5 reasons to attend Army whistleblower Bradley Manning’s trial


*Please note that this next week court is not in session on Monday (6/24), Tuesday will be a short day, and the trial will resume as normal Wednesday (6/26) at 9:30am, with our weekly vigil taking place from 7-8am that day.

#1: Show the judge the public is watching her

At the beginning of each day of trial, the prosecuting attorney stands and reads to the court information about the levels of public attendance. During most days of the court martial, seats have remained free in the courtroom, and the overflow trailer which provides video feed of the proceedings has remained unused.  We hope you’ll help us to change this.
Judge Lind knows that a high-profile case like this one will be part of her legacy.  She’s not supposed to read any news about the trial, but there’s no more direct way to show her the importance that her decisions will have for the public than by members of the public taking it upon themselves to fill up her courtroom.

#2: Your attendance means a lot to Bradley and his lawyer

Bradley Manning is a 25 year-old with a conscience who has already spent three years of his life behind bars, and faces potential life imprisonment, all for trying to serve the public good.  Despite the gravity of his situation, he maintains optimism, and his attorney David Coombs has explained that his supporters have a lot to do with that.
Mr. Coombs took the opportunity at a public presentation last December to personally thank those who attend the court proceedings and explain how much it means to him:
When I’m in the courtroom, I stand up and I look to my right and I see the United States government, the United States government with all of its resources, all of its personnel. I see them standing against me and Brad, and I have to admit to you that can be rather intimidating and I was intimidated, especially when the President of the United States says, “Your client broke the law.” Especially, when Congress members say, “Your client deserves the death penalty.” I want to tell you, though, today as I stand here, I’m no longer intimidated. I am not intimidated because when I stand up, I know I’m not standing alone. I know I’m not alone because I turn around and I see the support behind me. I see members here today in the audience that are there every time we have a court hearing. I see, what now I’m going to affectionately call the “truth battalion,” those who wear… a black shirt, it has the word “truth” on it and they’re behind me. I look there and I know that I also have unlimited personnel and unlimited resources. 

#3: Observe history in action

What happens during Bradley’s trial will affect the future of American journalism and whistleblowing, as well as our fundamental right to know what our government does in our name and with our tax dollars. The legal theory being used by the government to charge Bradley with “Aiding the Enemy” would apply to others who reveal government wrongdoing whether they release 1 document or 1,000, and whether they give information to WikiLeaks or the New York Times.  Nobel Peace Laureates, the L.A. Times editorial board, Harvard Law professors, a former State Department Spokesperson and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg all have condemned this charge.   
BUT, this trial will not be televised, so attending as a public observer is the only way to see firsthand the precedent that is being set for future generations, and to watch the important players in action.
Decades from now, people will still be discussing this trial.  Wouldn’t you like to be able to tell your children and grandchildren that you were there when it mattered?

#4: Communicate to the media this is an issue worth covering

There may always be something new taking over the airwaves, but major U.S. newspapers still send their reporters to cover Bradley’s trial every day it’s in session.  While sitting in the media center, reporters can see whether or not public is in attendance in the Ft. Meade courtroom.  They often come to conduct interviews with supporters during court recess.
Since attendance at the court martial is one of the most obvious gauges of public interest in the trial that these reporters get to see, the more people who attend the proceedings, the more these papers’ editors will view this as an issue worthy of their front page.

#5: Meet other activists

Interesting people attend the trial from all over the country, and sometimes even the world.  There are anti-war veterans from Maryland, lawyers from DC, artists from New York, school teachers from Michigan, and writers from California.  And one thing they all have in common is an understanding of the importance this trial carries for one brave young man’s life, as well as our ability as citizens promote transparency in government, and to stop unjust war and human rights violations worldwide. 
More importantly, they all know it’s up to us to address these issues and take action to make our world a better place.  As we say in our solidarity campaign, “we are all Bradley Manning.”
So come to the trial, earn a truth t-shirt, show Bradley and Judge Lind your support in-person, and meet interesting people you’ll be glad to know well into the future.  See directions to the courtroom below.


Getting to Ft. Meade to attend the trial

Any member of the public with government-issued ID is welcome to attend.
Check the Upcoming Events section on www.bradleymanning.org for updates to the trial schedule.
Driving to the Front Gate at Maryland 175 and Reece Rd is the easiest way to access the base (get directions via Google maps).  If driving, make sure you have up-to-date vehicle registration and driver’s license.  The courtroom is at 4432 Llewellyn Avenue, Fort Meade, MD. (After entering through Main Gate security, go down Reece Rd until you get to Cooper Rd, and then turn left.  The courtroom parking lot is at the end of Cooper Rd, where it intersects with Llewellyn Ave.)  There is usually parking available near the courtroom.  There are no electronic devices allowed through the security check to enter the courtroom–you must leave your mobile phone in your vehicle (or someone’s vehicle).  If you wish to attend the morning court session, we recommend arriving on base at 8:30am in order to clear security before court starts at 9:30am.  If arriving later you will still be able to enter during a court recess.
If arriving later without a car, the Odenton MARC station is three miles from the entrance to Ft. Meade and is a walk-able or bike-able road if you so desire.  You can also call a Maryland cab to pick you up and take you onto the base.
Thank you for supporting Bradley!

26 thoughts on “5 reasons to attend Army whistleblower Bradley Manning’s trial

  1. I thank you all for sacrificing over there for the sake of truth.
    Wish I was so I can his hands. A freeman he is.
    this is why he is dangerous to the institution.
    He proved that Shakels are freedom if the alternative
    was giving up the Truth.

    “Don’t matter Christian Muslim, Buddast , Hindu, Shinto, or whatever
    If we dont stand for others freedom as if it’s our own we are as bad a the enslaver himself”
    Adnan Ibrahim

  2. It is humbling to hear how far people have traveled to attend. One lady, who is a nurse, travels 6 hours from southern Virginia. She told me it is her vacation gift to herself, She sure takes a lot of vacation. I have met people from; Alaska, Ohio, Australia, Florida, Canada, Michigan, Oklahoma, California, Hawaii, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, D.C., and there’s many more that I’ve never had the honour to meet, all impassioned with the clarity of Sincere Truth, given to us all by this intuitive brave morally conscious Soldier. It is such an Honour to be in such presence. We are all connected. We are all family, dependent on each others existence.

    in support of PFC Bradley Manning and others

    a brave and naïve young man
    perhaps the bravest and most naïve—
    so naïve he has entered
    into the den of the Behemoth

    he knows now
    what he has entered into
    placed in solitary for months—years?
    left sleepless with oppressive lights
    a merciless blare

    repeatedly stripped and degraded
    he faces the Beast
    and a future in chains
    or death at the hands of the State

    his crime?
    his sense of morality
    to reveal the darkest corners
    of the country he loves

    forcing us to ask
    is this a “war on terror”

    or a war on truth?

    -Robbin Mayem June 3/13

  4. Bless you all for being at the frontlines in the fight between tyranny and truth.
    The brave young soldier we all admire has set himself in the jaws of a vindictive and powerful opponent.
    Despite his long ordeal, he STILL stands strong in the defense of human rights and human dignity.
    He is a very worthy defender of everything that is sacred to humanity, and I am indebted to this young man.
    WIsh I was there!

  5. I should have been Bradley Manning 50 years ago when as a young medic at Fort Meade, I realized the Vietnam War was wrong.
    On June 11, 1963 Buddhist monks protested the war by Immolating(burning themselves to death) in protest against the U.S. interference in their War for Independence first from the French and then from the U.S.
    58, 4?? U.S. soldiers died and 1-2,000,000 Vietnamese in their War for Independence.
    Ho Chi Minh asked for U.S. help twice; first in 1919 at the Treaty of Versailles when one of President Wilson’s 14 Points was self-determination of nations—no one listened, so he went to Moscow where they called for wars of national liberation. This made sense to Ho Chi Minh—sure he became a communist; but, first and foremost he wanted Independence for Vietnam.
    He asked the U.S. for help again in 1945. And Washington backed the French imperialists , who tried to retake Vietnam; but , couldn’t after the battle of Dienbienphu Truth tellers are not traitors.
    Those who start Wars based on lies such as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution or WMD”s are the real enemies along with ignorance, arrogance, greed, apathy and indifference.
    I applaud Bradley Manning’s effort against the ignorance and indifference so prevalent in the American public. Not to mention arrogance(racism), greed for oil, and apathy. Former Private First Class Medic, Kent L. Howland B.S., M.A., C.Ed.(Kimbrough Army Hospital 1June63-11Mar65).

  6. Is it possible that I send to somebody who is going to the hearing a postcard for Bradley (or his lawyer)? I would like to take part in supporting him and his lawyer! Unfortunately, Germany is too far from Maryland 🙁
    It would be great to know that even voices from far away can be heard in the court room…

    Always awake.

  7. I’d love to be there, but can’t make it.

    Make it LOUD & PROUD

    Make sure NOBODY can ignore you!

    All the best.

  8. I am like so many who care and who support Bradley. I hope that he knows that even though we cannot get to Ft. Meade, we are with him in spirit and solidarity.

  9. If I had the money,I would go to US to every trial of Bradley Manning.I stand with you and I cry with you and I think Obama and US should be ashamed of creating the atrocities that plagues so many countries and so many people today.I live in Sweden and I hate that my parlament is running after US like a stupid little dog.

  10. I want to come down and spend a week at the trial. What would be the best dates for this? I’d like to be in the courtroom every day if possible. Thanks for all the terrific work you are doing, Sally Also, do you have the names of motels where I could stay?

  11. I cannot go. Some monetary support to his defense fund has been my support for this young man who has extreme courage to do what he has done. And now going through this ordeal of a trail. He is a truthteller and God Bless him for that. God give him strength and give him liberty because he is not the one who should be in prison. Thanks for all the posts I have read I continue to learn so much from everyone, history, and the good aspirations for Bradley and a better world.

  12. I am in the UK and currently have mobility problems and so I would find it difficult to make the journey. In any case perhaps it is only US citizens who are eligible to attend? I very much hope that large numbers of the public attend for the 5 excellent reasons that you have given on your website. Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and the many other brave individuals who risk their careers, lives and liberty to expose the criminality of governments and corporations deserve the support and gratitude of everyone who believes in a free and democratic society. I hope justice is done and Bradley is soon acquitted.

    • Many non-US citizens have attended the proceedings. You need only show your government issued ID–usually a passport. Of course you should be in the US legally.

  13. Bradley Manning is a hero. Justice will previal sooner or later. Our Savior will be judging all of us. Eveyone will get what they deserve. Including those that think they are above the law, our government.

  14. Bradley Manning provides a bright beacon of light in the darkness of the world with his steadfast courage and clarity of thought and spirit, and all this in the face of terrible persecution. I am thankful to be able to place the poster of him by a highway on weekdays during rush hours to remind people. I was very glad to get to the court, especially in order to be able to share about it and thus help others to be more aware.

  15. Bradley manning is a hero. It saddens me our country treated him so poorly. Justice will prevail.i hope he avoids jail and gets back to a Normal life he deserves.im actually embarrassed our own country mistreated him. Obama lets so many of our people be abused.and its wrong.i hope also he’s acquired. He deserves it. Hang in there Bradley.

  16. Bradley Manning is a hero of THIS revolution. I pray this young man’s internal strength remains powerful.

  17. Maximum Respect from Scotland to all of you in the states that are fighting OUR corner. Its easy to keep positive when you make the sort of actions ive witnessed in the photographs. It will never be over for us.

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