SAT 23RD FEB: 1000 DAYS OF INCARCERATION BEFORE TRIAL (SO FAR)
‘Twas a chilly day in W.I.S.E. lands, snow in some places, wind in others, but in 13 separate places (that we know of) people turned out (or had left their mark) to say in varying ways:
1000 days is 1000 DAYS TOO LONG! FREE BRAD!
In one way or another the word was out on the streets in Bangor, Cardiff, Haverfordwest, Newport (Pembs), and Wrexham in WALES; in Galway and Dublin in IRELAND; Edinburgh in SCOTLAND; and in Birmingham, Fairford, London, Peterborough and Menwith Hill in ENGLAND.
WHISTLEBLOWING IN WALES
Well, Bangor began on WEDNESDAY 20th – and whistleblowing was the theme. In the afternoon a meeting for whistleblowers, and in the evening an open debate with key Welsh whistleblowers speaking: ‘WikiLeaks: do we have a right to know?’
The culmination of which, it appears, was the following letter sent to the press et al to mark BRADLEY’S 1000 DAYS!
Sibani Roy, whistleblower at AWEMA: All Wales Ethnic Minority Association, Cardiff
Mandy Bostwick, whistleblower at Communities First ‘Flagship’ government project in Wales
***** ******** ******** ******** ******* *******
VARIOUS MESSAGES OF SUPPORT
Messages of support for Brad were received from several people.
HUGO BLANCO gave this moving tribute to Brad:
For me to take part in this campaign is a great honour.
Here is my statement:
Bradley Manning was rightly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, however the entrenched corruption in the awarding of that prize, mocking the will of its founder, awarded the prize to Obama, driver of massacres in Afghanistan, and to the European Union, manufacturer and exporter of arms.
Bradley is the standard bearer of Peace; he honours the name of the United States, showing that those at the bottom don’t share the warmongering of those who, in the service of big business, govern it.
So the system illegally tortures him as a threat to the peace fighters. Despite everything he maintains high morale.
Let us follow the example of Bradley, let’s battle for peace, let’s battle against wars, without fear of reprisals, let’s learn from Bradley to be truly human.
Director of Lucha Indigena http://www.luchaindigena PERU
The Welsh MP ANN CLWYD reaffirmed her support of Bradley, called for his immediate release, particularly in view of his ‘terrible treatment in detention’ and the length of his pretrial confinement, and paid tribute to his whistleblowing with this statement:
As the MP who tabled two EDMs in Parliament, I do, of corse, continue to support Bradley Manning.
Given his terrible treatment in detention and the time he spent without trial, he should be released now
He was a whistleblower who did us all a favour.
Ann Clwyd MP
and the German MP, SEVIM DAGDELEN, applauded Bradley’s iconic moral stature in the following statement:
Subject: Statement for Action Day Free Bradley Manning
I do support the campaign for Bradley Manning. I would be delighted if my statement could be published on your websites:
“Bradley Manning has made history and stands for many others who have done so. We have a moral duty to prevent war crimes and to reveal war crimes by publishing information about them. Manning has done that. He truely deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Others do not.
To me, those are not in court, reveal the war crimes, but those who commit war crimes and responsibility.
Free Bradley Manning!”
Member of the German Bundestag
Member of Foreign Affairs Committee
Spokeswoman for International Relations of Die Linke
ON THE STREETS IN THE BRITISH ISLES ON SATURDAY FEB23
STALL IN BANGOR
One of National Theatre Wales team, who worked with John McGrath, the director of The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (which won 3 awards recently), happened to be staying in town and, noticing the stall, stopped to introduce himself and chat about Brad.
On FRIDAY (the actual 1000th) (depending on when you count from – herein lies a variation) (some say the 1005th) (THINK this is to to do with ‘apprehension date’ versus official ‘arrest date’ ??).
CARDIFF saw a special Bradley Manning Food not Bombs Friday lunchtime (Food not Bombs feed people for free outside St John’s Church by the railings on Friday lunchtimes and dedicated this weeks’ free food stall to Brad). Windy and Cold!!
Then they all turned out again on *the* day (cold again) – SATURDAY between 10.30 and 2.30 – banners, info stall etc….
Dog chain lends symbolism here…..I think it was deliberate juxtaposition of doggie and poster….
…and what could be *MORE* (ASIDE: question – where does that *MORE* come from?) iconic than Brad’s old school?
….where on SATURDAY a local graffitist expresses support for Brad on the school gates….!
banksygirl strikes again…
and up the road from Brad’s maternal home town of Haverfordwest to…..
….Fachongle Isaf, Cilgwyn, Newport, where they gathered (as they have before) at the eco farm/community made famous by the self-sufficiency guru John Seymour , who, amongst other things, it is said, believed in ‘personal responsibility'; a belief we would be safe to conclude Brad shares.
The young people in Pembrokeshire would like to do whatever they could to get their school contemporary home and free. They are moved by him and hope they would have done the same.
We walked for freedom and talked over his experiences in prison, trying to share the pain.
In the evening people gathered to celebrate the peoples of the world both now and down the ages – diverse, but united in our need for caring truth. Bradley stands for the key to a united human species, to our survival.
The most powerful military in the world wants him to face a charge carrying the death sentence. Destruction against a child of hope, war against compassion.
Pembrokeshire people want to be like him, whatever the price; Bradley is an inspiration.
Lots of lovely photos here. See also this report.
and now for a little resonance with the Arabian Nights……
The event in Birmingham was organised by Birmingham Stop the War and was announced on fb as:
In Birmingham, on Saturday 23rd February, there will be a vigil in solidarity with Bradley Manning. Those attending are encouraged to bring placards, signs and banners stating ‘I Am Bradley Manning’, ‘Free Bradley Manning’ and other creative support.
There will also be speakers and press will be in attendance. We would also like to use the opportunity to capture photographs on individuals with their banners and signs for the online photo campaign supporting Bradley Manning: http://iam.bradleymanning.org/
We have posters, speakers and poetry planned. We’d like those attending to bring ‘I Am Bradley Manning’ if they could. Artists of any kind welcome – especially the chalk on pavement kind – thanks! :)
This one is setting up and the one below speaks for itself! (taken by and thanks to Salman Mirza @sallytwit)
It snew here too – gentle flakes
It was fairly busy at Fairford (home to ‘RAF’ Fairford’) with people doing Saturday morning chores in the market square, but almost no-one refused to take a fact sheet, some people were already supporters and glad to see us there, and others wanted us to explain more. A few people signed petition.
Particularly interested were two boys around 13/14, who spent ages talking through the moral dilemmas that Brad might have faced – eg obeying orders v conscience – as they read through the edited ‘chat logs – ‘in his own words’.
They instantly picked up from the collateral murder stills on the post card that the Apache attack was ‘just like a video game’ and determined to find it on line to see for themselves; and they thought aloud about why people join up even when there isn’t a draft….really impressive kids
We had a camera issue, sadly (such incompetence) and were only able to take this one picture after everyone had made off home to lunch and we were about to pack up….
(unless stated to be Pete Riches images, all other London images ITFriendsofBM on flickr)
In which Bradley gets the justly deserved hero’s ‘Freedom of the City’ tour – in our book anyhow…
The iconic sites mobile demo travelled a pied in what was obviously a very chilly wind (check out the taut faces by the time everyone’s been at the US Embassy for a while!); beginning at Trafalgar Square, taking in a Famous Lion, Abe Lincoln and Nelson Mandela, moving on to Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and finally Buckingham Palace….and thence to the US Embassy.
And here is one of those famed Trafalgar Square Lions at the start and a very self-possessed young lady sitting on the plinth above the Brad flag! (lions lying with lambs and little children leading them sprang to mind…)
Abe Lincoln (on the plinth)
By Big Ben
Parliament with Big Ben
The Mall, Buckingham Palace
and on to join the picket at the US Embassy – ablaze with colourful banners and fiery speeches all calling for the freedom of Brad!
Say it together, people!
The following images are courtesy of Pete Riches – see his photostream on flickr – thank you, Pete!
and this one below from ITFriendsofBM again
Here, again, it was snowing (not settling, though), and very cold-d-d as people gathered outside the gates of the base with the ‘official’ CAAB (high court authorised!) upside down US flag, to remember Bradley Manning and his 1000 days in prison.
STANDING FIRM WITH BRADLEY MANNING
A group of people gathered at the gates of the American base at NSA Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire between 11am and 1pm, in response to the International call for action from the Bradley Manning Support Network in the US and others, to mark this shocking day of his continued detention.
We stood in front of the cars coming out of the base and held upside down flags with messages of support – eg
GOOD ON YOU, BRADLEY MANNING!
Afterwards an upside down US flag (THANK YOU, BRADLEY MANNING!) was tied on to the perimeter fence for Christopher Gilmore (Colonel US Commander of NSA Menwith Hill) and the people who work on this base; making it clear that CAAB supports BRADLEY MANNING.
The base is occupied and controlled by the NSA and their Agencies.
Lindis Percy (Joint Co-ordinator of CAAB – Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases) said:
There is often a terrible price to pay for ‘blowing the whistle’ to reveal crimes and abuses going on.
Bradley Manning has seriously stirred up the hornets nest involving the most serious and shocking cover up by the US government and military. He has exposed war crimes.
These people should be in court. We need more whistleblowers like Bradley Manning
People vigiled for Brad in Cathedral Square, catching the lunchtime passers by, and handing out the postcards and an information leaflet we produced with salient extracts from the chat logs on the back.