A beefed up City of London police presence & deployed armed police greeted approx 15 activists demanding the freedom of Bradley Manning on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral on “U.S. Thanksgiving Day”. The U.S. Ambassador was attending the annual Thanksgiving service at the cathedral along with a sizeable number of U.S. ex-pats. Those demanding the freedom of Bradley Manning also included U.S. ex-pats living in London.
Bradley Manning, raised in Wales, has been imprisoned for the last 18 months in Baghdad, Kuwait, Quantico and Leavenworth. For the ten months he was kept in Quantico he was systematically physically and psychologically tortured in the hope he would break and implicate Julian Assange for the U.S. Grand Jury sitting on WikiLeaks. Bradley refused to be broken and an escalated solidarity campaign including nonviolent civil disobedience contributed to his move to Leavenworth, the end of the systematic torture and improved prison conditions.
Bradley has been charged with 23 offences in relation to the release of video footage of a U.S. war crime in Baghdad and U.S. embassy cables. Julian Assange remains detained without charge in Britain facing extradition to Sweden (his next High Court date Dec 5th.) and eventual rendition to the U.S.
Bradley’s military tribunal begins at Ft. Meade. Marland, U.S.A. on Dec 16th. There are calls for international solidarity action to accompany a large demonstration outside of Ft. Meade on Bradley’s 24th. birthday Saturday Dec 17th.
Former U.S. political prisoner Ciaron O’Reilly stated from the steps of St. Paul’s:
“Bradley Manning and Julian Assange look like spending the rest of their lives in U.S. gulags for telling us about the true nature of these wars we are waging on Iraq and Afghanistan. Those of us who marched and acted against these wars need to be in proactive solidarity for both Bradley and Julian right now. This period is critical. From my own experience the more solidarity the resister gets the easier it is to sustain the anti-war resistance. We need to end these wars and free those who exposed and resisted them. They’re in the docks for us, we’re on the streets for them!”