Saturday, June 4, 2016

Assange is not a prisoner becasue society cares about rape victims

Manning: 35 years jail for telling  people the truth
by Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

This blog has taken a strong position in defense of Julian Assange and others like him, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for instance.  In Assange’s case, when accusations of rape arose, we were very firm in arguing that under no condition should he be handed over to the capitalist courts or any capitalist institution and most certainly not to the US government or any arm of US capitalism. 

This does not mean we do not take the issue of violence against women seriously. We reprint below what we wrote about how this investigation of the accusations could be dealt with.  A lot of time has passed since then and we would probably update and fine tune update these comments but the general position would be the same. The most ruthless and violent force on earth, the US ruling class, wanted his head.

Meanwhile Assange has been under house arrest at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for five years.  What has Assange done that would lead dominant world powers like the US and the UK to hound this man?

Think of this: Why would the British police alone spend $15 million ensuring Assange can’t leave the embassy and the country, he can’t go to Ecuador, the country that has given him asylum? Why would Chelsea Manning get 35 years in prison after 18 months of torture for revealing to the American people atrocities our government was committing in our name? No US service personnel have suffered death or maiming due to Manning providing Wikileaks with information the US public should know about. Why would Edward Snowden be facing death or prison for doing the same? Bush, Obama, Rumsfeld, Clinton, and the nefarious Henry Kissinger are all murderers.

It surely can’t be because the US and British authorities place rape, a violent and vicious crime high up there on the list of anti-social behavior.  It’s can’t be due to a strict and constantly vigilant war against rape in the courts and society as a whole.   Most women don’t even report rapes because having their personal lives being dragged through the courts and being treated like the cause of a crime rather than the victim of one isn’t worth it.

6 months in jail for rape
The US military alone is a haven for rapists.   And as I write, I read in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle that a college student at Stanford University, a former champion swimmer, who raped an unconscious woman he’d met at a party just got 6 months in jail. Naughty boy.  He    thought he was having consensual sex with the woman, who authorities said was ‘completely unresponsive’ as she lay near a tree and a trash bin.”, the Chronicle reports. He was drunk.  

The woman this young student raped, he never referred to it as a sexual assault apparently, finally got to address him in court.

“I shuffled from room to room with a blanket wrapped around me, pine needles trailing behind me, I left a little pile in every room I sat in. I was asked to sign papers that said “Rape Victim” and I thought something has really happened. My clothes were confiscated and I stood naked while the nurses held a ruler to various abrasions on my body and photographed them. The three of us worked to comb the pine needles out of my hair, six hands to fill one paper bag. To calm me down, they said it’s just the flora and fauna, flora and fauna. I had multiple swabs inserted into my vagina and anus, needles for shots, pills, had a Nikon pointed right into my spread legs. I had long, pointed beaks inside me and had my vagina smeared with cold, blue paint to check for abrasions.
After a few hours of this, they let me shower. I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.”

Speaking to her assailant directly she said,  “You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice,” the victim told Turner at the sentencing hearing. “The damage is done. No one can undo it.”

No, Julian Assange is not having his freedom curtailed because he is wanted on questioning by authorities with regard to accusations of sexual assault. Cases like the above show how important rape is to the justice system. The power in society doesn’t give a damn about rape.

That there is not a worldwide movement, from the left and from workers organizations in particular for the release of Assange, of Manning, and a pardon for Snowden is a disgrace.

Note: Here is what we wrote in relation to the case of Assange when it happned.

#Support Wikileaks in its distribution of the documents and materials it has available.

#Support Wikileaks in its safeguarding of these documents by downloading them and storing them as they suggest.

#Support Wikileaks by being part of the international campaign to release Assange and Manning and to free all its financial assets and financial accounts of these activists and of Wikileaks.

#Boycott all organizations that are involved in attacking Wikileaks.

#For an international coalition of all forces that are defending Wikileaks.

#Investigate the allegations of the women against Assange but in an a forum totally independent of any capitalist state. In any institution of a capitalist state it will be a show trial. For the investigation to be held in an elected body made up of elected representatives from a women's union, anti-rape groups, representatives, male and female from the shop floor, and representatives from the trade union movement as a whole.

#Build Hands Off Wikileaks committees in the workplaces, neighborhoods, trade unions, labor organizations, regionally, nationally and internationally. In this way give a democratic structure to the movement in defense of wikileaks. A structure which can make decisions democratically and which can have a collective leadership which can replace itself when and if capitalism removes some more of of its members.

#For priority in publication of the 250,000 documents to be given to those which show the internal workings and dirty dealings of the financial institutions, the bail- outs for the rich, the reasoning behind the capitalist classes internationally as they pursue a course of cutting wages, jobs, conditions and social services. Wikileaks say they have a trove of documents on Bank of America and other banks. These should be immediately released and all the documents which show the financial, industrial and economic dirty tricks of Capitalism. This would strengthen the understanding of the working class as to where it stood.

#The attack on wikileaks, Assange and Manning originate from capitalism's biggest powers and ruling classes/circles. They are meant to defend the capitalist system as a whole from critical or even just honest eyes. Capitalism cannot exist without its secrets and lies, its capitalist diplomacy. When a tiny minority rules the great majority and when this tiny minority live in unimagined wealth and the majority live in great poverty and want, then capitalism must obscure this reality, must obscure this class struggle. The role of capitalist diplomacy is to do this. It is to lie. The peoples of the world cannot afford capitalist diplomacy, cannot afford capitalism's secrets and lies. They need to know what is what. The defend Wikileaks campaign needs to work not just to end the secrets and lies of capitalist diplomacy, we also have to work to end capitalism, the system with which these secrets and lies are inseparably linked. We have to work to build a Democratic Socialist World.

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