French Yellow Vests Rise Up in London, Demand Julian Assange's Release
Protesters travel to UK capital calling for WikiLeaks founder's extradition to be blocked
French Yellow Vests have traveled to the UK and taken to the streets in defense of Julian Assange, as the anti-globalist protesters rally against the WikiLeaks founder's extradition to the United States.
Yellow-vested demonstrators gathered outside Westminster Magistrates Court on Friday, protesting plans to extradite Assange.
Protesters described the whistleblower Assange as a key inspiration for the original Yellow Vest movement in France, which has been opposing “president of the rich” Macron for months.
The French protests have triggered similar demonstrations worldwide as citizens rally against high taxes and globalist policies in their own countries.
Dozens of protesters traveled from France to the British city carrying placards calling for Assange's release and demanding that the UK Government refuses to extradite the political prisoner.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO
One French protester, Vivien, traveled from Paris to support Assange, telling WSWS, “For us, he is the first Yellow Vest.
"A person that was willing to fight against the government for peace and freedom.
"Today he is in court and there is a high risk that he will be sent to the US.
"On the 5th of April, we started protests outside the Australian embassy in France and we have gone to the UK Embassy and the Foreign Minister’s Office.
“Over seven years, little by little, the media has misled people, introducing ‘fake news’ lies about Assange.
"Plenty of lawyers and journalists in France will claim they support him, but when it comes to actually protesting, they stay at home.
“Today’s protest is a symbol of the fight for freedom. We are talking about human rights. We are talking about justice.
"We are talking about how we can live in a better society. Assange has brought to light information that can stop wars.
"He is nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for a reason. His journalism has received so many awards around the world.
"But it’s not reported. He’s like a ghost in the mainstream press. So we have to protest.”
Yellow Vest leader from Marseille, Étienne Chouard, was asked to sum up why he had come to the protest.
Étienne responded: “To defend democracy.
"Assange is a whistleblower. He does the job of a real journalist.
"We need heroes like him who scare the government. The government should be scared by journalism, real journalism.
"It is not right that governments can persecute journalists…
“The Yellow Vests are fighting for democracy, and that needs serious journalists, needs Assange.
"We have both been attacked by the state and the rich. Every day the media, owned by rich people, is saying horrible things about the Yellow Vests.
"I see other people every day. They are good people, gentle people.
"They just want to eat, not to suffer, to have their basic human rights. They are with Assange.”
Lucia came from Barcelona to support Assange and also protested outside his jail sentencing hearing the previous day at Southwark Crown Court.
She was one of the few individuals not from the mainstream media who managed to get into the tiny courtroom to witness the hearing.
Lucia explained: “Julian was on a video link and the judge asked him whether he wants to consent with the request for extradition, whether he wants to surrender to the US.
"Julian said, and I remember it very clearly, that he is not going to surrender to extradition to the US for doing journalism and helping many people.
“Julian looked calm, courageous. No members of the public could get into the court, only people with press cards.”
Referring to the demonstration, including the action by protesters who temporarily blocked the main road outside the court, Lucia said: “We need to cause disruption, to a certain point.
"It’s great that there are Yellow Vests from France today.
"I’m very happy to be here to see that.”