Julian Assange: Dame Vivienne Westwood leads protest

Vivienne Westwood in bird cage
Image caption The 79-year-old was suspended in a large bird cage outside the Old Bailey, where Julian Assange will appear next month

Dame Vivienne Westwood has led a protest to stop the extradition of Julian Assange, while suspended in a large bird cage.

Dressed in a canary yellow suit, the fashion designer chanted “free Julian Assange” from a 10ft (3m) cage outside the Old Bailey in London on Tuesday.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is due to appear for a full extradition hearing on 7 September.

Dame Vivienne said she wanted to get Julian Assange “out of the cage”.

If extradited to the US, Mr Assange will face 17 charges under the Espionage Act and conspiracy to commit computer intrusion after thousands of classified documents were published in 2010 and 2011.

The 49-year-old is currently being held in high-security Belmarsh Prison in south-east London.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Demonstrators protested against the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is being held at Belmarsh Prison
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Dame Westwood said the stunt was based on the “canary in the coalmine” expression

The protest of about 20 demonstrators was organised by Dame Vivienne’s son, Joe Corre, who co-founded Agent Provocateur.

Dame Vivienne, 79, said she had dressed in yellow because canaries were used by miners to detect poisonous gas.

She said: “If the canary died they all got out. Julian Assange is in a cage and he needs to get out. Don’t extradite to America.”