Helle citizen. Should u sometimes have a vote about a specific political issue, or is it better if we left politics up to the politicians? Referenda: 10 years ago the Netherlands voted on a EU constitution. Now a new EU referendum could be on it’s way. Peter talks with Marietje Schaake, a member of ALDE / D66, with D66 especially having direct citizen influence as a top priority.
On my visit to London this week, I decided to step by the Embassy of Ecuador. Don’t really know why, I guess to pay some form of respect to Julian Assange. I talked to a policeman who stood guard in front of the building. He told me:
‘Me and my colleagues uses to make bets, you know, on the date of him stepping outside. ‘
For over a little more than 3 years now Julian Assange lives inside this small piece of Ecuador in London. A long time, even for the police.
‘We kind of stopped betting after a while, he didn’t leave the building. So.’
His colleague gave him coffee. Police have been on the lookout here since the first day. They never left. Over 10 million pounds spent.
‘If he steps out, we arrest him immediately.’
It was not very busy in front of the embassy. In fact there was nobody besides the police. No protest, no journalists, just people walking by to get to Harrods, situated next door. One hardly gets the sense one of the worlds most wanted men resides here.
‘It’s not like we imprison him or anything. We know we have to arrest him. Then its up to the courts.’
I imagine what it must be like for Assange. Living in South American isolation in London. For a man who fought for a new era of transparency in media and government, now to be forced to live in this panopticon situation, seems especially cruel.
Do we care enough about his fate? What about editors of newspapers, who benefited so much, like we people all did, from news and leaks Assange and Wikileaks, do they show enough support now?
Those of us familiar with the case, know he is not exaggerating, when he fears a single trip to the US is likely to await him, prepared by special task force with the Kubrickian name The Wikileaks War Room.
I asked how much longer the police will wait for Assange to come out.
‘Doesn’t matter, we have the time.’
They do. And Assange? How much longer can he last?