Stodden-Cholensky 2024 calls for the U.S. government to immediately drop all charges against Julian Assange and abandon its attempts to extradite Jullian Assange from the United Kingdom.

Using the 1917 Espionage Act to punish a journalist for publishing sensitive material that exposed corruption and injustice represents a dangerous and unjustifiable expansion of the US government’s authority.

Freedom of the press is enshrined in the United States Constitution; it is one of our oldest and highest principles – a principle that socialists and all working people must fiercely defend. Prosecuting a journalist for exposing U.S. war crimes is a direct attack on that foundational principle. Let us not forget how the Espionage Act was first used under the administration of the racist, imperialist President Woodrow Wilson – it was used against anti-war socialists, including Socialist Party leaders Berger and most famously, Eugene Debs for organizing workers to resist the United States entering WWI. In 1918, Debs was prosecuted under the Espionage Act for giving one of the most important anti-war speeches of the 20th Century to a large crowd in Canton Ohio.

Additionally, the U.S. government’s attempt to extradite a non-U.S. national for allegedly violating the 1917 Espionage Act raises serious concerns about the violation of national sovereignty across the globe.  

Extradition under a law that originated in the United States constitutes an expansion of U.S. legal jurisdiction beyond its borders, which could provoke tensions with other nations.  It is imperative that the U.S. ceases  this egregious application of law and punishment to avoid destabilizing international legal norms and undermining the sovereignty of other nations.

Workers of the World must unite to resist the normalization and expansion of the Espionage Act and the encroachment of US Empire against domestic and global Freedom of the Press and free speech. Our future depends upon it.  

 

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