June 1 rally was the largest demonstration of support for Bradley Manning yet
Nearly a thousand people came out to Fort Meade today for a mass rally in support of Bradley Manning. The demonstration brought together a wonderfully diverse group of supporters, and cheers, chants, speakers and hundreds of smiling faces energized the group prior to one of the most important trials in American history. Several high-profile speakers (see below) discussed the significance of Bradley’s actions for America, and for the world. Ralliers marched from the Reece Road main gate to the Llewelyn gate, honoring the heroic whistleblower.
Some key issues discussed by the speakers included how Bradley Manning took great personal risk to reveal the truth of unjust wars, how he exposed the truth of Guantanamo prison, how the US has the highest number of prisoners in solitary confinement and about how solitary confinement is a means to break prisoners down, and how the chilling effect of Obama’s war on whistleblowers has made it difficult for those who witness war crimes to expose them.
Supporters came from all across the country and around the world, with some coming from as far as Mexico and Canada. A dozen buses brought activists from eight cities in the US.
The rally was held with the assistance of many national organizations including Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, CODEPINK Women for Peace, World Can’t Wait, Civilian-Soldier Alliance, and Courage to Resist. With their support this rally was the most significant mobilization of public support for Bradley Manning yet.
Complete list of speakers:
Kevin Zeese, Bradley Manning Support Network
Bob Meola, Bradley Manning Support Network
Gerry Condon, Bradley Manning Support Network
Jeff Paterson, Bradley Manning Support Network
Ward Reilly, Veterans for Peace
Heather Linebaugh, Former Intelligence Analyst
Dooler, Queer activist
Debra Sweet, World Can’t Wait
Medea Benjamin, Nancy Mancias, Rooj from Codepink
Col. Ann Wright (ret.)
Jacob David George
Lt. Dan Choi
Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower