The trial of whistleblower Bradley Manning will start on 3rd June in Fort Meade, US. International actions demanding his release will be held in 10 countries*, in over 25 US cities and at Fort Meade.
Bradley Manning is a US Army PFC who has forthrightly admitted passing information to Wikileaks to inform the public of US war crimes. He has already been imprisoned for over three years, for eleven months in conditions which the UN Special Rapporteur on torture Juan Mendez condemned as cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the third time, but faces life in prison.
In London, there will be a protest on Saturday 1st June 2013, 2pm, and speak-out outside the US Embassy, Grosvenor Sq, organised by Catholic Worker, Payday men’s network, Queer Strike, Veterans for Peace UK and WISE UP Action.
Speakers will include:
Craig Murray, former British ambassador and whistleblower;
Ben Griffin, former SAS trooper, and campaigner;
Michael Lyons, conscientious objector,
David Rovics, Singer/songwriter
It is thanks to Bradley Manning, that we now know about:
● the “collateral murder” video of a US helicopter gunship crew killing Iraqi civilians and Reuters journalists, and severely wounding children ● the widespread and officially sanctioned cover-up of murder, rape and other torture committed in Iraq and Afghanistan by the occupation – a 2004 order (“Frago 242”) specified that allegations of sexual torture against prisoners, including children, by Iraqi government officials, were not to be investigated ● the extent of drone strikes which terrorise communities ● US government attacks on popular elected governments and social justice movements in Haiti and Venezuela — a 2006 cable detailed US funding of Venezuelan NGOs to the tune of $40-$50m last year, specifically to destabilize the Venezuelan government and “protect vital US business” ● theft and corruption by Tunisian dictator Ben Ali, which spurred the 2011 revolution.
In admitting having passed the information to Wikileaks, Bradley Manning said:
“If the public, particularly the American public, had access to this information, it could spark a debate on the military and our foreign policy in general as it applied to Iraq and Afghanistan, it might cause society to reconsider the need to engage in counter-terrorism while ignoring the human situation of the people we engaged with every day … I felt I accomplished something that would allow me to have a clear conscience.” 28 February 2013