Vivienne Westwood, dressed in yellow, was barred into a giant birdcage outside England’s Old Bailey court on Tuesday, a stunt to give her support for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who is battling extradition from Britain to the United States.
“I am Julian Assange,” fashion stylist Westwood said. “I am the canary in the cage. If I die down the coal mine from toxic gas, that’s the signal.”
“Free Assange,” she said.
Assange is wanted by U.S. officials to stand trial for 18 offences including plotting to hack government networks and espionage. Last year, the United States began extradition procedures after he was dragged from London’s Ecuadorean embassy where he had been holed up for about seven years.
Assange made global headlines in early 2010 when WikiLeaks published a classified U.S. military video displaying a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters in Baghdad that killed a dozen people.
To some, Assange is a hero for exposing what supporters cast as abuse of power by modern states and for championing free speech. But to others, he is a dangerous rebel who has weakened U.S. security.