Assange mom to protest at Obama visit

2011-11-09 13:03
Sydney - The mother of Australian-born whistleblower Julian Assange on Wednesday said she would picket a visit of US President Barack Obama to the capital, Canberra, to rally support for her son.

Christine Assange said she would take protests in support of the founder of WikiLeaks to Parliament House next Thursday, where Obama is due to address a special sitting of lawmakers under extremely tight security.

"I'll get as close as I can," she said.

Assange's anti-secrecy website has enraged governments around the world by dumping hundreds of thousands of confidential US diplomatic cables on the internet.

His mother fears he will be rendered to the United States after recently losing a fight against his extradition from Britain to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on allegations of rape and sexual assault.

"I'm asking Australians around the country on November 17th to refuse to celebrate the Obama visit, and instead replace it with a day of support for Julian," she told the AAP news agency.

"Both political parties have been spineless in standing up to the US over this," Assange's mother added of the Australian government's response to his case.

Consular support

"Whatever the US wants, the Gillard government is handing it over. And the opposition isn't much better."

Australia has been providing Assange with consular support and though it has made its "expectation of due process" clear to Britain and Sweden, the foreign ministry has warned it "cannot directly intervene in legal processes of other countries."

Obama's visit will be the first by a US president since former leader George W Bush was in Australia for the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum in 2007.

Obama had to cancel two previous trips Down Under, once because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the other to oversee passage of domestic health reforms.

The president's visit on November 16 and 17 will mark the 60th anniversary of the military alliance between Australia and the United States and stress an increasing US diplomatic and military focus on the Pacific region.

Obama will travel to the Indonesian resort island of Bali afterwards for the East Asia summit.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    barack obama  |  julian assange  |  sweden  |  wikileaks
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Wallabies win, Boks to face Wales
LIVE: England 38-3 Uruguay
As it happened: Australia 15-6 Wales
Scots beat Samoa, end Japan's dream
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.