Saturday 30 July 2011

Julian Assange's concerted appeal at festival

WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange joined the rock 'n' roll circuit yesterday, making an address to the audience during the opening day of this year's Splendour in the Grass rock festival in Woodford, Queensland.

Assange is under house arrest in London awaiting the outcome of his appeal against extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault charges, but in a pre-recorded, 90-second video, the Australian spoke in rousing terms on the issue of leaking and the changing face of the media as part of a forum called Big Brother v Little Brother.

Assange's speech was aimed particularly at the young crowd gathered to see acts including Kanye West, The Hives and Eskimo Joe perform on the first day of the three-day festival. "This generation is burning the mass media to the ground," Assange said.

"We're reclaiming our rights to old history. We are reclaiming our rights to share ourselves and our time with each other."

"It was an inspirational call to young people," she told The Weekend Australian afterwards.
"I think he got the message over. Our free speech is under attack. The technology used by WikiLeaks on the internet will help keep free speech alive."

Mrs Assange, who launched her Justice For Julian campaign this month, said she hoped to persuade musicians, such as those playing at Splendour, to lend their support to her son, perhaps even by composing a song.

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