The Greens of New South Wales have adopted a motion which “denounces the failure of the Australian government to defend the persecuted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange” and “to bring him home and give him the support and assistance he has needs”.
The motion was passed by a delegates’ meeting of the Greens in the NSW State of Australia last weekend. It reflects growing dissatisfaction with the US persecution of Assange. At the same time, it also reflects the Australian government’s refusal to uphold its rights as a citizen and journalist. It is undoubtedly also a reaction to the anger at the long silence of the Greens, who, despite Assange’s plight, have failed to campaign in his defence.
The motion is characterised above all by its cowardly and lukewarm character. He does not call for Assange’s freedom, nor does he mention the Trump administration’s desire to have him extradited from Britain to the US. He is due to be arraderd 18 charges, which could carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.
In fact, the Greens’ statement states that the “case” in connection with Assange should be “continued” even if he returned to Australia. The clear conclusion would be that Assange would also be detained in Australia and that the US could continue to prosecute him for committing the “crime” of uncovering their illegal wars, mass eavesdropping and global diplomatic intrigues.
The request does not require the Australian government to guarantee Assange that he will not be extradited to the US or any other country. The possibility of sending him to a foreign prison would continue to exist indefinitely.
When the NSW Greens posted the motion on their Facebook page on Wednesday, one of their members commented: “We should argue against extradition to the US, but not for his immediate release.” Ian Rose replied: “Actually, what the Greens in NSW have called for is in line with your proposal.”
Rose referred in agreement to the case of David Hicks, who was repatriated to Australia from the US military’s guantanamo bay prison after a long public campaign. As part of a legal agreement, the National-Liberal Coalition then jailed Hicks in Australia. In other words, when it comes to the NSW Greens, Assange will not be behind bars in the UK or the US, but in Australia.
Even more meaningful than the content of the declaration is the fact that all Green MEPs at the state and federal level pass it over with silence. This makes it clear that the motion is a political manoeuvre, not the beginning of a party’s campaign to defend Assange.
Since the WikiLeaks founder was illegally expelled from Ecuador’s Embassy in London on 11 April and arrested by British police, Green Party representatives have made only a handful of symbolic statements expressing their “concern” about his plight. expressed.
The day after Assange’s arrest, the party’s leader Richard Di Natale issued a statement saying it was “a dark day for press freedom around the world.” Di Natale said the US wanted to “punish Assange for uncovering evidence of US atrocities” and called on the Australian government to prevent his extradition. Since then, Assange’s name has barely crossed the lips of the Greens.
Instead, senior Green politicians have lent credibility to the fake Swedish allegations against Assange over alleged sexual misconduct. They have tried to disguise the fact that Assange has never been charged in Sweden, that an “investigation” against him has been closed twice, and that the case was a politically motivated plot from the outset.
At the same time, the Greens, the Labor Party and the National-Liberal Coalition, as well as the press, suppressed any mention of Assange in the Australian general election, even though the election took place shortly after Assange’s arrest on May 18. The Green Party candidates agreed to form a coalition government with the Labor Party, which has played a central role in the US-led prosecution of Assange.
More recently, Green Party leaders have ignored calls from Assange’s legal team for Australian parliamentarians to speak out in his defence.
Last month, Jennifer Robinson, one of Assange’s lawyers, briefed Lawmakers, including Green Party representatives, on The Legal Situation of Assange and its serious impact on democratic rights. None of them have since made a statement or mentioned Assange in an interview.
The Greens’ refusal to defend Assange is not an oversight. It inevitably results from the party’s ever-more right-wing capitalist program. It contains calls for coalition governments with the Labor Party and the Liberals, assurances to big business that the Greens would act “fiscally responsibly” and the abandonment of any opposition, even nominal, to militarism and War.
The Greens represent the interests of the wealthy upper middle class. (This is no different with the B'90/The Greens in Germany, clientele politics of its best!) Their record in the Assange case vividly demonstrates their inability to defend democratic rights.
Some Green Party MPs, such as Scott Ludlam, claimed they supported Assange. But when they were publicly challenged, they stressed that Gillard’s role in pursuing him was no reason for them to end their de facto coalition with the Labor government.
In recent years, the Greens have largely abandoned the WikiLeaks founder’s defense. This went hand in hand with their support for Washington’s regime-change operations in Syria and Libya and their tacit support for a massive military build-up under the US administration in the Asia-Pacific region, which is preparing for war with China.
Prominent Green figures such as Professor Clive Hamilton have played a central role in the McCarthy-like campaign against alleged “Chinese interference” in Australian politics. This aims to legitimise these military preparations and to enable the suppression of resistance to war.
This record is a vivid demonstration of the fact that parliamentary institutions will not touch a finger to effectively defend Assange and democratic rights. In the midst of the deepest crisis of capitalism since the 1930s, they have committed themselves to militarism, war and authoritarianism.