Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder, is currently residing in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy, in part because he is resisting being extradited to Sweden to stand trial for sexual assault and rape charges. He has sought asylum in France unsuccessfully, and his stay in the Ecuadorian Embassy has been met with opposition from both Ecuadorian politicians and U.K. law enforcement alike. He has faced widespread criticism for perceived connections to Russian interference in the U.S. presidential elections, and most recently, for meeting with Brexit co-architect Nigel Farage.
Despite these controversies, many people continue to support Assange and Wikileaks, and hope to be able to help him secure permanent asylum. (In February, a UN panel deemed Assange’s four-year-long detainment “arbitrary.”) From June 19-25 last year, a four-city, worldwide conference took place on Assange’s behalf called “First they came for Assange.” Talks occurred in cities around the world, and much of the program was live-streamed via the event’s website. The roster of speakers included PJ Harvey, Noam Chomsky, Brian Eno, Michael Moore, Patti Smith, Slavoj Žižek, Jean-Michel Jarre, Laibach, Vivienne Westwood, and many more.
Brian Eno spoke at an event in Belgrade, PJ Harvey spoke in Berlin, and Smith spoke in Paris for the FreeAssangeNow.com-sponsored event. You can find more information about the talks and how to watch them at their website.
CORRECTION: The “Free Julian Assange” talks occurred in 2016, and will not happen in 2017 as previously noted. The story has been updated to reflect the timeline.