been subjected to horrific abuses.

Actor Geoffrey Rush awarded record payout in defamation damages

By Linda Tenenbaum, 25 May 2019

The Oscar-winning actor was granted a total of nearly $2.9 million, in general and special damages, due to the Murdoch media’s defamatory articles.

Speech by Oscar Grenfell

Millions in Australia “view Assange as a hero who is being attacked for revealing the truth.”

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 May 2019

We are publishing here the speech of Oscar Grenfell, a leading member of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and national convenor of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, at the May 12 meeting in London in defence of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

Hunter “Meet the Candidates” Forum exposes major parties

By our reporters, 15 May 2019

SEP candidate Max Boddy said that “the elephant in this election campaign is the deafening silence on the persecution of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.”

Australia: Rally to defend Julian Assange held in Broadmeadows, Melbourne

By our reporters, 14 May 2019

The event drew a small but determined crowd of SEP members and supporters, local workers, and WikiLeaks’ supporters.

Free Assange NZ denounces hypocrisy at World Press Freedom Day event

By Tom Peters, 11 May 2019

Alex Hills from Free Assange New Zealand condemned the British government’s “brazen hypocrisy” and called on the media to “end the smears and lies about an anti-war hero.”

Video: Workers at SEP rally in Parramatta denounce persecution of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 9 May 2019

The Socialist Equality Party won strong support from workers and youth at its rally demanding the immediate release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and US whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Australian fascist group tried to recruit Christchurch terrorist

By Tom Peters, 8 May 2019

The latest revelation further discredits claims by the Australian and New Zealand governments and police that Tarrant was a lone gunman whose attack could not have been prevented.

Former Australian PM denounces anti-China witch-hunt of intelligence agencies

By Oscar Grenfell: SEP candidate for Parramatta, 8 May 2019

Paul Keating’s outburst highlights the degree to which Australia and its military and security agencies have been integrated into the US war drive against China.

Video: At Sydney rally Assange’s father demands Australian government secure son’s release

7 May 2019

Two days after Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail, protesters rallied in Sydney’s Martin Place.

Austrian government ties welfare payments to German language skills

By Markus Salzmann, 3 May 2019

The targets of the cuts are mainly foreigners and those with large families.

Liberal and Labor compete in stoking anti-refugee scare-mongering

By Mike Head: SEP candidate for Oxley, 1 May 2019

The SEP unequivocally defends right of asylum seekers, immigrant workers and their families to live, study and work in Australia, or anywhere in the world, as full citizens.

On Australian TV, Julian Assange’s father calls for son’s freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 April 2019

John Shipton warned that his son’s persecution was “to demonstrate that publishers and whistleblowers will be destroyed.”

UN official visits Julian Assange, investigating Ecuador’s illegal surveillance

By Mike Head, 26 April 2019

Confronted by worldwide protests and petitions, the British government felt compelled to grant the UN access to the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder.

Australian mining magnate renews his fraudulent populist pitch

By Mike Head: SEP candidate for Oxley, 26 April 2019

While feigning sympathy for working people, billionaire Clive Palmer is bankrolling an election blitz by his so-called United Australia Party.

Pennsylvania woman killed in factory meat grinder

By Tom Eley, 25 April 2019

Jill Greninger, 35, was working alone when the accident took place.

Australian rugby player Israel Folau challenges sacking over social media posts

By John Braddock, 25 April 2019

The moves to sack Folau over his social media posts are an attack on the player’s basic rights and on freedom of speech.

The Australian government must act to free Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell: SEP candidate for Parramatta, 25 April 2019

Assange’s brutal arrest and the attempts to extradite him to the US are an attack on the working class.

Formerly-jailed Australian journalist Peter Greste fronts corporate media attack on Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 20 April 2019

Peter Greste, once incarcerated by the US-backed Egyptian junta, is using his reputation as a victim of attacks on press freedom to support the Washington-led efforts to suppress WikiLeaks.

Australian filmmaker James Ricketson demands release of Julian Assange

By Richard Phillips, 19 April 2019

Ricketson was arrested in Cambodia in 2017 and imprisoned for 15 months on bogus claims that he was spying for “foreign states.”

Human rights advocate Professor Stuart Rees denounces attacks on WikiLeaks publisher

By Stuart Rees, 18 April 2019

“This is not a legal controversy. It is a massive political issue. The US culture of revenge has to be exposed and challenged. Grass roots outrage needs to be mobilised.”

Unsealed affidavit demonstrates US seeking to prosecute Assange for his journalism

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 April 2019

The extradition request is a pseudo-legal figleaf for an extraordinary rendition operation.

Australian political establishment rejects calls for defence of Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 16 April 2019

Both the ruling Liberal-National Coalition and opposition Labor Party have doubled down on their support for Washington’s decade-long operation to lock Assange away.

Prominent WikiLeaks supporter Somerset Bean speaks out in defence of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 April 2019

“The powers that be want to use the persecution of a successful and effective publisher as a warning to us all not to challenge their power and their crimes.”

Workers and youth speak out at SEP (Australia) rallies in defence of Assange

By our reporters, 15 April 2019

“What they are doing though won’t stop us. We will find a way to free Julian and any other journalists who come under attack.”

The Assange arrest is a warning from history

Comment by John Pilger, 13 April 2019

John Pilger, well-known filmmaker and investigative journalist, issued the following statement on the arrest of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London on April 11.

Prominent Australian journalist Mary Kostakidis speaks out for Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 April 2019

“Journalists, all over the world, who have published material that WikiLeaks made available, should stand up for Julian’s rights.”

Australian PM and Labor Party leader both reject any defence of Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 13 April 2019

On the opening day of the federal election campaign, there was sickening bipartisan agreement to help hand the WikiLeaks publisher over to the Trump administration.

Workers and youth in Australia support Julian Assange

By our correspondents, 9 April 2019

SEP campaigners found a deep well of opposition to the persecution of the WikiLeaks founder over his exposure of the war crimes and diplomatic intrigues of the US and its allies.

Assange faces ongoing threats at Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 April 2019

While the Ecuadorian government denied that Assange would be “imminently” expelled from the embassy, it did not dispute that plans had been afoot to terminate his political asylum.

UN Special Rapporteur: US extradition of Assange would be violation of international law

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 April 2019

The Ecuadorian regime, and its co-conspirators in the British and US governments, are engaged in a sordid and illegal conspiracy to terminate the political asylum of the WikiLeaks founder.

Defend Julian Assange!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 6 April 2019

The Socialist Equality Party (Australia) condemns the stepped-up preparations to expel Julian Assange from London’s Ecuadorian embassy and to force him into the custody of the British police. WikiLeaks reported today that it has information, from a source in the Ecuadorian state, that Assange’s eviction from the building, where he sought asylum in 2012, will occur “within hours or days.”

WikiLeaks warns that Julian Assange faces imminent eviction from Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 April 2019

The publisher warned that a “high-level source” within the Ecuadorian state had information that Assange would be expelled from the building and taken into British custody “within hours or days.”

Ecuadorian president threatens to evict Julian Assange from London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 April 2019

Moreno accused Assange of “repeatedly violating the conditions of his asylum,” to create a pretext to hand him over to British and US authorities.

Australia: Al Jazeera investigation targets right-wing One Nation party

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 April 2019

The program had the character of a politically-motivated sting operation, aimed at destroying the right-wing, anti-immigrant party.

Australian government exploits fascist atrocity in New Zealand to push online censorship

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 March 2019

The entire political establishment is seeking to cover up its responsibility for the fascist attack and exploit it to crack down on the democratic rights of ordinary people.

Australian government targets China in new “foreign influence” register

By Mike Head, 19 March 2019

More than 700 political parties, universities, lobbying firms, media companies and politicians have been warned of serious legal consequences if they fail to register.

James Cogan to participate in Unity4J online forum to defend Assange and Manning

Watch from Friday, 4 p.m., US eastern time, Saturday: 7 a.m., Australian eastern time

15 March 2019

The vindictive re-imprisonment of Chelsea Manning underscores the urgency of the fight to free Julian Assange from his arbitrary detention by the British government.

Naming of Australian lawyer police informant highlights top-level involvement

By Mike Head, 12 March 2019

The use of such a well-connected figure as an informer would hardly have occurred without the authorisation of the most senior police commanders.

Workers and young people speak out at Melbourne rally to free Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 12 March 2019

“If Julian doesn’t receive freedom, if Chelsea Manning is not released, then we are going down a slippery slope.”

Lawyer charged for exposing Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Mike Head, 11 March 2019

A former Australian military legal officer faces lengthy imprisonment for leaking damning documents.

Melbourne rally calls on workers and youth to defend Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 11 March 2019

James Cogan declared that “the fight to free Assange must become part of all the actions by workers.”

“Julian Assange is a significant international citizen who has made a stand for truth-telling”

Address by Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees to the Sydney Free Assange rally

By Professor Stuart Rees, 6 March 2019

When the controversy about Julian first started, a Republican senator from New York, King, said: “Why doesn’t somebody take a gun and shoot the son-of-a-bitch? I know it’s illegal, but it would be wonderful for Americans’ freedom if that happens.”

IYSSE (Australia) convenor Oscar Grenfell’s speech to the Sydney Free Assange rally

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 March 2019

“They’re persecuting Julian Assange because they know how much he and WikiLeaks have done to politically educate an entire generation of young people.”

More voices from the Sydney Free Assange rally and Brisbane Livestream meeting

By our reporters, 6 March 2019

“We need to demand of the government, ‘what are you going to do to assist Julian now?’ We should not be beating around the bush because his life is in danger.”

The political lessons of the March 3 Free Assange rally

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) Political Committee, 5 March 2019

The demonstration in Sydney won broad support on the basis of mobilising the working class to defend democratic rights and class war prisoners such as Julian Assange.

Media Serve the Governors, Not the Governed

Speech by Joe Lauria, March 3, 2019

By Joe Lauria, 5 March 2019

Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, delivered this speech to the rally organised by the Socialist Equality Party in Sydney to demand the freedom of Julian Assange.

Opening remarks to March 3 Sydney rally by Socialist Equality Party leader, Linda Tenenbaum

Hundreds defy slanders, lies and media censorship to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By Linda Tenenbaum, 5 March 2019

Julian Assange has never been charged with a crime; he has an Australian passport; he is an Australian citizen and, as such, the Morrison government is obligated to defend his democratic rights.

Workers and youth speak out at Free Assange rally in Sydney

By our reporters, 5 March 2019

“People want to bring him home so he can continue his work of bringing these corporate and government criminals to justice.”

Video: SEP national secretary James Cogan urges maximum participation in Free Julian Assange rallies

2 March 2019

Cogan demanded the Australian government answer why it does not accept the UN ruling that Julian Assange is being ‘arbitrarily detained.’

Joe Lauria, editor-in-chief of Consortium News, endorses Free Assange demonstrations

2 March 2019

“Supporting Assange and WikiLeaks is supporting the people against the state.”

Greetings from the Sri Lankan Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee to the Assange defence rallies in Australia

2 March 2019

Tea plantation workers struggling for decent working conditions have expressed their solidarity with the fight to free WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Australian government refuses to defend Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 March 2019

In a Senate committee hearing, Foreign Minister Marise Payne reiterated the government’s refusal to secure the freedom of the persecuted WikiLeaks founder.

Australian filmmaker Curtis Levy demands freedom for Julian Assange

28 February 2019

Veteran documentarian Curtis Levy speaks out in defence of the WikiLeaks publisher and freedom of the press.

Australian workers and youth support March 3 and March 10 rallies demanding freedom for Assange

By our reporters, 28 February 2019

“I’m going on March 3 and I think everyone should come because we need to take action to free Assange and end war.”

Australian media union complicit in the persecution of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 February 2019

The MEAA claims to defend journalists, but only those who have not fallen afoul of the US and Australian governments and the major media conglomerates with which it collaborates.

Terry Hicks, father of former Guantanamo prisoner David Hicks, speaks on the defence of Julian Assange

26 February 2019

Terry Hicks, who waged a determined five-year battle to secure his son’s release from Guantanamo Bay and repatriation to Australia, spoke out on the campaign to free the WikiLeaks publisher.

SEP national secretary James Cogan calls for maximum participation in rallies to free Julian Assange

25 February 2019

Cogan explains the connection between the fight for Assange’s freedom and the fight against the escalating government attacks in every country against freedom of the press and other basic democratic rights.

More lawyers could be police informants in Australia

By Mike Head, 23 February 2019

After eight years of official coverup, the affair has thrown a question mark over the entire legal system.

Authorities confirm Assange’s Australian passport was renewed last October

By James Cogan, 22 February 2019

News that the WikiLeaks publisher’s passport was renewed last October does not reduce by one iota the danger that he confronts.

NSW universities increasingly integrated into Australian military build-up

By Hugh Peters, 21 February 2019

The Defence Innovation Network is aimed at subordinating university research ever more directly to the ruling elite’s preparations for war.

Alleged hacking of Australian parliament feeds anti-China frenzy

By Peter Symonds, 20 February 2019

The hacking claims are bound up with Australia’s alignment with the escalating US confrontation with China over trade and economic issues, and the military build-up in the Indo-Pacific for war.

Australian youth defend WikiLeaks and support demonstrations to free Julian Assange

By our reporters, 20 February 2019

“I’m going to come to the rally to defend freedom of speech and freedom of the press”—Adam, University of NSW.

Chinese community in Australia voices concern over xenophobic “foreign interference” campaign

By James Cogan, 19 February 2019

People fear that the banishment of Huang Xiangmo is the prelude to a campaign of persecution directed against all those of Chinese background.