State Repression

Julian Assange’s brother and father on the fight for his freedom

Gabriel and John Shipton rejoin us to discuss their powerful documentary, Ithaka, the story of Julian Assange’s persecution and incarceration for whistleblowing on US war crimes, as well as an account of his family’s advocacy to free him from prison and prevent his extradition to the United States, where he faces a potential sentence of 175 years in jail. We’ve had the Shiptons on the show before to discuss Julian’s unjust treatment for essential reporting, and we’re honored to have them back to hear about how their documentary tells the story that should be at the center of leftists’ concerns about a free press. Watch below:

April 11 marks the four-year anniversary of Julian Assange’s incarceration in a maximum-security prison. Back in October, he appealed the decision to extradite him to the US, where he faces life in prison; his health is suffering as he waits to hear the decision on the appeal. Since the beginning of his incarceration, Gabriel and John Shipton, Julian’s brother and father, have worked tirelessly to share the urgent story of the repression he’s faced for drawing attention to American war crimes. Now, their documentary, Ithaka — evoking both an “international odyssey” and an eventual homecoming — tells that story more powerfully than ever, and they’re doing a tour across the country to accompany the film’s release.

The Australian public has shown massive support for Assange during his incarceration. Where does the United States stand? Gabriel and John tell us about the high-profile presidential candidates who have supported Assange and helped to spread the word about his case, their effort to find platforms to share the film (and Netflix’s refusal to host the documentary, on the basis of not wanting to “wade into the issue”), and remind us of the essential, urgent nature of this work — as they reach out to communities across the country with the documentary version of Julian’s story, Julian’s health continues to decline from prison. We’ll be watching Ithaka, just like thousands of other people across the country who want to truly understand what happened to Julian Assange and what we can do about it.


Categories: State Repression

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