By Hayden Wright
A coterie of celebrities and thought leaders will join forces to protest Julian Assange’s status as an international persona non grata. The controversial Wikileaks founder currently resides in the London Ecuadorian Embassy, where he has obtained asylum from a sexual assault charge in Sweden. Some American politicians have characterized Assange as an instrument of Russian election meddling, a subject of ongoing investigations in the U.S.
Patti Smith, P.J. Harvey, Brian Eno, designer Vivienne Westwood, philosopher Noam Chomsky and others will attend a June 19 event called “First they came for Assange.” Speeches will take place in various cities, including Berlin, Paris, New York, Quito, Brussels, Madrid, Naples, Belgrade and more.
“Four years after Julian Assange passed through the gates of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, asking for asylum, people from all over the world join their voices in order to ask that this unbelievable persecution is brought to an end,” an overview of the event explains.
Wikileaks published troves of Democratic National Committee correspondence and emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign, potentially altering the outcome of the 2016 election.