SAT 1ST JUNE US EMBASSY LONDON 2PM to 5PM
On SATURDAY 1ST JUNE, a crowd of around 250 people listened to a variety of speakers and musicians at the US Embassy, London, all celebrating Bradley Manning as the foremost whistleblower of our times.
WE #THANKEDMANNING TOGETHER!
The day was billed as a day to ‘#ThankManning’ for his immense contribution to the peoples of the world. And a vibrant mix of people representing all the world’s continents came to do just that.
SOME WHO SPOKE TO US WERE:
Speakers included career soldiers turned conscientious objectors, ex SAS Ben Griffin and ex Royal Navy medic Michael Lyons;
veteran human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell;
Dame Vivienne Westwood – one of Bradley Manning’s most ardent supporters – who spoke of her conversation with Julian Assange the previous day about the threat to press freedom in the case;
photo-journalist Guy Smallman who told us of his visit (being the only western media person to have achieved this) to the scene of the 2009 Nato bombing of the village of Garani where he talked to the survivors and was shown a mass grave;
several young people from Pembrokeshire, where Bradley Manning spent his teenage years, who spoke eloquently of how they viewed Bradley as a ‘child of their community’,
and ex British Ambassador, Craig Murray,
who brought us right up to date by referring to the immediate effects of the Justice and Security Act (which he said would be better called the INJustice and INsecurity Act), on victims of the so called War on Terror in the British Courts, and stressed how this new secret justice further underlined the need for whistleblowers like Bradley Manning, and, of course, himself.
PEOPLE CAME FROM AFAR TO JOIN TOGETHER
Tim Price, author of The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning, which was first performed in Bradley’s Welsh school last year and is now headed for the Edinburgh fringe as part of the British showcase, was amongst those who came to show his support, and others had travelled considerable distances – from Wales, Scotland, Cornwall for instance – to be part of this special gathering.
WE HAD MUSIC
With four songs connected with Bradley Manning playing from a recording as people gathered, and live music from David Rovics and two others, together with some singing, the afternoon was, as intended, an occasion to celebrate and gain hope and inspiration from the achievements of the young American soldier who is also a British citizen by his Welsh mother, ahead of his 3rd June trial start date.
MORE TO COME….!!