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.