2013-07-23 July 26: DC demonstrators confront WikiLeaks whistleblower Convening Authority

Bradley Manning Support Network

ADVISORY FOR: July 22, 2013

Contact: Nathan Fuller, 516-578-2628

July 26: DC demonstrators confront WikiLeaks whistleblower Convening Authority

What: Demonstration at Ft. McNair, base of Convening Authority Maj. Gen. Buchanan
When: Friday, July 26, 3-5:30 PM. Rally at 3pm, March at 4:15pm.
Where: Event starts at 4th St and P St SW, Washington DC

Hundreds of supporters of Army whistleblower Pfc. Bradley Manning are demonstrating July 26, 3-5:30pm, at Ft. McNair, Washington D.C., the base of Convening Authority Major General Buchanan, who has the power to reduce Bradley's sentence. They're gathering shortly after the closing arguments of the guilt vs. innocence phase of Manning's trial to ask Maj. Gen. Buchanan to free the Army whistleblower. The event will include colorful banners, protest puppets, speakers from the veteran and anti-war communities, and an attempt to deliver a petition to Maj. Gen. Buchanan himself. Additionally, the US Peace Memorial Foundation will attend to present Manning with their 2013 Peace Prize.

Last Thursday, Amnesty International called Bradley Manning's prosecution a "travesty of justice". Manning is facing a life sentence for releasing hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks because he wanted to promote "debates, discussions and reforms" concerning U.S. foreign policy. He has pled guilty to mishandling classified information, which carries up to a 20-year sentence, but he faces life in prison on charges of Aiding the Enemy, Espionage, computer fraud, and federal theft.

Meanwhile, Manning's trial in Ft. Meade, MD is set to enter a new phase: the defense and prosecution will make closing arguments on Thursday, July 25, and the sentencing phase is scheduled to begin July 31.

The military justice system dictates no minimum sentence, so as Convening Authority Maj. Gen. Buchanan has wide latitude to decrease a sentence. Supporters are hopeful he will take into consideration the fact that Manning was imprisoned three years before he was tried, including 9 months alone in a 6x8 ft cell, conditions which the judge determined to be "unlawful pretrial punishment" and which NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden referenced in his pursuit of asylum. Additionally, many supporters cried foul at the judge permitting Manning's homophobic supervisor to testify last Friday for the prosecution, after they'd officially closed their argument.


The Bradley Manning Support Network is responsible for 100% of Manning's legal fees, as well as international education efforts. Funded by 21,000 individuals, the Support Network has mustered $1.3 million in Manning's defense.

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