Thursday, August 16, 2012

Anonymous Protestors at Cambridge, MA British Consulate Last Night over UK Ecuadorean Embassy Threat to Forcibly Remove Assange

by Sarah Cortes-Protestors wearing the "V for Vendetta" Guy Fawkes masks preferred by the loose hacker collective "Anonymous" appeared at the British Consulate in Cambridge last night, only hours after news outlets revealed that UK police have started amassing outside Ecuador's embassy in London. An announcement is expected this morning by Ecuadorean authorities over asylum for WIkileaks founder Julian Assange, who is living in the embassy. British authorities have vowed to arrest Assange the minute he steps outside embassy premises, legally considered Ecuadorian soil. The UK threat to a sovereign embassy has resonated around the world overnight, causing fears of retaliation to UK subjects, embassies, and consulates worldwide. Cambridge, home to many prominent supporters of internet freedom, was among the first to organize and react.

Image: Sarah Cortes
The protestors gathered around 11pm EST outside the British Consulate located at One Broadway in Kendall Square, Cambridge, on the 7th floor. They expressed their outrage over reports last night from BBC News that a letter sent yesterday from the UK government to Ecuadorean officials threatened that UK police would storm the embassy if Ecuador did not hand over Assange. To back up the threat, at around 8pm EST, according to reports from BBC news, UK police surrounded Ecuador's embassy in London, and further occupied its public areas. In Cambridge, protestors watched the scene outside the British embassy on a livestream set up by London protestors supporting Assange, Wikileaks, freedom of speech, internet freedom, and Ecuadorean sovereignty.UK police spokesman indicated an Assange arrest might be expected around 7am GMT, which would be 2am EST, when US news outlets would be less active.

Assange sought protection from British extradition to Sweden in the embassy June 16, and has been holed up there ever since. In early June, a British court ruled against Assange's last extradition appeal. It is widely believed Sweden would turn Assange over to US authorities for US extradition, where he is sought for charges relating to the massive 2010 Wikileaks document leak. Among other documents, Wikileaks released the video "Collateral Murder," which revealed US atrocities against unarmed civilians, children and journalists in Baghdad which the US military has sought to cover up since 2007, denying it had any such records. The Wikileaks release demonstrated the US military had lied and covered up its atrocities. Since that time, US law enforcement has sought to extradite Assange, expressing its concern over the collateral damage the document release itself may have caused others.

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