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Three Kiwis Launch Haka Challenge To Free Assange In London

Three long-time Kiwi Assange campaigners are uniting to initiate a Haka Challenge from outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Monday, May 20th. Mr Assange, who is rumoured to be attending, hears his fate in the UK Courts. His wife Stella Assange says anything is possible. The High Court judges could end his legal avenues in the UK, give him an appeal, or free him.

The Haka Challenge invites anyone to learn and record the Ka Mate haka as performed by the All Blacks, to show their support for "the South Pacific's greatest truth teller".

Richard Hillgrove first planned a Haka4Assange in 2019 but it got cancelled three days before because Julian Assange was arrested from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The late Dame Vivienne Westwood was due to join Hillgrove and others in the activation. Hillgrove devised and executed Westwood’s Canary in a Cage activation in July 2020.

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Matt Ó Branáin traveled from Auckland to the UK in 2022 after inspiring a Free Assange Human Chain around UK Parliament. Alex Hills resides in Wellington and runs the Global action network Candles 4 Assange.

The group reveals that Julian has previously unreported kiwi roots. "Julian's grandmother lived and died in Auckland" his father John Shipton told Matt Ó Branáin. "New Zealand is my second home" said Mr Shipton, who spent many years in Ponsonby and frequented famous Music venue the Glue Pot.

What does Julian's case mean for the South Pacific? His case will make it a crime for south Pacific journalists to reveal crimes by the Crown, or end US illegal invasions with truthful journalism. "How can we have peace or justice without truth?" asks Wellington resident and director of Candles 4 Assange, Alex Hills.

Matt Ó Branáin of Aotearoa 4 Assange says 'you cannot stand for Democracy or Human Rights and remain silent on the Assange case. All The main Human Rights and Press Freedom groups agree, from Amnesty International to the UN to the American Civil Liberties Union, that this is a serious attack on global Press Freedom, essential to maintaining Democracy. We call on all politicians, media and citizens who stand for Democracy to speak up now, or forever hold your peace."

Australian Parliament recently voted on a motion that Assange should be freed and allowed to return home to Australia. It's time New Zealand stood alongside our Pacific ally, and protected our own sovereignty and freedoms.

To participate in the challenge the group invites people to register at haka4assange.net

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