WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange held his first public appearance since his December arrest following rape charges and declared claims of "more accountability" than governments.
Assange led a debate held in London, England, on Saturday, April 9, 2011. The event was sponsored by the New Statesman magazine and the Frontline Club. Before a 700 person audience of mostly supporters, Assange asserted during a debate: "We are directly supported on a week-to-week basis by you. You vote with your wallets every week if you believe that our work is worthwhile or not. If you believe we have erred, you do not support us. If you believe we need to be protected in our work, you keep us strong."
Assange also maintained during the debate that the transparency of WikiLeaks is greater than most elected governments due to the source of the funds. Assange declared: "That dynamic feedback [of public donations backing WikiLeaks], I say, is more responsive than a government that is elected after sourcing money from big business every four years." The whistleblowing journalist assured that "the only way we can know whether information is legitimately kept secret is when it is revealed."
Assange is currently appealing an extradition charge to Sweden regarding allegations of rape and sexual assault stemming from an August 2010 investigation.