Susan Clarkson of the Oxford Catholic Worker, held weekly vigils throughout Lent for Bradley Manning at the US Embassy in London. Here is her account:
“During Lent I made a decision to do a weekly 2 hour vigil at the American Embassy in London for Bradley Manning. The main sign I took read FREE BRADLEY MANNING: BLOWING THE WHISTLE ON WAR CRIMES IS NOT A CRIME! I chose to do this vigil because it was Lent and, as a Christian, it seemed a meaningful way of uniting Bradley’s situation with Jesus’ suffering and death. Just before beginning the vigils I heard a play on the radio about Mordechai Vanunu and was struck by similarities between him and Bradley.
“I held the vigil for six Wednesdays and was joined on two of them by friends. The vigil spot was just in front of the main entrance where people were lining up to go into the visa offices. There were many young people there, signing up for Camp America and similar projects. The majority ignored me but I had no negative responses at all. What did happen was that several people stood and talked about Bradley with me and asked questions. Every person who spoke to me took a leaflet. What was most encouraging was the number of Americans who thanked me for being there and said they agreed with the message. The times of silence were very powerful for me as I prayed for Bradley and his captors. I reflected on a sunny day on how he was deprived of sunlight and as I stood in the rain I thought of how he would have loved to feel the rain drenching him. As the time for Bradley’s trial approaches I intend to return to Grosvenor Square and hold vigil again, demanding his freedom. We can live in hope!”