Protestors circled the Justice Dept. building in Washington with a 240-foot long yellow ribbon and then heard Jill Stein, Chris Hedges, John Kiriakou, Scott Ritter, Randy Credico and others speak out for Assange.
Here is the letter CN Editor Joe Lauria wrote to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, which Lauria read out at the rally on Saturday:
“Dear Mr. Garland,
The case of Julian Assange goes to the core of how we define ourselves in the United States and in the West. Are we democracies that uphold the right to criticize government or growing autocracies that crush dissent?
Assange exposed the wrongdoing of U.S. government officials and the military. It is the job journalists are supposed to do in a democracy.
I worked for decades in the establishment media. I saw too many people pretending at the job because of the status they thought it brought them.
They lived vicariously through the powerful people they covered, ignoring the different kind of power of journalism wields to hold the powerful to account. That’s the power Julian Assange exercised.
There are cynics in government and the media, consciously knowing that what they are doing is wrong but don’t care because it expands U.S. interests. They are not deluded by exceptionalist talk. They understand power.
Mr. Garland, you do not seem deluded. Either you know what you are doing to Assange is wrong but don’t care because it serves power, or you knows it’s wrong and you are conflicted.
If it’s the latter, you have a generational opportunity to literally save a significant part of American democracy and go down as an historic champion of press freedom because it will take such an heroic act to save a hero like Julian Assange.
Which is it going to be Mr. Garland?”
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