Renowned UK designer Vivienne Westwood has launched a line of t-shirts to show solidarity with Julian Assange. All profits will go to WikiLeaks, which she praised as a brilliant organization to combat misinformation and concealment.
By wearing the unisex t-shirt Westwood said you can show your support for a “real hero.”
“WikiLeaks has had 90 per cent of all donations blocked by Visa, MasterCard, Western Union, PayPal, Amazon and Bank of America, so all profits from the sale of this t-shirt will go directly to them,” said Westwood. The flamboyant designer added that Assange is working in the interests of the public “to expose the facts concealed and misinformation published by the authorities for their own protection.”
Credit card companies began to block donations going to the whistleblowing site following a statement by Australian PM Julia Gillard in 2010, condemning the release of US wires on WikiLeaks as “illegal” and “grossly irresponsible.”
Assange is now taking steps to sue Gillard for defamation as her statements continue to “directly affect the financial viability of WikiLeaks.”
The t-shirt has the 71-year-old’s face emblazoned on the front with the tag line “I am Julian Assange” in the top left corner.
The WikiLeaks founder has now been holed up for over four months in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he claimed asylum to dodge extradition in Sweden.
Miss Westwood was seen by press sporting the new t-shirt on the way to visit the whistleblower in the embassy on Tuesday.
The UK and Ecuadorian governments are currently at loggerheads over Assange’s fate. Ecuador granted his appeal for asylum in August, but he is unable to leave embassy premises as British authorities have resolved to arrest him should he set foot on UK soil.
The British government says that they are obligated to deliver Assange to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault.
The WikiLeaks found denied the allegations and claims that once in Sweden he will most likely be handed over to US authorities, which have been preparing a lawsuit against him for the leaking of thousands of diplomatic cables through his website.