Julian Assange is currently held under inhuman conditions in a maximum-security UK prison, with prolonged periods of complete isolation which amounts to torture. This kind of punishment is purely vindictive on the part of the British "justice" system. He will very likely be held prisoner under such conditions for the entire duration of the hearing of his extradition to the US.
Protests against this sort of injustice are ongoing all over the world. So far, they have been virtually completely ignored by the media and the government. Everyone is hoping that the British courts will somehow recognize the injustice and set Assange free. But let us be realistic. It is much more likely that the vindictiveness of the US and UK against Assange will continue and prevail. Can we afford to pin our hopes solely on these courts, the ongoing protests notwithstanding?
How many millions protested before the invasion of Iraq by the US, UK, and their "coalition of the willing"? What difference did it make? The millions were just ordinary people, nameless, amorphous. Not having any mass recognition, they could be dismissed by the parade of "experts" on the mass media, all eager to push for war. Neither could the protests be sustained for long, being composed of ordinary people with only ordinary resources. The war-minded governments could simply wait them out, until they all went home.
Protests, to have any chance of being acknowledged in today’s elite-monopoly world, need to have at least three ingredients. One, instant celebrity recognition, so that they cannot be simply blanked out and made invisible by the mass media. Their celebrity status will make the viewing public sit up and take notice. Two, the protesting celebrity group must have sufficient mass, and it must be united. Otherwise the media will play its usual divide-and-conquer game where it trots out other "experts" to counter and nullify them. Three, they must have the stamina to sustain their voice until they are heard and recognized.
Julian Assange has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019. How compelling it would be if the Nobel committee somehow found a way of awarding it to him immediately, and if all past notable Nobel prize winners (not just Peace prize winners) could join in openly and vociferously celebrating that award. Surely, they are capable of recognizing, as a entire undivided group, the threat to honest journalism that is this prosecution and persecution of Assange? (The likes of Kissinger and Obama need not apply.) Surely such an event that breaks all past protocols could not possibly be ignored by the mass media? Wouldn’t the combined brain-power of the past Nobel winners be able to counter the arguments of any parade of opposing "experts" trotted out by the lapdog media? And surely the past Nobel prize winners are wealthy and secure enough on their own, that they can set aside time and resources to carry on a sustained and visible campaign of support for Assange?
The steps taken by Nobel laureate Ms. Mairead Maguire and others, of nominating Assange for the Nobel peace prize, will be amplified so much more when loudly and strenuously joined by your entire community.
This call is in no way meant to denigrate or diminish the selfless, passionate efforts for Assange being put up by ordinary people all over the world. I believe that both groups are necessary; a mass movement as well as the voices of the prestigious, in order that they be heard loud and clear. They could only complement each other in the best way possible.
Such a union might even succeed in sowing the seeds of discord among the media figureheads. For too long the media has been monolithic and united in its front against Assange (as against many other supremely pressing issues, including all antiwar voices). But enough of them might crack and be forced to acknowledge the voice of such a prestigious group for Assange. For the sake of the entire world, this monstrous and seemingly impregnable media fortress against all things decent needs to be broken. Please lend your considerable weight as a whole to the Assange legal team and to the wider community of supporters for journalistic freedom.
M.K. Ravishankar is a concerned citizen – concerned about the erosion of our freedoms and press freedoms.