Julian Assange makes public appearance at London embassy

19:56 20 December 2012

Julian Assange made his long-awaited appearance tonight. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

Julian Assange made his long-awaited appearance tonight. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange made a rare public appearance on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London tonight.

Wikileaks supporters gathered outside the Ecuadorian Embassy. Picture: Ian West/PA WireWikileaks supporters gathered outside the Ecuadorian Embassy. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

Speaking for 15 minutes on the six-month anniversary of his arrival in the building he said he had been sustained by the solidarity of his supporters and people around the world supporting WikiLeaks and “freedom of the press”.

He has since been granted political asylum by the Ecuador government but has remained inside the embassy.

The Australian will be arrested if he steps outside as he has broken his bail conditions.

He thanked his supporters, who stood in the street outside, some carrying lighted candles.

He said: “Six months ago I entered this building. It has become my home, my office and my refuge. Thanks to the principled stance of the Ecuadorian government and the support of its people, I am safe in this embassy and safe to speak from this embassy.”

He said

“While my freedom is limited, I am still able to work and communicate, unlike the 232 journalists who are in jail tonight.”

Mr Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over allegations of sexual assault, which he denies.

He fears being sent to the United States to be questioned over his whistle-blowing website.

He said tonight that the Pentagon claimed recently that the existence of WikiLeaks was an “ongoing crime”.

There was an added police presence outside the embassy.

Mr Assange started his 15-minute speech to a crowd of more than 250 outside the embassy by saying that people asked him what gave him hope.

“The answer is right here,” he said to loud cheers from his supporters, who chanted, in Spanish: “Julian, the people are with you.”

Mr Assange said WikiLeaks had more than a million documents being prepared to be released, affecting every country in the world, prompting more cheers from the crowds outside.

“In 2013, we will continue to stand up to bullies.

“The power of people standing up and resisting together terrifies corrupt, undemocratic power. So much so that ordinary people here in the West are now the enemy of governments, to be watched, controlled and impoverished.”

Related articles

Latest Stories

Fusilier Lee Rigbywas killed whilst off duty near Woolwich Barracks by Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo in May 2013  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

The father of Drummer Lee Rigby, the soldier who was brutally murdered in Woolwich last year, has said it is ‘disgusting’ that his son’s killers received £200,000 from the state to pay for their legal costs.

Read more
23 minutes ago
Hot pants! Be careful with your tumble-drying, or this could happen to your home[Photo courtesy of London Fire Brigade]

A fire that tore through a laundrette in Bromley was caused by a pile of tuble-dried clothes.

Read more
People enjoy the Royal Victoria beach as temperatures reaches 28C in London.

This weekend saw London’s biggest manmade beach open at the Royal Victoria Dock in Canning Town.

Read more

TOP Stories

Fusilier Lee Rigbywas killed whilst off duty near Woolwich Barracks by Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo in May 2013  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

The father of Drummer Lee Rigby, the soldier who was brutally murdered in Woolwich last year, has said it is ‘disgusting’ that his son’s killers received £200,000 from the state to pay for their legal costs.

23 minutes ago
Hot pants! Be careful with your tumble-drying, or this could happen to your home[Photo courtesy of London Fire Brigade]

A fire that tore through a laundrette in Bromley was caused by a pile of tuble-dried clothes.

People enjoy the Royal Victoria beach as temperatures reaches 28C in London.

This weekend saw London’s biggest manmade beach open at the Royal Victoria Dock in Canning Town.

Promotions

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the Zoe was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

London Bloggers

Thursday, July 24, 2014
London comedians are preparing for Edinburgh (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

During these sultry July afternoons and endless balmy evenings the nervous musings of young comedians in London drift to dreams of triumph on the Edinburgh stage.

Thursday, July 24, 2014
Punchdrunk's The Drowned Man poduction came to an end on Sunday, July 6

If you’ve been wandering around bereft of purpose, a wet-eyed stare fixed on your blank face, then no doubt you too are as gutted as I am that The Drowned Man has finally come to an end.

Thursday, July 24, 2014
(Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

We’ve been called P.I.G.S.

Quizzes

Test your London musical knowledge with our album quiz (Images via Getty)

Does your music knowledge stretch from The Rolling Stones to Rudimental, Spandau Ballet to Siouxsie and the Banshees? If so then test it out with our London bands quiz:

Read more
How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
Quiz-1

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more