Last Monday evening up to 1,000 people gathered in central London to hear internationally acclaimed musician Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd) deliver a musical tribute to imprisoned WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange. Waters performed outside the UK Home Office, just a few miles from the high security Belmarsh Prison where Julian is being held as a Category A prisoner, singing Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” written by him and David Gilmour in 1975. Veteran investigative journalist and film maker John Pilger delivered an impassioned speech and was joined by Julian’s brother Gabriel Shipton. The event appears to have been the subject of a main-stream media blackout, except by the Morning Star and the television station RT. But it can be found on YouTube ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBBVCwBHC3M ).
Saturday 13 July saw a massive turn out at the 135th Big Meeting organised by the Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) now in its 150th year. The organisers claim that the Gala is the largest celebration of community and working class culture in the world and is a tribute to the DMA who have revived the celebrations in recent years, giving it stronger community, national and international involvements. Despite the brutal shutting down of the UK’s mining industry following the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike and the devastation of their communities which threatened the very future of the the DMA, the Big Meeting goes from strength to strength.
Persecuted Turkish newspaper editor Can Dündar said yesterday he was resigning as he no longer had faith in the judiciary to hear his appeal following last month’s failed coup. In May an Istanbul court sentenced the editor-in-chief of the Kemalist Cumhuriyet daily to five years and 10 months in prison for publishing a story and photos of National Intelligence Organisation agents driving a convoy of arms to terrorists in Syria. The story infuriated Turkish president Erdogan. Mr Dündar was bailed pending appeal and is now believed to be in Germany.