A Brief About Bradley Manning

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A group of women, clad in a bright orange, are setting up tables in a crowded patch of Hallidie Plaza. It’s our first day in San Francisco and the weather is unusually warm and sunny. The table display motif is simple-orange and black to reflect prisoner garb in Guantanamo Bay and literature to remind the public of what is really happening there. The backdrop is a dramatic silhouette of a figure, a faceless prisoner begging us not to let them die.

The current reality at this illegal facility remains the same-political prisoners, from various parts of the world, are being tortured. ( Maybe they are the ones that didn’t make President Obama’s kill list) It’s because the terrorism thing, for the most part, is a fabrication, and in search for a phantom enemy we have kidnapped hundreds of people. Despite being cleared for release some still remain imprisoned. Those that bravely and desperately hunger strike are force-fed through nasal tubes. And, although it seems a distant memory that President Obama promised to close the prison if elected, investments in additional construction to the facility tell a different story. But even if we pardoned this stinging reality for a moment, we are reminded of the thorn in the government’s side -Bradley Manning.

The frozen, grainy image of Manning in uniform has become an iconic image immortalized on T-shirts, banners, buttons and stickers world wide. By last year Manning had become a household name. (at least in the countless activist circles) But this year, as the months dragged on and we approached the 3 year mark of Manning’s imprisonment, it appears a few more people woke up. (or started paying attention)

There are “celebrities” for instance in the “I Am Bradley Manning” campaign. The home page features some familiar faces, somberly clasping signs to their chest. The site encourages the public to do the same, and hundreds of photos displaying similar words of solidarity have been submitted.

There’s Amy Goodman, among other noted journalists, who filed a lawsuit to the Criminal Court of Appeals, demanding that Judge Denise Lind (the judge for Manning’s trial) release pre-trial documents that have been kept from the public.

Today the issue is definitely escalating as we all await Manning’s trial at Fort Meade:
http://rt.com/usa/bradley-manning-protest-support-117/
RT will be covering the trial, which as of now is partially open to the public. Unless the subject matter is “classified” of course.

Now for the million-dollar question: can the prosecution prove Manning did in fact “aid the enemy?” If the enemy is us, then yes, the millions around the world who saw the truth for the first time about our nation’s last decade of illegal wars have been aided. Even though this may be a Kangaroo Court for Manning (even without the military jury), it’s worth watching. The verdict is a potential life sentence for journalists, whistleblowers, streamers and dreamers everywhere that attempt to disseminate information, through WikiLeaks or other means, separately from the alphabet soup of mass media sell-outs.

Because I know the precedent has already been set, Manning’s trial will most likely be a confirmation of what we already know to be true; we are simply not allowed to know the truth nor speak it. The question is to what end will the state go to keep us in the dark. Maybe this 3 year tortuous build to that overdue conclusion will aid the continuation of a wake-up call so desperately needed.

In Solidarity Forever,

Lauren

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