Announcing Crowdfunding for Justice and to Protect Civil Liberties

Crowdfunding is likely to fund the post-production of a film that aims to raise public support for justice and freedom of Julian Assange.
Main image of a Crowdsourcing Week blog on crowdfunding for justice and freedom for Julian Assange

Written by Clive Reffell

Feb 16, 2024

A crowdfunding campaign looks well on the way to reaching its target of AU$140,000 of donations to fund the post-production (editing) of a film. The film in question is a documentary called “Free The Truth: Free Assange.” Its purpose is to raise public support to pressure politicians in the United States, UK and Australia to call for the release of Julian Assange and thus protect freedom of speech and other civil liberties. They are crowdfunding justice and crowdfunding his freedom.

Who is Julian Assange?

Julian Assange is a multiple award-winning Australian journalist who founded WikiLeaks in 2006. In 2010 he published a series of leaks from U.S. Army Intelligence covering topics including military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also in 2010, Sweden issued a warrant for his arrest on charges including rape, which he supposedly committed while in Sweden in August that year. Assange claimed the allegations were part of a smear campaign. However, after losing an appeal against the charges he took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, UK, in June 2012.

Ecuador granted him asylum until April 2019, at which time UK police arrested him on charges of breaking bail. The U.S. Government then charged him with offenses related to espionage and conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. If convicted of these charges he could face a sentence of up to 175 years.

Where is Assange now?

Since April 2019 Julian Assange has been held in the UK’s high security Belmarsh Prison on the outskirts of south east London. During this time his legal defense team resisted the U.S. Government’s attempts to extradite him. In January 2021, a UK judge ruled that Assange could not be extradited to the United States, citing concerns about his mental health and the risk of suicide in a U.S. prison. The U.S. authorities naturally appealed against this decision. Assange was also denied bail on the grounds that he was a flight risk and remains in prison where he is locked in his cell 23 hours a day.

In April 2022, a Magistrates Court formally approved the extradition of Assange to the United States, a decision which was approved by the British Home Secretary. Assange’s subsequent appeals have been dismissed, and in December 2023 it was announced that Assange’s final appeal hearing would be on 20 and 21 February 2024.

About the film

The documentary footage includes interviews with lawyers, journalists, authors and “free thinkers.” They claim Assange’s publication of the U.S. Army Intelligence leaks was simply a journalist doing his job, and was not criminal action. They believe the U.S. Government wants to make an example of him to deter other whistleblowers. They point to the general erosion of press freedom and increasing limitations on being able to access truthful information from governments and corporations.

Narrators in the film include actress Susan Sarandon and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd.

Crowdfunding campaigns hopes to secure justice and freedom for Julian Assange by raising public pressure on politicions

Image source: GoFundMe

How is this crowdfunding justice and freedom?

By 16th February, 2024, the GoFundMe campaign had raised over AU$130,000 from more than 3,000 people. This is nearly 94% of the AU$140,000 target of this campaign to crowdfund justice. This money will cover post-production costs and for a music soundtrack to be composed. These tasks should be completed within six to nine months.

The project’s emotional call to action is that as much as the U.S. authorities want to make an example of Julian Assange, it’s in the interests of everyone else to rally together to resist them in a show of solidarity and broad defense of civil liberties, freedom of speech, and freedom of the media. It’s not the usual crowdfunding to make an indie film, it is effectively crowdfunding freedom of speech and civil liberties, they are crowdfunding justice.

As an incentive to donate, and to get as many people as possible to see the film, all donors will receive a link to watch the film when it is digitally released. Hopefully they will invite a crowd to watch it with them.

About Author

About Author

Clive Reffell

Clive has worked with Crowdsourcing Week on sourcing and creating content since May 2016. With knowledge and experience gained in a 30+ year marketing career based in London, UK, he operates as an independent crowdfunding advisor helping SMEs and startups to run successful crowdfunding projects, and with wider social media and content marketing issues.

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