WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange delivered a rallying cry to Splendour in the Grass attendees today as his mother called on festivalgoers to pressure Australian politicians into preventing her son’s extradition to the US.
Mr Assange delivered a pre-recorded video message to the Big Brother v Little Brother: Who Controls our Only Secrets? forum, which featured his mother Christine as well as his Australian lawyer as part of an unusually political addition to this year’s music festival line-up.
Hosted by The Chaser‘s Julian Morrow, the forum went on to debate whether Mr Assange’s group was the leader of a growing trend of leaking classified information on the internet or had developed into a prominent brand driven by a cult of personality.
It was Assange’s appearance that stole the show, with the Australian, currently under house arrest in London, proclaiming that the current generation was “burning the mass media to the ground”.
“We’re reclaiming our rights to all of history,” he said to the crowd.
“We’re ripping open the secret archives from Washington to Cairo.”
Recalling his time growing up in Byron Bay, the traditional Splendour site, Mr Assange said he had always attempted to reach a nearby lighthouse while playing, an analogy he used to describe his group’s attempts to uncover corruption and secrecy in global institutions.
“We don’t know yet exactly where we are but we can see where we are going,” he said.
“The change in perspective that has happened over the last year is what our generation is going to use to find our lighthouse.
“And when we get there we’ll turn the f—ing spotlight on.”
Technology journalist Patrick Scott argued the WikiLeaks site was a great resource for the leaking of classified information, but was hardly the leader or the only means of distributing leaked documents online.
He said Wikileaks was just the most prominent group in the mainstream.
Mrs Assange urged Splendour festivalgoers to ask their local politicians to ensure the WikiLeaks founder was not extradited to the US and that he was treated fairly during current legal hearings in England.
Following a provocative question from Morrow she also joked about who would play her in a WikiLeaks movie.
“Somebody good looking,” she said.