Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Leads Rally To Free WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Sky News
Pink Floyd‘s Roger Waters alongside several other high profile public figures have led a London rally in support of controversial public figure Julian Assange.
The hundreds-strong group gathered in London’s Parliament Square on Saturday to protest Assange’s possible extradition to the United States, where the Australian journalist and WikiLeaks founder faces 18 charges of espionage and a 170-year prison sentence.
Other high profile figures present included punk fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.
Addressing the crowd, Waters called upon the British prime minister to “declare his colors”, questioning whether head of state Borris Johnson supported the spirit of the Magna Carter, democracy, freedom and fair play, free speech and freedom of the press.
“Be the British bulldog that you would have us all believe you are,” the Pink Floyd co-founder stated. “Stand up to the bluster of American hegemony, call off this show trial, this charade, this Kangaroo Court.”
“Julian Assange is an innocent man!” he then declared.
“[Assange] hasn’t had a trial,” Waters, standing in front of a giant inflatable pig, contended. “The whole old adage of being innocent until proven guilty by a jury of 12 of your peers has been tossed out of the window by the UK government and the US government, and in consequence, Julian lives in solitary confinement. He’s committed no crime that anyone is aware of with the possible exception of a bail infringement for which he has already served 300 days in prison.”
“If they are allowed to extradite him from here,” Roger continued, “they will, and they will lock him up until he dies, which probably won’t be very long, just for being a journalist and informing the public of the things we need to know in our names by our governments.”
“I am representing the thoughts of ordinary people who believe in the law, freedom, and the freedom of the press and free speech,” Waters shared in another interview with Sky News.
Waters’ remarks are the latest in a series of pointed political statements that divide the Pink Floyd fanbase.
Assange faces 18 criminal counts of conspiring to hack US government computers and violating espionage laws.
In 2010 Assange played a pivotal role in releasing classified documents on US military activities in Iraq and Iran, an act considered to be one of the largest compromises of classified government information in the history of the United States.
All charges relate to his work with WikiLeaks, which Assange founded in Australia in 2006.
Until recently Assange also faced charges of sexual assault in Sweden, which supporters contend were falsified.
These charges were dropped last November.
Assange is currently appearing before a British court which is attempting to determine whether the charges are politically motivated or simply criminal (were they political the UK government would not permit Assange to be extradited.)
Roger Waters 2020 US tour will commence this June.
Roger Waters 2020 Tour⠀
July8, 2020 – Pittsburgh, PA – PPG Paints Arena⠀
July10, 2020 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center⠀
July14, 2020 – Detroit, MI – Little Caesars Arena⠀
July17, 2020 – Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena⠀
July21, 2020 – Quebec City, QC – Videotron Centre⠀
July23, 2020 – *Montreal, QC – Bell Centre⠀
July25, 2020 – Albany, NY – Times Union Center⠀
July28, 2020 – Boston, MA – TD Garden⠀
July30, 2020 – Washington, DC – Capitol One Arena⠀
August1, 2020 – Cincinnati, OH – Heritage Bank Center⠀
August5, 2020 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden⠀
August6, 2020 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden⠀
August11, 2020 – Raleigh, NC – PNC Arena⠀
August13, 2020 – Orlando, FL – Amway Center⠀
August15, 2020 – Miami, FL – AmericanAirlines Arena⠀
August18, 2020 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena⠀
August20, 2020 – Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena⠀
August22, 2020 – Milwaukee, WI – Fiserv Forum⠀
August25, 2020 – Minneapolis, MN – Target Center⠀
August27, 2020 – Chicago, IL – United Center⠀
August29, 2020 – Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center⠀
September2, 2020 – Denver, CO – Pepsi Center⠀
September4, 2020 – Las Vegas, NV – T-Mobile Arena⠀
September10, 2020 – Los Angeles, CA – STAPLES Center⠀
September11, 2020 – Los Angeles, CA – STAPLES Center⠀
September14, 2020 – Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena⠀
September16, 2020 – Edmonton, AB – Rogers Place⠀
September19, 2020 – Tacoma, WA – Tacoma Dome⠀
September21, 2020 – Portland, OR – Moda Center⠀
September23, 2020 – Sacramento, CA – Golden 1 Center⠀
September25, 2020 – San Francisco, CA – Chase Center⠀
September30, 2020 – Salt Lake City, UT – Vivint Smart Home Arena ⠀
October3, 2020 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center⠀
October7, 2020 – Mexico City, MX – Palacio de los Deportes⠀
October8, 2020 – Mexico City, MX – Palacio de los Deportes