GUEST BLOG: Lois Griffiths – J’ACCUSE…!


Why the silence, WHY NO  OUTCRY OF ANGER, from our mainstream media? 

The influential writer Emile Zola was so perturbed  by the French establishment ‘s blatantly dishonest accusations  of treason against Alfred Dreyfus that he, Zola, wrote an open letter to an influential newspaper , J’Accuse, accusing the President of France and his  government of antiSemitism. 

This was in 1898. One writer, Emile Zola, is remembered for his stance in exposing the undercurrent of bigotry in the French establishment of his time.

One man, one writer…and one newspaper..

What if someone influential were to write a letter today, in defence of Julian Assange? 

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Who could one write to? Who in UK has the moral influence and , one has to hope, the moral integrity, to demand that Assange be freed before his health , physical and mental, doesn’t deteriorate completely? 

Actually such a letter has been written, and SIGNED BY 61 INTELLECTUALS FROM 16 COUNTRIES : Including : Mairead Maguire, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg,  Oliver Stone, John Pilger, Tariq Ali, Chris Hedges…

The letter was written, not to a newspaper, not to an MP, but to the Archbishop of  Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Partial Text of Letter: 

“We the undersigned respectfully call on the moral authorities of the United Kingdom to use their influence to obtain immediately release of Julian Assange, citizen of Australia, from Belmarsh prison where he is being unjustly and cruelly incarcerated.

Julian Assange is not charged with any crime or even misdemeanor in Britain, and has fully served his sentence for his single offense: jumping bail to avoid extradition to the United States via Sweden. He was not and is not charged for any crime in Sweden. The sole charges against him originate in the United States, on purely political grounds, …”

“It is quite clear that in their current treatment of Julian Assange, the United Kingdom is debasing itself as a mere instrument of political repression exercised by the United States.”…

“We ask you to respectfully transmit this message to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

We appeal to your sense of justice and of national honor to uphold the best traditions of British democracy and respect for human rights by calling for the immediately freeing Julian Assange.”

For the entire letter and list of signatures, see here.

J’Accuse”  the UK establishment, declare the signatories)

And, myself,  “J’Accuse” our  NZ mainstream media. Why do they not take up the cause of Julian Assange, which many consider the cause of journalism itself?

PS :In November an open letter from 65  medical doctors was written to the UK Home Secretary pleading that they feared  Assange’s health had so deteriorated that he could die in prison. But that’s another story.





  1. It would be great if our PM would make such an appeal . Then it might force some response . Has anyone appealed to her?
    D J S

    • Yes, DJ
      I wrote to her and if I remember rightly, my letter was forwarded to Winston.The message I got back was that the matter was entirely between the UK and Australia
      I have written several letters over the years, and of course you will never get an honest answer It is always a cagey”The NZ position is…” and until such time that new evidence etc , this remains…
      All very butt covering

  2. I apologize for one wee typo error. This sentence should have ended with a period, ie full stop.
    “J’Accuse” the UK establishment, declare the signatories)
    ie, meant to be

    “J’Accuse” the UK establishment, declare the signatories.

    • I wouldn’t worry about your punctuation…it’s your basic premise that Assange is worth a pinch of owl droppings that is the howler here.

      • Gaby I don’t think judging Assange’s worth is the issue here. The question is has he broken any laws? It seems pretty clear that he has not. He has just made the rich and powerful uncomfortable by behaving as an independent journalist telling the world some things they ought to know, many want to know, but the authorities would rather they didn’t know.
        If he has committed a crime he should be tried for that crime. That he is being treated the way he is being treated by so called Western Democratic Governments without committing any crime should terrify you whether you fancy him or not.
        D J S

      • Please elaborate Gaby. There appears to be a big secret the rest of us on this page don’t know about.Are you aware that ALL THE EVIDENCE against Assange has been dismissed largely because there isn’t any. He hasn’t broken any laws or committed any crimes. Yes he’s pissed off the American establishment. No one except them gives a fuck!!!

        • I’ll happily elaborate. Assange was booted out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on President Moreno’s orders for “discourteous and aggressive behaviour” and for “repeated violations of international conventions”. In addition, he was smearing his excrement on the embassy walls and torturing their cat. He is facing 17 charges by the US Justice Department for violation of the Espionage Act. The Swedish rape investigation against him was “discontinued” because of the lengthy time frame, not because he has been cleared. A journalist once asked him if he found it morally reprehensible to divulge the names of Afghanis working with the US military, e.g. as interpreters. Assange replied: “They’re informants, so if they get killed they’ve got it coming to them.” Ah, the irony. For Griffiths to use a literary figure of Zola’s calibre to draw a thoroughly spurious connection between Dreyfus and Assange is egregious. But then Lois defends terrorist groups like Hamas and Fatah.

  3. Yes Lois,

    A travesy of injustise is what the establishment is doing to Julain.

    I ahve servced in NZ army was proud to stand up for our rights to free speech but now I feel ncompromised when we know the health of this man is in a bad way when he is being incarcirated, so the authorities need to let nhim go mfree and give him all the medical assistance he needs to recover to good health again.
    Otherwise he is being treated with torture illegally.

  4. It is a disgrace, more shame on the Brits and all who have stood by and allowed this to happen and have not lifted a finger.

  5. Well said Lois. I have also been accusing those who are seemingly determined to be head down pretend that one day, it could be us/me refuseniks.

    Or sadly worse already publicly schadenfreude expressed. against Assange ‘cos’ Gaby types.

  6. And they send it to the chief hand-waver and spell-chanter in Britain? Give us a break.
    To say such a person has moral integrity is extremely contestable.

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