Pirate Party rallies support for WikiLeaks

Protest will call for free speech, free press and freedom of information in wake of Assange arrest

A rally organised by the Australian Pirate Party to rally support for WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, is scheduled to go ahead this Saturday.

The rally, starting at Town Hall in Sydney at 1pm, is part of a series of global protests being held in Spain, the US, Canada, and a number of Latin American countries in support of free speech, a free press and freedom of information.

According to a statement from the Pirate Party on the reason for the rally, the principle that government whistleblowers were a part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal had been abandoned.

“Since then, we have seen an abandonment of these principles, and a hysterical response from both the Australian and US governments regarding WikiLeaks,” the statement reads.

“The Pirate Party maintains that the publication of these cables continues to be in the public interest, and that the comments made by Julia Gillard have been irresponsible, compromising the defense of Mr Assange in any possible future trial in the US.”

Independent journalists, members of a number of political parties, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, and the NSW Council for Civil Liberties are expected to speak at the rally.

The party has supported Wikileaks for some time, with its Swedish arm agreeing in August to host several new servers and provide the site bandwidth for free.

In May, the Pirate Party said it would provide bandwidth for the Pirate Bay file-sharing site after a German court injunction temporarily left the site without a bandwidth provider.

In July the Australian wing of the libertarian digital rights group abandoned its aim of contesting the then imminent federal election due to election regulations.

More recently party claimed members of the party, as well as bloggers, activists and political dissidents had been arrested in Tunisia, with no formal arrest warrants filed.

At the time the party said there had been no news regarding their present situation conveyed by Tunisian law enforcement agencies or the Tunisian government.

Earlier this month the US Department of Justice served Twitter with a subpoena seeking information about the accounts of the Wikileaks organisation, Julian Assange and other members and supporters.

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Tags wikileaksJulian AssangePirate Party

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