Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters performs at rally in aid of Julian Assange
Pink Floyd star Roger Waters has called for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during a performance outside the Home Office.
The singer and bass guitarist played his former band’s hit track Wish You Were Here at a rally in aid of Assange, who was jailed in May.
Speaking to the crowd from a makeshift stage on Monday, Waters said: “Julian Assange, we are with you. Free Julian Assange.”
Before his performance, Waters claimed Assange is “locked up” 23 hours a day.
He said: “How do we put ourselves in the position of a Julian Assange in solitary confinement, or with that kid in Syria or Palestine or Rohingya, being blown to bits by these people in this building here?
“How do we put ourselves in the position of the parents of that child who will spend the rest of his life on crutches?
“It is called empathy and it is the most valuable thing any human being can possess in their lives.”
Assange was jailed for 50 weeks earlier this year for breaching his bail conditions by going into hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy.
The 48-year-old entered the embassy in London in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted in connection with sexual offences allegations, which he denied.
He spent nearly seven years living in the embassy until being dramatically dragged out by police in April after Ecuador revoked his political asylum.
Speaking at the rally, one fan, Chris, from Sydney, who now lives in London, said “about 500” people attended.
He said: “There was a sense of concern in the crowd. That there’s this man, a journalist who’s been treated worse than a murderer.
“I think Wish You Were Here is a perfect song. Julian talking about his prison is hell. It’s important to show some solidarity.”