Assange “Dishonest” Says Union

Julian Assange jilts the Union in favour of speaking to a conference in Hamburg.

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In its latest announcement to members, the Union has expressed disappointment at Julian Assange’s “apparent dishonesty”.

The remark, made via a post on the Union’s Facebook page, comes following the announcement that Julian Assange will instead be speaking via videolink at a conference in Germany on Tuesday, the same day he was due to address the Union.

Assange cancelled his Q&A session at the Union last Tuesday citing “technical issues”, more than a week before he was due to appear. He has opted instead to host a similar event at ConventionCamp in Hamburg, an annual conference on digital future, social media and web culture.

In its official statement, the Union told members: “The Union Society is disappointed in Mr Assange’s apparent dishonesty. We would have hoped that any individual or institution claiming to represent the interests of free speech and openness would be more straightforward in their dealings. We apologise to members for the confusion this has caused and the doubts that have arisen following Mr Assange’s misleading statement.”

In response to the pressure put on the Union to disinvite Assange, the debating society outlined its intent to listen to members’ feedback more closely in future: “The Union Committee hopes that the developments of the past week will galvanise more member involvement and feedback – while we reach out to members through feedback forms, college representatives, our website, our supplementary committee, and many other means, it is clear that we need a more representative way of gauging what members want.

“We hope members will consider joining us next term to discuss No Platform policies and the Union’s invitation policy going forward. Only when we know exactly what members joined to participate in can we be certain how to provide for their wishes.”