24 Apr 2012
Murray Roberston, one of the protesters who invaded the CLA Conference, subsequently spoke exclusively with FUNKE ABOYADE via the telephone
Robertson who’s ‘64 years old, even though I might look younger’ was born and grew up in Cape Town, South Africa but has been an Australian citizen he said, since 1972. He explained that there were a number of individuals, as well as organisations devoted to the cause of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
Asked what the morning’s protest was about, Robertson said, ‘Julian Assange is WikiLeaks’ leader and it appears that the Americans are trying to get at him, and the normal protection accorded to an Australian citizen isn’t being given to him at all.’
Australia he said in no uncertain terms was ‘licking the boots of America’.
‘No charge has been laid against him, nothing has been done with due process and they are holding him’ he charged.
His grouse was that Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, when the Assange saga began about 18 months ago immediately labelled Assange a terrorist even without charges being laid against him and a conviction sought.
Going through the initial facts, Robertson recalled how the matter had begun as a politically motivated sex crime allegation in in Sweden and how after a lot of going back and forth (during which charges were laid and dropped as they could not be substantiated, but were then reopened by another prosecutor in a politically motivated domestic battle) the Swedish government, in spite of its ‘extraordinarily strict laws’, had had to let him go.
He pointed out that Assange then flew ‘normally’ to London, proof that he’d committed no crime, but in spite of this ‘our Attorney-General has never objected to these statements by American politicians’ some of whom he said had openly called for Assange’s assassination.
‘All her (AG Roxon) statements in interviews are lies!’ he cried.
‘The key one is her claim that he fled from Sweden ‘, he explained.
‘Sweden just wants him back, and it sounds like there’s big pressure on them by the United States’.
He alleged that a secret grand jury had sat in the United States and had indicted Assange.
‘Yet our Attorney-General says she’s never heard of it’ he scoffed.
On Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson’s travails at Heathrow Airport the previous day, Robertson was not buying the claims of innocence by the Australian government.
‘The Attorney-General has got immense powers in dealing with other countries; she could have talked to Heathrow. “Inhibited” is not a word used by the UK and Australian government.’
He was surprised that the Australian government was ‘making absolutely no effort to find out what happened.
‘By now the Australian Ambassador in London should have lodged a complaint!’
Clearly disappointed in his country’s response to the incident, he likened Australia to ‘a little dog frightened of a buffalo’.
Australia, the largest island nation in the world, the only continent which is also a country, the interviewer sought to know?
‘Though we have a stable economy, we are not a big country!’ was his insistent response.
On how he felt when he considered that the United States goes all out to protect the life and wellbeing of any US citizen in trouble abroad, he said, ‘Australia is not asking any questions, they are entitled to act but have made no effort to assist Assange. They have turned their back on him; they are doing the exact opposite of what the United States would have done!
‘What we have is not democracy but deathocracy!’ he declared.
AG Roxon, he claimed, was brought in because ‘she was weaker. The previous Attorney-General (Robert McClelland) did not want to do what she’s now doing’.
Prodded to reveal a little more about himself and how he came about being a student at his age, Robertson disclosed he’s presently pursuing an M.A in Cultural and Creative Group Practice at the University of New South Wales, specifically at the Sydney Consortium, a research group which includes the state library of New South Wales, the Australian Museum, the Sydney Writers Festival and the university.
‘I’ve been a teacher and done all sorts of different things. I have also been a writer, and my thesis is in creative writing’ the very entertaining father of four revealed.