TUC must act to free Assange says father

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JOHN SHIPTON, father of Julian Assange (centre) outside the Old Bailey yesterday

JOHN SHIPTON yesterday called for the TUC to take up the fight for the release of his son, Julian Assange, and prevent his extradition to America.

The TUC is currently holding its Annual Conference at Congress House, just round the corner from the Old Bailey, where the WikiLeaks founder is currently on trial.
Shipton told News Line: ‘I would be delighted if the TUC could see the benefit in no extradition of Julian, that would be wonderful.
‘It’s a cause that would benefit all the people. The TUC are going to be very helpful to us.
‘Nobody fights harder than the trade unions. They have a very special role in the fight for justice.’
Joe Brack from EF Press and the Julian Assange Defence Committee, said: ‘Unite, Aslef and the NUJ have all passed resolutions supporting Julian.
‘They should put an emergency resolution to the TUC calling for full support and come down here to show they mean it.
‘Here at the Old Bailey is the front line.’
Chingford Aslef Branch Chairman Bill Rogers said: ‘The trade unions should come here to fight for Julian Assange.
‘I agree with Julian’s father, the unions should stand up to defend him and I will fight in Aslef to pass a motion to that effect.
‘The TUC is meeting now and they should pass an emergency resolution demanding his release.
‘This is a travesty, him being threatened with extradition, where he faces being tortured and executed. Any promises they make are worth nothing.
‘We need a TUC resolution for strike action to get him out now.’
Supporter Jill Everett told News Line: ‘We need justice. It’s a huge injustice what they are doing to Julian Assange.
‘How is he? We only know what the reports say after being detained for 10 years in political exile and in the prison system, which is such a harrowing thought. Not many people could survive that mentally.
‘The charges are being deflected and destroyed by the defence witnesses, who are experts and they are saying there is no charge that can stand.
‘If there is no charge then there is no case. The case should be thrown out.
‘If you consider the implications of this, there should be thousands out on the streets.’
Sandra Aranjo said: ‘I come here early every day to save places for people to go in. They only allow two in the gallery. This is the least we can do. For instance, today we are saving places for Reporters without Borders.
‘Julian Assange is an innocent man. He has committed no crime. He released information about crime to the public.
‘The war criminals he exposed should be in jail, not Julian Assange. He’s a journalist.
‘He’s not well, he’s very fragile. Just before the case started he saw his wife and children but was not allowed to cuddle them. He was told that if he did he would not be allowed to attend the court.
‘The public need to come in their hundreds and thousands to protest until he is free.’