Lenten US Embassy Vigils for Manning

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!”

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One Response to Lenten US Embassy Vigils for Manning

  1. Courtney says:

    As a Christian when I first of heard about Bradley Manning’s situation my heart felt for him and his family. What happened to innocent until proven guilty. This country was founded on Christian morals and it has drifted so far from that. Today the world is filled with such haterd and UNFORGIVENESS. I am a wife of a US veteran and I still find it in my heart to forgive. My main concern if Bradley’s relationship with Christ. God has laid on my heart to pray for Bradley and for his salvation. God has laid on my heart about Paul who hated Christians and even murdered thousands of them. He was put in prison and God still changed his heart. After he was saved he reached so many people’s lives for Christ. God spared his life and was able to use him. I believe God can do the same with Bradley. I see a lot of news stories but this time I feel impelled to pray daily for this young man and for his trial. I would never want to see ANYONE go to prison much less die without knowing the loving God I know. I want as many people as I can see go to heaven one day. God bless any one that reads this.

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