Report and photos from the Liverpool Peace Festival

Solidarity for Manning, Lyons and Assange

The focus of the WISE Up stall at the Liverpool Peace and Ecology Festival was letter-writing, with information and materials available for people to write messages of support to both Bradley Manning and Michael Lyons in jail. We also talked to people about Julian Assange and how all three men are being punished for (allegedly and/or actually) speaking truth to power. The Empire is determined to squash anyone who blows the whistle on its many crimes, anyone who facilitates this whistle-blowing and anyone who stands up to the Empire once they know about these crimes.

See this post for downloadable materials used on our stall.

We have Bradley Manning, an American with Welsh and Irish roots detained by the US Empire and facing charges including one which could carry the Death Penalty, accused of revealing the truth about the Empire’s wars and other nefarious activities through WikiLeaks. We have Julian Assange, an Australian detained by the UK on spurious grounds, facing possible extradition to Sweden and to the US where there have been calls for his extra-judicial killing and the Death Penalty, persecuted for daring to expose the truth about the Empire’s wars through WikiLeaks. And we have Michael Lyons, an Englishman detained by the UK military for his refusal to take part in the war in Afghanistan and, indeed, in any war after he read some of the revelations on WikiLeaks. An Englishman, and Australian and an American… but it’s no joke.

If anti-war momentum is to build, if we are to have any chance of peace on earth, people in the military must feel able to blow the whistle on war crimes and to follow their consciences rather than illegal and immoral orders. There is the potential now for many more war refusers to come forward: WikiLeaks disclosures have given military personnel the hard evidence they need to back up their own experiences, to counter the denials and cover-ups. But they also need to see that they will be supported if they speak out. All of us who have opposed the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have a responsibility towards these people.


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