Chelsea Manning, the heroic WikiLeaks Whistleblower is serving a 35 year sentence for telling the truth to the world about how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are conducted by the United States government, also revealing the corruption and duplicity with which the world’s greatest civil administration exerts its superpower over friend and foe.
Solidarity with Chelsea Manning is active all around the world. She acknowledges and is aware of this support herself:
In her own words:
Thanks for all your continued support during the duration of my ongoing fight. I am hearing your outspoken voices. I can see your beautiful pictures. I can read all of your colorful and thoughtful words. I feel your endless love. I know that—despite our distance apart, and the fact that the public is not allowed to see me or hear my voice—I am not forgotten. I want you to know that you all are not forgotten either. You all mean a lot to me and give me the strength to keep going, every day.
This year in the UK a great number of individuals have held vigils and protests in solidarity with Chelsea Manning. People gather round Queer + Friends of Chelsea Manning, Queer Strike, Payday Mens Network, Wise Up Information Network, including the Manning Family Fund finding ways to express their support and solidarity. On 19 of June 2016, the 4th Anniversary of Julian Assange seeking refuge inside the Ecuadorian government, we remembered Chelsea Manning’s sacrifice, and along side standing up for his defence and release, we also voiced our solidarity to her deprivation of liberty. We do not forget you!
A few days later, on Saturday the 25 of June, we brought her beautiful banner to the London Pride march, walking the walk, reminding an enthusiastic crowd of someone who dared to live by their values and made their conscience the force that moved their hand, forever changing the world, to great personal sacrifice.
This year great turmoil surrounded Pride events. Chelsea Manning explains:
This year, tragedy looms over the entire queer and trans community, and this month’s shooting in Orlando reminds us. Our community had already suffered its fair share of loss, setbacks, anger, and devastation, during all the countless years before the movement’s rise at Stonewall Inn.
but she has a further messsage for us:
We must grieve and mourn and support each other, but in our grief and outrage we must resist any temptations to let this attack – or any attack – trigger anti-Muslim foreign policy, attacks on our civil liberties or as an excuse to descend into xenophobia and Islamophobia.
No where more fitting then to honour Chelsea Manning at London Pride march than following The Peter Tatchell Foundation Pride march LGBT-Muslim Solidarity contingent. We are very grateful to Peter for facilitating our participation in the march. He has been a constant supporter of Chelsea, speaking up for her Human Rights.
It was a beautiful day, a beautiful Pride march, the understandable controversy that the presence of RAF’s Red Arrows created, had put off a great number of people from participating formally in the march, a reminder to all of the political nature of Human Rights struggles and the origin of the Pride as a protest march.
There was a favourable wind blowing in different directions at the banner, it felt like Tom and I would soon be flying off in the sky hanging on for dear life, but I smiled thinking our banner is struggling to break free, just like Chelsea Manning! Let’s help her along the way!
Free Chelsea Manning!