Stop the imperialist witch-hunt against WikiLeaks founder Assange!
Down with US, UK and Swedish imperialism! Defend Ecuador against neo-colonial threats by the UK government!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 25.8.2012
1. The witch-hunt against Julian Assange, editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks, has escalated after the British government threatened to storm the Ecuadorian embassy where he found political asylum. The British Tory/Liberal government justified these threats with the need to extradite Assange to Sweden for questioning him over rape allegations. While many progressive forces rightly defend Assange and his right to leave Britain to Ecuador, a significant part of the British left capitulates to the imperialist pressure and supports the desire of British and Swedish imperialism to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to Sweden. The workers movement must derive its position on assessing the various class interests which are involved in this case.
2. The political background of the with-hunt against Assange is the WikiLeaks' releases of secret cables in the past years. By these activities WikiLeaks has revealed a number of US imperialisms’ and many other governments’ criminal activities and conspiracies. One of the most famous leaks, in April 2010, was the video showing how US soldiers killed nine Iraqi civilians and two Reuters journalist in 2007. Recently Wikileaks disclosed the Western Connection of the reactionary Assad regime Syria. Wikileaks is no socialist or working class organization but rather a radical petty-bourgeois democratic media organization. Through its activities it has damaged the interests of US imperialism and many other bourgeois regimes around the world and thus provoked their united hatred and determination to silence WikiLeaks and its leading figure Assange. The activities of WikiLeaks in exposing the imperialist crimes and intrigues have therefore been beneficial for the working class struggle against our class enemy – the ruling capitalist classes.
3. The imperialists’ fanatical determination to silence Julian Assange has become particularly obvious in the past weeks. While the British government didn’t care to extradite the Chilean ex-dictator and mass murder Augusto Pinochet, it even considers the unprecedented act of storming the Ecuadorian embassy and thus violating the national sovereignty. This shows that the struggle to defend Julian Assange has a double democratic and anti-imperialist character: The workers movement must defends the petty-bourgeois progressive media organization WikiLeaks against the attacks of the imperialist governments and it must defend semi-colonial countries like Ecuador against the bullying of the same imperialist governments.
4. British centrist organizations like the SWP, the AWL or groups like ACI and petty-bourgeois media celebrities like Owen Jones join the Tory government desire to extradite Assange to Sweden. This is nothing but a capitulation towards the pressure of their ruling class. Their justification for this pathetic position is, that the rape charge against Assange “should be taken seriously”.
5. One must be either totally naïve and stupid or consciously lying to ignore the following facts:
a) It is a proven fact that the US government has issued a sealed indictment against Assange and is trying hard to bring him to the USA and put him in prison to silence him forever.
b) It is a proven fact – as Australian diplomatic cables revealed – that “WikiLeaks is the target of an 'unprecedented' US government criminal investigation”. Any person with sense knows that the US government is pressurizing every – including the Swedish – government which could help them to catch Assange.
c) It is bizarre that so-called Marxists “forget” or want to forget that Sweden’s’ government and judicial authority are not neutral but have a class character: they are bourgeois and imperialist. To believe that the Swedish bourgeois authorities would objectively investigate the accusations against Assange is utmost stupid! The Swedish capitalist state doesn’t care about the defense of women and women rights – despite their official claims. Quite the opposite, it is an essential part of the system which oppresses women. Do these leftists not know that the so called pro-women Swedish state never dared to investigate the sex life of its King Gustav who – according to the book “The Reluctant Monarch” – had many appearances in strip clubs, sex parties organized by criminals etc.?! Do they not know that the Swedish secret service Sapo systematically pressurized the women who were the unfortunate victims of the Swedish king to hand over compromising pictures and videos?! And this reactionary anti-women Swedish state apparatus should objectively investigate the case of a person like Asange who is hated by most ruling classes around the globe?!
d) The case against Assange is most likely a politically manipulated frame-up. It raises the suspicion of any sensible person that the rape allegations against Assange came up in August 2010, immediately (!) after WikiLeaks released thousands of secret US cables about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which exposed lies and criminal conduct by Western forces. The charges against Assange were so weak that the Swedish prosecutors initially dropped the case. Chief prosecutor Eva Finné said: “I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape”. It was reopened after (!) the intervention from Swedish politicians. An arrest warrant for Assange was put out in December 2010, immediately (!) after WikiLeaks began releasing secret cables from US embassies, exposing yet more crimes and lies. How can one ignore the link to the political interests of the ruling classes!?
e) How can it not raise the suspicion of these British leftists that the former US president Bush advisor Karl Rove has been working directly as an advisor to the governing Moderate Party in Sweden and that the Assange accusers’ lawyer is a partner in the law firm Borgström and Bodström, whose other name partner, Thomas Bodström, is a former Swedish Minister of Justice?! And that this Bodström helped to approve a 2001 CIA rendition request to Sweden, to allow the CIA to fly two asylum-seekers from Sweden to Egypt, where they were tortured?!
f) How can these so-called “anti-capitalists” forget the simple fact that every ruling class in the world has its secret services which are paid for to organize regularly conspiracies and frame-ups? Is it not likely, that when these governments are desperate to silence Assange, that they use their secret services for this?!
g) The charges of rape against Assange are in itself highly contradictory as the well-known US liberal feminist Naomi Wolf showed. She concluded: “Based on my 23 years of reporting on global rape law, and my five years of supporting women at rape crisis centers and battered women’s shelters, I can say with certainty that this case is not being treated as a normal rape or sexual assault case.” (Naomi Wolf: Something Rotten in the State of Sweden: 8 Big Problems with the ‘Case’ Against Assange, http://markcrispinmiller.com/2011/02/eight-big-problems-with-the-case-against-assange-must-read-by-naomi-wolf/). Similarly, activists like Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff from the campaign “Women Against Rape” are clear about the dubious accusations: “It seems even clearer now, that the allegations against him are a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks for having audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction.” (Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff: We are Women Against Rape but we do not want Julian Assange extradited, guardian.co.uk, 23rd August 2012 http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/23/women-against-rape-julian-assange). These honest democrats and liberals are more progressive than a major part of the centrist left in Britain.
h) If the Swedish state would really – as it officially claims – only be interested in investigating and not arresting Assange, why don’t they send representatives to London to interview him?!
i) Of course no one can exclude the possibility of any wrong behavior of Julian Assange. But the state apparatus of the ruling classes – be it in Sweden, Britain or the USA – who are desperate to silence him are definitely not the institutions whom any democratic and sincere person should trust to judge objectively on this. Under the present circumstances the best option seems to be that Assange can get exile in Ecuador. An independent international commission consisting of representatives of workers and women organizations should investigate the accusations against Assange.
6. The task of the workers movement and all progressive forces today is to defend Julian Assange against the attempts of the imperialist governments to silence him and WikiLeaks. This is why the RCIT oppose the attempts by the British state to extradite him to Sweden. This is why no person with sense should trust the Swedish state apparatus. This is why we oppose the petty-bourgeois left who give cover for the imperialist campaign against Assange by calling him to hand himself over to the Swedish state. The struggle to defend Assange and to defend Ecuador against British imperialist pressure is an anti-imperialist duty which deserves the support of all workers and progressive movements.