Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks and a thorn in the side of Western governments and the cleaning staff of the Ecuadoran Embassy in London alike, had his access to the Internet “temporarily restricted” by his Latin American hosts, who have sheltered Assange since 2012.
The move prompted howls of protests from supporters of the whistleblowing organization as well as American conservatives, who have found ammunition in a trove of private Democratic National Committee emails released in recent weeks by Assange's outfit. Ecuadoran officials and their counterparts in the State Department have denied that the move to cut off his Internet access was prompted by U.S. government pressure, as my colleague Nick Miroff reports.
But all was not quite lost for Assange. On Wednesday morning, Bobby Mair, a Canadian comedian based in the British capital, appeared outside the Ecuadoran Embassy with a megaphone and a sign around his neck that read “Julian Assange's personal Internet service.” He then proceeded to shout out headlines and tidbits of global information into what presumably is Assange's window.
Details included a sunny weather forecast in Assange's Australian home town as well as a report on the release of Ched Evans, a Welsh soccer player, who had been jailed on a rape charge in 2012 but was cleared after a retrial. Assange sought asylum in Ecuador out of fear of being extradited to Sweden, where he is accused of rape.
Mair conducted the stunt as part of his gig for the British edition of RT, a Russian state-run international television network. The RT UK show, Sam Delaney's News Thing, later published the full clip on YouTube:
A previous gag that Mair pulled involved dressing up as a menacing clown and offering people free hugs.
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