What’s Current: Julian Assange calls sexual assault allegations a ‘radical feminist conspiracy’ in new documentary

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in Laura Poitras’s documentary film Risk. Photograph: Praxis Films

Julian Assange demanded that filmmaker Laura Poitras censor the parts of her documentary Risk that dealt with the sexual assault allegations against him. The Guardian describes one of the scenes he wanted cut:

“Assange talks to Helena Kennedy QC, who is advising him on how to deal with the allegations. Assange says, as if to excuse himself, that it is a ‘radical feminist conspiracy’ and dismisses the complainants as lesbians. Kennedy tells him it is not helpful to talk like this. ‘No, not publicly,’ he says, while being filmed. Her look of despair is priceless. Assange then explains why it is not in the best interests of the women to press charges. ‘An actual court case is going to be very hard for these women… they will be reviled for ever by a large segment of the world population. I don’t think it’s in their interest to proceed that way.’”

The Toronto Transit Commission is launching an app that allows women to report assaults and harassment on transit anonymously and in real time.

Tanzanian president John Magufuli endorses banning pregnant girls and young moms from continuing their education. At a rally last week, he said, “As long as I am president… no pregnant student will be allowed to return to school”

The White House Council for Women & Girls was created under Obama in 2009 to monitor policy changes and liaise with women’s groups. Under Trump, the council is defunct meaning that, for women’s groups “there’s nobody to reach out to except Ivanka.”

Simone Veil, a feminist politician who led the fight to legalize abortion in France in the 1970s, has passed away at age 89.

Lisa Steacy

Lisa Steacy is an Assistant Editor at Feminist Current. She has a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. However, the women she met in her five years as a frontline worker and collective member with Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter deserve almost all of the credit for her feminist education. She lives in Vancouver with her partner and their cats.