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National Strike in Ecuador Against US Imperialism, Calling for Assange’s Freedom

After the US-backed Moreno regime allowed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be illegally rendered by British abductors from its embassy back in April, some 20,000 protesters marched through the country’s capital city of Quito with banners reading “world disgrace” demanding the release of Assange. Their demonstrations were met with violence from the Ecuadorian police including beatings, tear gas attacks, and the use of trained attack dogs against peaceful demonstrators.

This week, new protests took place across Ecuador, which happened to coincide with CNN’s latest ‘dossier’ report against Assange – a compendium of popular mainstream media anti-Assange propaganda and defamatory talking points and smears used over the last few years.

As CNN pushed out its propaganda designed to preempt the imminent testimony of Robert Mueller before Congress,  the US media declined to report on the broad-based protests against US foreign policy and in support of Assange’s release.

Andrea Lobo from WSWS reports…


(Image: WSWS/Twitter)

Workers, peasants and youth in Ecuador began a five-day strike Monday against the draconian policies of the Lenín Moreno administration, which is seeking to strengthen its ties to Washington and its military-intelligence apparatus.

The strike constitutes the first major industrial action in the world demanding the freedom of Julian Assange. The demand is presented in the framework of growing opposition to the attacks against social and democratic rights associated with the Moreno administration’s totally servile policy toward US imperialism.

While the corporate media outlets and the organizers themselves have sought to bury the issue during the strike itself, one of the few specific issues that the official call for the strike protests is the “rendition of WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, to the United States, placing his life in danger.”

This refers to the withdrawal of Assange’s asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he was seeking refuge from US efforts to capture him and process him under espionage charges potentially carrying the death penalty, for publishing hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and other files exposing US and NATO war crimes, mass spying and diplomatic conspiracies around the world.

As millions of workers enter into the class struggle globally to oppose deepened social austerity, attacks on living standards, imperialist wars and the move toward dictatorship, the banner and example being raised by Ecuadorian workers for the liberation of the persecuted journalist needs to be embraced by every fight for social equality and against imperialism.

Beyond the immediate treachery of the Ecuadorian ruling class, the persecution of Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning is a crucial battle for workers as Washington and its partners use their vengeful campaign as a spearhead to silence all opposition and future exposures of war crimes, mass repression and dictatorship in every continent—imperialism’s only response to the deepening crisis of global capitalism.

The organizers of the strike include the Peasants National Movement (FECAOL), the main Workers Union Federation (FUT), dozens of activist organizations grouped in the National Citizens’ Assembly (ANC), and Social Compromise, the new party of ex-president Rafael Correa. They claim this is the broadest strike in 14 years.

On Tuesday, the main day of planned demonstrations, protesters set up dozens of roadblocks—from the coastal highways of Manabí, Guayas and El Oro, surrounding the port city of Guayaquil, to the capital of Quito, east on the PanAmerican Highway to Colombia and south to the Morona Santiago province and Perú along the Andean range—that brought the country to a virtual standstill.

Most of the signs of protesters were hand-made and focused on firings, social cuts and the role of the “International Misery Fund,” as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is labelled, in the cities, and on land, water rights and mining concessions in the rural areas. Ecuadorian migrants in Bolivia, Spain, the United States and other countries carried out rallies in support of the strike.

About 11,800 public employees, mostly in the health care sector, were fired during Moreno’s first year in office as part of the austerity conditions of a $4.2 billion loan approved by the IMF in March.

Another issue raised in the strike call is “the rejection of the handing over of the Galapagos for the interests of North American imperialism,” referring to a recent agreement with the Pentagon to use the Ecuadorian archipelago, designated by the UN as a biosphere reserve and World Heritage Site, as an air base…

Continue this story at WSWS

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