by Taylor Hudak

Wednesday, July 3, 2019, became a day of international unification—a day where nearly 60 cities across six continents lit candles in honor of award-winning journalist, Julian Assange.

According to a Candles For Assange media release, birthday celebrations taking place in Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand, on July 3rd, Julian’s 48th birthday, have initiated a global movement — #Candles4Assange.

The roots of the movement date back to July 3, 2018, on Julian’s 47th birthday, when #FreeAssangeNZ configured a candle display reading “Free Julian.” The candles were placed on NZ Parliament lawn and an image of the display captured the attention of activists and Assange supporters world-wide.

Those involved in #FreeAssangeNZ chose to hold a similar event for Julian’s 48th birthday taking place this year. However, #FreeAssangeNZ invited other cities to organize vigils and join in on the #Candles4Assange global celebration.

Day after day, the hashtag-Candles4Assange was reaching dozens of cities, and soon the movement became viral within the free speech and free Julian Assange community.

According to the release, “Free Assange NZ supports the principle of press freedom, especially for a media whose mission is ‘to hold power to account.’”

A MESSAGE TO STAND FOR, AN IDEA TO DEFEND

Julian Assange is a man of and for the people. In addition, he is the embodiment of good journalism, making those in power feel uncomfortable. Assange and the WikiLeaks’ staff, through their work, have inadvertently forced the mainstream media to re-examine how good journalism presents itself.

Candles For Assange strongly advocates for these ideals — a free press and for the protection of free speech. Millions of people around the world align with the movement. And because of that, Free Assange NZ is challenging the New Zealand media to condemn the UK and US efforts to persecute and torture Julian Assange.

We too, at Action For Assange are calling upon the American media to condemn the behavior of its government toward journalist Julian Assange.

This sentiment is stronger than those within the powerful elite would like to believe. We exist, and we are here.

A DAY OF ACTION

Candles For Assange co-founder, Alex Hills asked organizers to take photos and/or video footage of their actions on July 3rd and send them and/or link them to @Candles4Assange, @GreenweaverArch or the Facebook group, #Candles4Assange.

“Many are singing Happy Birthday by Stevie Wonder on film for a compilation video of the final actions throughout the world made into a moral boosting singalong supporter video,” Hills said. “We are happy for anything no matter how big or small a gesture.”

Candles For Assange has also made extensive efforts to connect with Antarctica to ensure Julian’s day of birth is celebrated on all seven continents.

The promotional video for Candles For Assange may be found here. We strongly recommend watching this video.

We are stronger when we work together.

The fight to free Julian Assange does not attract the weak or faint of heart but rather the determined and the fearless.

And we are ready.

Happy birthday Julian – from your brothers and sisters around the world.

by Taylor Hudak

While an award-winning journalist spends his 48th birthday in London’s Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh, supporters around the world will unite in solidarity to support a truth-teller, whistleblower and activist — Julian Assange.

This collaborative initiative, #Candles4Assange, will occur in 56 cities spanning across the globe on Julian’s 48th birthday, Wednesday July 3 – with the number of cities participating increasing each day.

According to the website, #Candles4Assange is advocating for the protection of whistleblowers, the prosecution of war criminals and an end to the war on journalism.

People around the world have chosen a location and time to hold their #Candles4Assange event. Nearby supporters are encouraged to attend and light candles in honor of Julian.

In addition to bringing awareness to the important issues of our day including the consistent violations of the free press and free speech rights, this effort is a world-wide celebration of the birthday of one of the bravest men humankind has ever known.

In a world riddled in sanctions and in war, caused and perpetuated by world leaders and the powerful, what a wonder it is that citizens of a wide-range of countries can unite on a day of significance to promote a cause of which they all care so deeply.

Below is a complete list of the #Candles4Assange events to take place around the world on Wednesday July 3. Times and locations are included. If you are interested in hosting an event, please contact @Candles4Assange.

A

Adelaide, Australia – 7pm at Parliament House

https://www.facebook.com/clare.smith.123276

Asturias, Spain – (time not listed) at Oviedo Austurias

(no link available)

Auckland, New Zealand – 12 to 1pm + Eve at US Consulate

https://www.facebook.com/sally.louise.332
https://www.facebook.com/events/843064306065085/

B

Bere Alston, England – (time not listed) at War Memorial

https://https://www.facebook.com/juliette.cross.1

Berlin, Germany – 6pm at US embassy

https://www.facebook.com/patrick.bradatsch
https://www.facebook.com/events/951642035172751

Boston, MA, USA – (no time or location listed)

Brisbane, Australia – (no time or location listed)

Bristol, England – (no time or location listed)

https://www.facebook.com/anne.hinde.3

Brussels, Belgium – 6pm at Brussels Park

https://www.facebook.com/ComiteAssangeBelgium/

C

Canberra, Australia – 11am to 1pm at cake pamphlets Garema Place

https://www.facebook.com/groups/839556946246928/
https://www.facebook.com/events/313306659578260/

Canberra, Australia – 4 to 8pm at Parliament Hill Lawn Candle Display

https://www.facebook.com/LoreseV
https://www.facebook.com/events/313306659578260/

Concord, NH, USA – 4 to 6pm at NH Statehouse 107 N Main St. Concord

https://www.facebook.com/paula.iasella.5
https://www.facebook.com/events/848487648852890/

D

Denver, CO, USA – 4 to 6pm Colorado State Capitol, 200 E Colfax Ave (Public Sidewalk West)

Des Moines, IA, USA – 11-1pm at Cowles Commons 300 E Locust St, 50309

https://www.facebook.com/christinemariedopf
https://www.facebook.com/events/352757465421357/

Durban, South Africa – (no time or location listed)

Dusseldorf, Germany – 5 to 7pm at US Consulate Willi-Becker-Allee 10 40227 Düsseldorf

https://www.facebook.com/isi.wasi
https://www.facebook.com/events/833236577057905/

E

Edinburgh, Scotland – (no time or location listed)

https://www.facebook.com/valentinaflex

G

Guayaquil, Ecuador – (no time or location listed)

H

Helsinki, Finland – 4 to 6pm at Senate Square (website says- CHANGE LOCATION)

https://www.facebook.com/events/368362687383805/

I

Invermere, Canada – (no location or time posted)

https://www.facebook.com/davena.turvey

J

Jereuselem, Israel – (no time listed) at neve yacov, at neighborhood center

https://www.facebook.com/macmull

Johannesburg, South Africa – 3pm at Cnr. Olifantsfontein Rd & Lever Rd Noordwyk 

L

Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA – (no time listed) at Big Bear Lake or Lake Arrowhead Plaza

Lake Macquarie, Australia – (no time or location listed)

Lisbon, Portugal – (no time or location listed)

https://www.facebook.com/isabel.queijo.9

Ljubljana, Slovenia – (no time or location listed)

https://www.facebook.com/sanja.fidler

London, England – TBC at BELMARSH PRISON on 3 July. (Trafalguar Square on the 6th July)

Luxembourg, Luxembourg – (no time or location listed)

https://www.facebook.com/monika.willems

M

Melbourne, Australia – 12 to 1pm at Federal Square, Cnr. Swanston & Flinders St

Mexico City, Mexico – 1pm + eve at US Embassy Paseo de la Reforma 305 Mexico City Mexico

Milan, Italy – 9pm to 12am at Comitato per la Liberazione di Julian Assange Italia meet at Piazzo Castello

https://https://www.facebook.com/leo.bi.5682
https://www.facebook.com/events/419865135521707/

Minneapolis, MN, USA – (no time or location listed)

Moscow, ID, USA – 5 to 8pm Centre of town

https://www.facebook.com/events/341042439904528

N

Nairobi, Kenya – (no time or location listed)

https://www.facebook.com/martha.kui.3

New York, NY, USA – 5 to 8pm at Washington Park Square

P

Paris, France – 4:30 to 8:30pm (no location listed)

Perth, Australia – (no time or location listed)

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009949212848

Port Elizabeth, South Africa – (no time or location listed)

https://www.facebook.com/elmarieallan1

Portland, OR, USA – (no time or location listed)

Q

Quito, Ecuador – (no time or location listed)

R

Rockhampton, Australia – 6:30 to 7:30 pm at Riverbank beside Boathouse Restaurant, 189 Quay St, 4700 Rockhampton Australia

https://www.facebook.com/FreeAssangeCQ
https://www.facebook.com/events/682663985584011/

S

Saint-Nazaire, France – 6:30pm at Place du commando #TouteLaFranceAvecAssange  

https://www.facebook.com/domi.lorec%0A
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1662956313803099/?hc_location=ufi

Salta, Argentina – (no time or location listed)

San Francisco, CA, USA — *NB* 4 July 1pm at Mission Delores Park

https://www.facebook.com/events/380465619254023/

Sebastopol, CA, USA – (no time or location listed)

https://www.facebook.com/beth.billingsley1

Seoul, South Korea – (no time or location listed)

https://www.facebook.com/soorye.kim

Strasbourg, France – (no time or location listed)

Sydney, Australia – 3 to 5pm & 10pm at Sydney Town Hall, Martin Place Ampitheatre 

https://www.facebook.com/events/623864874779481/

T

Tallinn, Estonia – 10pm at Kadrioru kunstimuuseum Tallinn 10127

https://www.google.com/maps?q=59.4384001,24.7915912&hl=en-US&gl=us&shorturl=1

Tampere, Finland – 4 to 6pm at Ylävitonen

https://https://www.facebook.com/ssoininen

Toronto, Canada – (no time or location listed)

Tripoli, Libya – (no time or location listed)

Tulsa, OK, USA – (no time or location listed)

Turin, Italy – (no time listed) location listed as kuntmuuseum Tallinn, Estonia

https://www.facebook.com/sarahbowyerart

W

Washington DC, USA – (no time or location listed)

Wellington, New Zealand – 5 to 8pm at US Embassy Lawn, 29 Fitzherbert St.

https://www.facebook.com/GreenweaverArch
https://www.facebook.com/events/2461351740552108/

Y

Yerevan, Armenia – (no time or location listed)