Assange defiant in face of UK police
Mon, 20 Aug 2012 6:34p.m.
By Melissa Davies
Julian Assange has stepped outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the first time in two months – but only just.
And for good reason: his appearance on a balcony was ringed by a British police cordon.
Squinting at the outside light, Assange gave a thumbs up as he emerged, at least partially, from the building where he has been in self-imposed exile since June.
He stood on a balcony at the Ecuadorian embassy, not daring to go any further.
"I am here today because I cannot be there with you today," he told the crowd.
This is as close as police have been able to get to Assange for the last two months, and as he stands on the balcony there were 100 police officers just in the block where the embassy is located – but still he's just out of their reach.
Assange taunted those officers by telling supporters he didn't believe he'd be arrested in front of such huge crowds. He says that's why police abandoned an attempt to storm the building last week.
"Inside this embassy after dark, I could hear teams of police swarming up into the building through its internal fire escape,"said Assange, "but I knew there would be witnesses, and that is because of you."
Assange appeared to relish the publicity, accusing the US of a witch hunt against WikiLeaks, but he made no mention at all of the rape claims in Sweden which his extradition is based on.
But he has high-profile support in Britain: fashion designer Vivienne Westwood sent a letter to be read out to rally the crowd.
"His fight is our fight," read Assange. "It is a fight for freedom. Freedom for information. We are Julian Assange. I am Julian Assange. With love, from Vivienne."
Assange's legal advisor issued a cryptic message, saying Assange is currently working on legal action to protect the rights of WikiLeaks and himself.
"There is unity in the oppression, there must be absolute unity and determination in the response."
But for now there seems no path for unity between Ecuador and Britain, and Assange's defiant speech is likely to have further divided the two.
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22/08/2012 10:48:00 p.m.
Julian Assange is 100% INNOCENT of RAPE!!!
22/08/2012 7:37:30 p.m.
The new defense for any crime, 'Its a US conspiracy!'The Beast of Blenheim should have used it. Was it 43 rapes? Well they must all be US puppets just out to get him!The 2 sexual perverts that were teaching under Labour and discovered with better checking under national - they too should have claimed it was a US conspiracy! Who knows, a NZ judge may have bought it like another media covered case currently in NZ.Its like any other sex crime, it goes to court and the defence has the chance to defend themselves. That so much noise is being made about US conspiracy tends to suggest Mr Clean Wikileaks is just a common sexual pevert.Greece doesn't want to pay its debts, they just need to claim its a US conspiracy!Japans nuc accident from earthquake damage - it must be a US conspiracy too!The womans shotputter disqualified at the olympics ... she just needs to claim its a US conspiracy!Just look at who the crim flees too. A country with a poor record in human rights and no freedom of the press. The UK can shut the embassy down and pick up the crim when the embassy closes. It would be one thing if they were protecting a Ecuador national, another to be protecting a criminal.
21/08/2012 1:01:24 p.m.
He's only require for QUESTIONING so why would the UK raid the Ecuador? Embassy? WHY doesn't sweden police just send the police to the Embassy?!?!?!?!?!?
21/08/2012 11:06:24 a.m.
The NZ MEDIA SUCK!Ecuador media is controlled by the Westen powers!
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