Julian Assange’s appearances on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy are rare but they all have a rather similar theatrical feel about them.
The huge throng of cameramen, journalists and supporters are kept waiting for hours, often in the English rain, before the man himself emerges from the shadows to deliver a public pronouncement.
Questions from journalists are ignored.
He speaks slowly, yet clearly, into the large number of microphones pointed up at him from all directions.
Then when he’s finished, Mr Assange usually offers a wave to cheering supporters or a clenched fist as a sign of defiance, before turning and disappearing once more.
During his spiel overnight, he declared the decision by Swedish prosecutors to drop their rape investigation represents a “victory” for him.
It’s important to note he hasn’t been cleared.
Authorities simply believe they’re not going to be able to take steps to further the case — the statute of limitations expires in 2020.
It’s also worth noting that for all the colour and movement, their decision doesn’t really change Mr Assange’s circumstances.
If he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy, London police will arrest him for breaching his bail, a penalty that carries a maximum of one year in prison.
The WikiLeaks founder has always said he only ever walked through the doors of the embassy to avoid ending up in the United States, facing questions or arrest over the release of classified military and diplomatic documents.
It’s always been arguable the extradition process to America would be easier from Britain than Sweden anyway.
During his speech, he warned followers “the war is just commencing”.
That’s probably a reference to the fact neither the UK or the US seem like they’re about to change their opinion of Mr Assange, or help facilitate his passage to Ecuador where he has political asylum.
So, for the foreseeable future, the Australian is likely to stay put — continuing his work from inside an embassy which receives little natural light, with just the occasional appearance on a tiny balcony.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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