Vivienne Westwood has spent her Tuesday morning dressed in bright yellow clothing, sitting inside a giant birdcage in support of Julian Assange.
The famous fashion designer set up outside London’s Old Bailey criminal court, using a megaphone to call for the Wikileaks co-founder not to be extradited to America.
“I am Julian Assange,” Westwood said through a megaphone, addressing a crowd of journalists, many of whom posted videos of the moment on Twitter. “I am the canary in the cage.”
Westwood then launched into a version of a statement that was shared on her official Twitter page on Monday evening.
Assange is currently in custody in the UK, fighting extradition to the U.S. after he was arrested last year and charged by the Department of Justice for “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer.” According to court documents referred to by the DOJ, the charge relates to “Assange’s alleged role in one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States.” His extradition hearing began earlier this year, but has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“He has been trapped by a big net, taken out of the sun, and shoved in a cage,” Westwood told reporters. “The problem is, they want to send him to America, for a sentence of 175 years, and stick him in a concrete block.
“This could happen to every journalist, because it is not a crime to publish the truth.”
This isn’t the first time Westwood has voiced her support for Assange. As recently as February, she spoke at a rally in front of protesters calling a halt to his extradition.
Wikileaks was founded by Assange in 2006. According to its website, it “specializes in the analysis and publication of large datasets of censored or otherwise restricted official materials involving war, spying and corruption.”
It has published over 10 million documents.
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