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The protests in the Zócalo, in favor of Julian Assange
The release of Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks held in a high-security prison in the United Kingdom since April 2019, returns to Mexican foreign policy periodically. This time he has done it discreetly and with hardly any noise. Half a dozen people have gathered around the Zócalo around half past one in the afternoon waiting for US President Joe Biden to arrive, reports Elena San Jose. Wearing yellow vests and under the slogan “Stop torture #DropTheCharges” (drop the charges, in Spanish), those summoned by the 24F platform have demanded that the president of the neighboring country withdraw the request for the extradition of the computer scientist, accepted by the British Justice last June.
“If we don’t come, no one comes,” says Edith Cabrera (50 years old), coordinator of the collective. She knows that her cause does not attract many people and she does not have high expectations that the issue will be included in the Summit’s agenda, but she considers it necessary: “We are raising awareness. There is no worse fight than the one that is not fought”.
The support that they have given him today, although small, is consistent with that which he receives from high places. President López Obrador has offered political asylum to the activist whose procedural situation does not allow him to accept it on several occasions. And the city’s head of government, Claudia Sheinbaum, handed over the keys to the city to her father and her brother during her last stay in the capital, last September. “Mexico has that tradition, as a group we are very honored,” says Cabrera, who keeps in touch with the family.
They plan to be at the gates of the Zócalo, on Pino Suárez avenue, until five in the afternoon this Monday, when Biden’s arrival is scheduled. The next day they will return, this time from early in the morning. Although they are few, the commitment anchors them to the street. “It’s for Julian, it’s his life, but it’s also our right to correct information,” they unanimously agree: “It’s very dangerous for everyone.”