Former British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and famed linguist and dissident Noam Chomsky joined others earlier this year calling on President Biden to drop charges against Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks founder has been languishing for over four years in the harsh Belmarsh prison in London while appealing extradition to the United States. If he is extradited, tried and convicted, Assange faces up to 175 years in jail for violating the U.S. Espionage Act for publishing documents that exposed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Belmarsh Tribunal at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. in January was organized by the Progressive International and the Wau Holland Foundation.
Democracy Now! As a two-day BRICS summit gets underway in South Africa, we speak with author and analyst Vijay Prashad about whether the bloc — which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — can meaningfully challenge U.S. and Western domination in world affairs by building an alternative forum for countries of the Global South. BRICS countries represent 40% of the world's population and a quarter of the world's economy, and the group is now considering a possible expansion to more than 20 other countries. " BRICS is an instrument to push forward their political views, which they feel are not taken seriously, " says Prashad, director of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. Prashad explains the history of BRICS and its New Development Bank and responds to criticism that BRICS falsely portrays itself as an anti-imperialist project. The BRICS countries " are not a socialist bloc, " says Prashad, but they " don't want to