Click on the headline to link to the Private Bradley Manning Petition website page.
The Private Bradley Manning case is headed toward a mid- winter trial. Those of us who support his cause should redouble our efforts to secure his freedom. For the past several months there has been a weekly stand-out in Greater Boston across from the Davis Square Redline MBTA stop (renamed Bradley Manning Square for the stand-out’s duration) in Somerville on Friday afternoons but we have since July 4, 2012 changed the time and day to 4:00-5:00 PM on Wednesdays. This stand-out has, to say the least, been very sparsely attended. We need to build it up with more supporters present. Please join us when you can. Or better yet if you can’t join us start a Support Bradley Manning weekly stand-out in some location in your town whether it is in the Boston area, Berkeley or Berlin. And please sign the petition for his release either in person or through the Bradley Manning Support Network. We have placed links to the Manning Network and Manning Square website below. ********
Bradley Manning Support Network http://www.bradleymanning.org/
Manning Square website http://freemanz.com/2012/01/20/somerville_paper_photo-bradmanningsquare/bradleymanningsquare-2011_01_13/
Remarks From The Pardon Bradley Manning Rally At Downtown Boston Obama Headquarters-September 6, 2012
Welcome one and all and I am glad you could be here for this important struggle. The Smedley Butler Brigade of Veterans for Peace proudly stands in solidarity with, and defense of, Private Bradley Manning and his fight for freedom from his jailers, the American military. Now usually when I get before a mic or am on a march I am shouting to high heaven about some injustice. Recently I was called strident by someone and when it comes to the struggle against this country’s wars, the struggle for social and economic equality, and for freedom for our political prisoners I am indeed strident. But I am looking for something today something personally important to me and so I will try to lower my temperature a bit- I want, like you, for President Obama to pardon Bradley Manning so I will be nice, or try to be.
Bradley Manning is in a sense the poster person for all of us who have struggled against the wars of the last decade. He stands charged with allegedly leaking information about American war crimes and other matters of public concern to Wikileaks. We, and we are not alone on this, do not see whistleblowing on such activities as a crime but as an elemental humanitarian act and public service. Private Manning has paid the price for his alleged acts with over 800 days of pre-trial confinement and is now facing life imprisonment for simple acts of humanity. For letting the American people know what they perhaps did not want to know but must know- when soldiers, American soldiers, go to war some awful things can happen and do. He has also suffered torture at the hands of the American government for his brave stand. We have become somewhat inured to foreign national being tortured by the American government at places like Guantanamo and other black hole locales. We have even become somewhat inured to American citizens being tortured and killed by the American government by drones and other methods. But we know, or should know, that when the American government stands accused of torturing an American soldier for not toeing the war line then we private citizens are in serious trouble.
Why does Private Manning need a pardon? Did he give away the order of battle or the table of organization for American military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan? No. Did he give away the design for drones and such weapons? No. He simply blew the whistle on something that is a hard fact of war- war crimes by American soldiers through release of the Collateral Murder tape and what have become known as the Iraq and Afghan War logs. This is what the American government had tried with might and main to cover up. And what needed to be exposed. All talk of bringing democracy, or national building, or having a war to end all wars, and the million other lame excuses for war pale before the hard fact that in the heat of war the real strategy is to kill and burn and let god sort out the innocent from the guilty. That is what Private Manning exposed.
I, and I am sure many other veterans from previous wars who saw or knew of such things and did nothing about it, are glad that such things were exposed. If for no other reason Private First Class Bradley Manning deserves presidential pardon for his service. To insure that event we urge everybody to ramp up their efforts in behalf of Bradley by signing here or online at the Bradley Manning Support Network site the petition to the Secretary of the Army for his release and to call the White House, the telephone number is listed on the flyer we are handing out, and demand that President Obama pardon Private Manning. Today’s event is the start of our fall campaign of behalf of Private Manning who at this time is expected to go to trial next February. We want to build toward that trial, assuming President Obama (or President Romney) has not pardoned him by then. We have been holding weekly stand-outs in Davis Square in Somerville outside the MBTA Red Line stop Wednesdays from 4:00to 5:00 PM and urge you to join us. Or better yet start a Free Bradley Manning stand-out in your own town square. Thank you