Music / News

Watch M.I.A.’s protest performance outside the UK Home Office

Wearing custom Vivienne Westwood, the musician vocalised opposition to the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Yesterday (5 November) hundreds of protestors took part in a “Don’t Extradite Assange” march. Beginning at 6pm outside the British Home Office in central London, the event featured a performance from rappers M.I.A. and Lowkey.

M.I.A. performed in a custom Vivienne Westwood veil, designed to reflect the theme of “secrecy”. In anticipation of the event she tweeted: “Once Upon a time there were men with beards… B 4 the bearded guys there were someone else I can’t remember Now it’s Russians Later it could be u or me I’m here for whatever sets truth free Coz Jesus loves me. Amen. C u tonight 6pm outside the home office.” This is not the first time the musician has been outspoken about her beliefs, having used her platform throughout her career to advocate for political intervention on behalf of the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka.

Julian Assange had been residing in the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK since 2012, when he successfully gained asylum from the Ecuadorian government. In April 2019, his asylum was withdrawn and in May he was sentenced by UK authorities to fifty weeks in prison for skipping bail. He is currently under threat of extradition to the US, with a hearing date set for February 2020, for supposedly attempting to hack into the Pentagon.

Assange is an Australian activist best known as the founder of Wikileaks, an organisation that publishes news leaks and information provided by anonymous whistle blowers. The non-profit is ostensibly an attempt to improve democracy by creating greater transparency around corporations and governments.

6 November 2019