The Australian Pirate Party has declared the rally held in Sydney over the weekend in support of WikiLeaks a success, claiming attendance of up to 1000 people.
Speakers at the event — organised by the WikiLeaks Support Coalition — included Pirate Party Australia president Rodney Serkowski, NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge, and a statement read out by social commentator and columnist, Phillip Adams.
According to Pirate Party Australia acting secretary, Brendan Molloy, the rally and march were intended to show support and solidarity with WikiLeaks.
“[We want] to spread the word about [US embassy cable leaker] Bradley Manning and his detention and what [the US government] is doing with his pre-trial and to bring attention to Julian Assange’s situation, and that we will not concede freedom of press and information,” he said.
“The actions of WikiLeaks are not only lawful, they’re essential for fostering free speech in the 21st century,” Shoebridge said. “That’s why we’re here to support those actions.”
The rally was also part of a global effort to raise awareness of issues surrounding freedom of speech and information, which included rallies in North and South America, Europe as well as Australia, Molloy said.
Further protests and rallies were likely to follow, depending on the outcome of the current case against Julian Assange, Molloy said.
“We do hope that he does receive a fair trial and that he does not get extradited to America and we continue to hold hope for his situation,” he said.
Molloy said the Pirate Party was also currently working to carry out its freedom of speech and information agenda through helping mirror sites hosting video of protests in Tunisia.
“Three or four Pirate Party members in Tunisia have been arrested without charge and one or two were beaten,” he said.
“So what many internet activist sites groups have been mirroring the Tunisa riot videos and assisting Tunisians access these videos to see what their government is doing to them… it is basically censored material in Tunisia.”