Bradley Manning Pride Contingents Planned for San Francisco, Chicago & Other Cities
Lieutenant Dan Choi Speaks Out in Support of PFC Manning
San Francisco, CA — This Sunday, June 26, during the Pride events in San Francisco, a contingent of LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) activists and allies will rally in support of PFC Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who stands accused of revealing classified documents to WikiLeaks. Similar Bradley Manning Pride Contingents are being organized for Pride events in several other cities, including in Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, and London. (A few of these events already took place last weekend.)
“Bradley Manning has stood with the LGBT community before, and we look forward to him marching with us again when he’s free,” said Andy Thayer of the Chicago Gay Liberation Network, and advisory board member of the Bradley Manning Support Network. “Bradley has a strong track record of standing up for human rights and equality. If he did what he is accused of—if he released information to the American people that should have been public in the first place—then it’s clear that his motivation was rooted in a commitment to social justice. He’s a hero.”
Details about Bradley Manning Pride Contingents (Sunday, June 26):
For details about other contingents, or for interviews or other information, contact Matt Smucker: firstname.lastname@example.org, 717.209.0445
Last week Lieutenant Dan Choi voiced his public support for PFC Manning. Choi served in Iraq and was discharged from the military under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) about a year ago.
“It’s no different from what Daniel Ellsberg did with the Pentagon Papers. And, I wonder what this president is about to do to this new hero of American patriotism…” Choi told Firedoglake last week. “…I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with anybody who speaks up against injustice, against war crimes, against torture and against the reprobate actions of any kind of reprobate government that tries to tell them that power belongs to the powerful.”
PFC Bradley Manning was detained in Iraq one year ago on May 26, 2010. He still awaits his first public court hearing, now expected to begin later this summer. He was transferred to Leavenworth on April 20, 2011, after having suffered under extreme and irregular confinement conditions at US Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. During the nine months at Quantico, Manning was denied meaningful exercise, social interaction, sunlight, and was at times kept completely naked.
PFC Manning was detained as a suspected source to WikiLeaks, a news organization that receives, reviews, and selectively makes public, information provided by anonymous whistle-blowers. The information that PFC Manning is accused of leaking includes the videotaped massacre of Reuters journalists and Iraqi civilians, as well as diplomatic cables that experts believe helped to catalyze democratic revolts across the Middle East this spring. PFC Manning's supporters assert that the information he is accused of revealing should have been in the public domain.
Gay Liberation Network (GLN) Participating in Gay Pride Parade & Their Trip to Leavenworth
GLN has a post up with video of their visit a couple weeks ago to support Bradley Manning in Leavenworth, Kansas. A contingent of people from Chicago, Illinois went to Leavenworth to join veteranas, organizers and concerned citizens. Those in the contingent say they were probably the only LGBT group participating in the support action for Manning.
The post reads, "Manning's mistreatment by the authorities before he was transferred to Ft. Leavenworth prison bore many of the same hallmarks of homophobically-tinged sexual humiliation inflicted on prisoners at Iraq's Abu-Ghraib prison and elsewhere. Manning's case is one that LGBT's and human rights supporters must champion."
They have produced a short film on their experience at Leavenworth and why it is important for people especially the LGBT community to support Manning: