Welcome to the Act NOW for Assange community.
“Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and, thereby, eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love.”Julian Assange
Thank you for choosing to take action to free Australian award-winning journalist and political prisoner Julian Assange.
You are a valued part of a wider group of Australians actively working to have Julian released from Britain’s notorious maximum-security Belmarsh Prison. We are collectively working toward having all charges dropped and Julian returned safely home to his young family as a free man.
We encourage you to arrange a meeting with your MP to verbalise your honest feelings about the ongoing persecution of Julian and voice your concerns about his declining health due to his disproportionate incarceration.
Below is a step-by-step guide to meeting your MP with easily accessible resources, tools and templates to help you prepare for a successful meeting with your MP about Julian Assange.
We are here to assist you every step of the way.
Let’s get started….
“Courage is contagious” - Julian Assange
Thank you for taking the first step to holding a meeting with your MP. This guide is designed to be a simple, step-by-step resource for you to use and refer to.
It is easy and could potentially help save Julian’s life.
Meeting anyone for the first time can seem daunting but, if you are with a friend, it makes the whole encounter easier and more relaxed. So, we encourage you to team up; go through this process with a friend or a small group of like-minded people.
You can become a team leader by arranging the MP meeting and inviting a small group of friends, family or other interested people to go along with you. Or, alternatively, you can be a team member and attend the meeting as a support person.
We encourage you to contact our MP Program Manager via firstname.lastname@example.org. They can support you or find you a group to join. If you would rather meet your MP on your own, please feel free to do so.
Our suggested process to meeting your MP is a guide only and you are welcome to express your own thoughts and feelings about what is happening to Julian Assange throughout.
Let everyone know and together we can work collectively to help secure Julian’s immediate release.
Julian needs our help. He needs every Australian to speak up and collectively say, "enough is enough!"
By becoming a Team Leader or a Team Member you can make a real difference. By following this guide and meeting your MP, you will contribute significantly to Julian’s release.
Team Leader or Team Member? You choose.
Becoming a Team Leader is an important and fun role. You will arrange the meeting and build a small team of Assange supporters to go with you. Within this guide you will find all the templates you need to succeed.
- CHOOSE – nominate the MP or Senator you are going to meet with
- CONTACT – send an email and/or make a call to arrange the MP meeting
- COORDINATE – build and communicate with your team
- DELEGATE – ask a Team Member to take photos and another to take notes
- SOCIAL MEDIA – spread the word, tell people about the great work you and your team are doing
- LET US KNOW – let us know what happened during the MP meeting so we can amplify your results
- REPEAT – if you enjoyed the experience, how about contacting another MP?
If you are not currently a member of a local Assange Group you can find your local group or events here.
Becoming a Team Member is a key and collaborative role. Invite your friends and family to get involved and join you.
- SUPPORT – assist your Team Leader in anyway you are able and comfortable with
- INVITE – invite family, friends, or local supporter groups to attend the MP meeting with you
- ATTEND – attend the MP meeting(s)
- GET INVOLVED – if you would like to take notes or photographs during the meeting, please let the Team Leader know your level of interest
To find out who your local Federal MP or Senator is, click on this link to the Parliament of Australia website and fill in your postcode.
Now you know who represents you, it is good practice to get to know more about your MP before you start any communication. This is not a necessity, but it might help you find some common ground to build rapport when you actually meet.
Look at your MPs social media footprint, their website and social media pages. If they are a member of a political party, also take a look at their party website.
This should give you good insight to what motivates your MP.
- - What are they passionate about?
- - Do they have any key interests?
- - Have they made any statements on free speech, free press, and/or about Julian Assange?
- - Are they a current member of or are they considering becoming a member of the Bring Julian Assange Home Parliamentary Group?
Please remember that some MPs will not meet with you if you are not in their constituency. So, we recommend starting with your local Federal MP.
It is important that you come from an authentic place of concern and communicate that to your MP during your meeting. Why is the plight of Julian Assange important to you?
Reflect on this personally and within your group. For example:
- - Julian Assange is an Australian citizen
- - He is a multi award-winning journalist, publisher, and founder of WikiLeaks
- - Julian Assange is being pursued by the US Department of Justice for the act of publishing, however, the whistleblower who provided the information is free to live in and contribute to society
- - Julian has been held in some form of arbitrary detention for over 12 years
- - He is currently being held in indefinite detention within a maximum-security prison
- - Julian’s treatment is disproportionate and inhumane
- - Julian’s human rights are being abused
Other key points:
- - Julian should be free to live with his wife and children
- - Julian’s life is on the line, his health is in serious decline
- - Julian has been spied on, smeared, and tortured
- - Julian represents free speech and a free press
- - The Australian Government should be doing more to secure proportionate and humane detention conditions for Julian
Please feel free to add other key messages that resonate with you, and formulate your own questions with the key messages in mind.
Click here for a set of questions prepared for your convenience.
Now you are ready to send your email…
All MPs prefer a written request for a meeting. Feel free to write a letter however, email is quicker and easier. This initial request does not have to be complicated or long.
Just keep it simple, polite and to the point.
How to write the email:
- SALUTATIONS – use the MPs full title
- INTRODUCE – be clear and introduce yourself
- ELECTORATE – mention that you are from the MPs electorate (if you are)
- THE ASK – state what it is that you want (to secure the release of Julian Assange)
- EXPLAIN – outline why the meeting is important to you
- REQUEST – request a meeting with your MP, at their earliest convenience
- THANK YOU – thank the MP for their kind consideration
- CONTACT DEAILS – make sure that you sign off with your name, email, phone number and postcode, so the MP’s office can contact you for a meeting (and verify that you are a constituent)
- REPEAT – is there another MP you would like to meet?
Click here for an email template written for your convenience.
In many cases you will receive an automatic generic email response from the MP. Do not be deterred by this standard procedure.
If you do not receive a phone or email response within four working days, follow-up via phone call...
This is a great opportunity to engage with the receptionist or ‘gatekeeper’ over the phone. Do not be intimidated by the follow-up phone call. It can be fun and, like anything, the more you do it, the better and more confident you will become.
Always have a pen and paper ready to take notes and write down the speaker’s name as soon as they say it. If you didn’t hear their name, ask politely for them to repeat it. Then, use their name throughout the conversation. Keep your tone friendly and polite. A good trick is to smile before you dial.
When you call the MP’s office directly, be polite but do not let the ‘gatekeeper’ get you off of the phone until you are satisfied with the answer they have provided.
Remember, you are exercising your democratic right; your MP represents you and this means listening to your requests. All calls to MP’s office are documented and taken seriously. Every action counts.
How to conduct your follow-up phone call:
- INTRODUCE – be clear, introduce yourself, and state whether you are calling as an individual or as part of a group
- Example: Good morning my name is (Jo), and I am a voter in (Electorate) and a member of (Adelaide for Assange)
- EXPLAIN – outline the reason for your call
- Example: I am concerned about the ongoing incarceration of Australian political prisoner and award-winning journalist, Julian Assange.
- REQUEST – follow up on your previous email
- Example: As per my email sent on the … I am requesting a meeting with my MP … when would be a convenient time?
- LISTEN – listen and write down the response. Take your time to answer. Do not be hurried off of the phone. If they sound rushed, try not to let that bother you.
- HANDLE OBJECTIONS – if the ‘gatekeeper’ says they are too busy then request a call back and leave your number. Request and write down the names of the Diary Manager or Chief of Staff so you can contact them directly to arrange a meeting (you may be given the name of an Advisor instead).
- ALTERNATIVES – if you are unable to secure a meeting directly with your MP, request to meet with their Chief of Staff or key advisor
- PERSISTENCE – you may again have to wait for a response about a meeting time and date. If you have not heard back after another four working days, follow-up via phone once again.
Click here for a phone call script prepared for your convenience.
Upon receiving an email confirming your meeting, write an email back accepting and confirming the time and date of the meeting.
If you do not hear back about a date, receive a strong objection or need assistance please contact our MP Program Manager via email@example.com.
When you do hear back about a date, let us know…
We are thrilled that you have successfully booked a meeting with your MP.
We look forward to hearing all about it.
- CONFIRM – always send an email back to MPs office accepting and confirming the date, time and address
- SHARE – let us know the date you are meeting your MP by filling in the following form:
CLICK HERE to share your meeting information.
We are here to help if you require any further assistance at all.
Make it fun!
Now that you have set a date to meet your MP, it is time to prepare. But what is the best way to prepare for a meeting?
We have put together a step-by-step guide to help you and your team have a successful and enjoyable meeting with your MP.
Click here for all the tips and tools required for you to plan a successful meeting.
You have done a wonderful job to get this far, thank you for your time and dedication.
Going into the meeting today, remember to put your best foot forward, have fun, be relaxed and most importantly be yourself. Look at this meeting as the first of many, we are trying to build relationships with our MPs.
Click here for an MP Meeting Day checklist prepared for your convenience.
Thank you for such a great effort! How did it all go?
A couple of days after the meeting, it is good practice to send a thank you email to your MP. Make sure you attach any photos you may have taken and follow up on any actions that you may have committed to from the meeting.
We also recommend the following post-meeting actions:
- DEBRIEF – don’t forget to debrief with your team, check in with everyone and ask how they feel. What went well and what are some learnings from the meeting?
- REVIEW – make time to go over your notes and jot down any further observations, statements or comments. We’d love to hear how your meeting went via this form.
- SOCIAL MEDIA – if you are on any social media platforms, don’t forget to post, post, post. Everyone in your group can post on their own stories. Remember, people are interested in what you are doing and it may inspire someone else to contact their MP.
- HASHTAGS – when on social media platforms please remember to use hashtags, including #MeetYourMPforAssange #IMetMyMPforAssange #ActNOWforAssange #FreeAssange #AssangeCampaignAustralia #JournalismIsNotACrime #EveryActionCounts #GetAssangeOUTofBelmarsh #FreeSpeechMatters #EnoughisEnough
- TAGS – when on social media platforms please remember to tag your MP on any of your posts as well as tagging @assangecampaign @AnthonyAlbanese @SenatorPennyWong @RichardMarles @ MarkDreyfus @RishiSunack @JoeBiden
- BROADCAST – if you have an email network or social club network, let them know how your meeting went. The more people that are aware of your efforts the better.
- SHARE – share the Meet Your MP Program with everyone you know by sending them this link:
- CELEBRATE – great work! Remember to thank your team, and give yourself a pat on the back. We are all so proud of your efforts. Thank you from all at the Assange Campaign Australia team.
Firstly, we want to thank you for making time to help secure the immediate release of Julian Assange.
This is important work, and you can not underestimate the impact your meeting has had. Free speech matters and our democratic rights must be protected.
It could be your meeting that gets reported back to our Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and become the tipping point for further robust action to be taken by our government.
Every action counts!
We are so excited and would be delighted to hear everything about your meeting.
Please fill out this feedback form:
CLICK HERE to share your feedback.
If you have photos, a video statement or any further questions please contact our MP Program Manager via firstname.lastname@example.org
We encourage you to keep going!
Please stay in touch. In Australia there are so many people who have been working hard and tirelessly to free Julian Assange, you being one of them!
The people’s movement for Julian is creative, resilient and growing every week. It is a friendly network of people and we encourage you to reach out and join a local group or start a group in your local area. Just ask us how!
Assange Weekly Gathering Groups – Join or start your own gathering in front of an MP’s office. We can help you get started and connect you with other like-minded people. Find groups and events here:
- Assange Campaign Australia: https://www.assangecampaign.org.au/get-involved/
- Assange Freedom Network: https://www.assangefreedom.network/
Repeat! – If you enjoyed meeting your MP, why not repeat it? There are a lot of MPs and Senators at all levels of government that we need to reach. We look forward to working with you more and are happy to assist you in any way possible.
Post on social media – Let everyone know about your great work with ACA and make sure you share your story and journey on social media.
Widen your network – Please follow as many Assange-related groups as you can. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Assange Campaign Australia https://www.assangecampaign.org.au/
- WikiLeaks: https://www.wikileaks.org/
- Dont Extradite Assange: https://www.dontextraditeassange.com/
Donations – Make a one-off or monthly donation to help us reach more and more people: https://www.assangecampaign.org.au/donate/
Write to Julian Assange – https://www.writejulian.com/
Sign the Petition to the US Ambassador – https://www.action.assangecampaign.org.au/?pc=mp1&source=mp1
Wear Assange – If you have a T-shirt, poster, or banner, utilise these as often as possible. High-quality and free poster designs from Somerset Bean are available for download from Somerset Bean – FREE ASSANGE poster designs & more
Host a screening of Ithaka – https://www.ithaka.movie/watch-the-film/
Poll – 88% of Australians either support calls for Julian to be returned to Australia or are undecided. Just 12% of people oppose his return. “What this poll shows,” says his father, John Shipton, “is Australians overwhelmingly want our government to act to end Julian’s torment.” https://www.assangecampaign.org.au/exclusive-poll-australians-strongly-support-returning-julian-assange/
Read The Trial of Julian Assange by Nils Melzer, former UN Rapporteur on Torture – https://www.assangecampaign.org.au/facts-2/trial-assange/
Have you seen these video statements from supportive MPs (scroll down to play):
Have you seen Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s comments in parliament on Friday 9 November 2022?
Got any questions?
Get in contact with our MP Program Manager via email@example.com.
We would love to hear from you!