Chelsea Manning begins hunger strike protest

For Immediate Release: September 9, 2016
Contact: Christina DiPasquale, [email protected]

Chelsea Manning Begins Hunger Strike to Protest Bullying by Prison and US Government

Today, [September 9] after years of requesting the care she needs for gender dysphoria, Chelsea Manning has released a statement about the start of her hunger strike.

Chelsea is demanding written assurances from the Army she will receive all of the medically prescribed recommendations for her gender dysphoria and that the “high tech bullying” will stop. “High tech bullying,” is what Chelsea describes as “the constant, deliberate and overzealous administrative scrutiny by prison and military officials.”

Following her sentencing, Chelsea has respectfully requested that the US Government give her treatment for her gender dysphoria. Over a year later, Chelsea filed a lawsuit in September of 2014, where she sued the government to get a battery of treatments. As a result, she began hormone therapy in February of 2015.

However, the military has been making her cut her hair to the male length and grooming standards. As part of her treatment, her doctors recommended that she follow the military prison’s female hair grooming standards. In September of 2015 she amended her lawsuit, asking that the government allow her to grow her hair. The government’s response in December 2015 was “no.” The case is still active before a DC District court judge.

Statement from Chelsea Manning:

“I need help. I am not getting any. I have asked for help time and time again for six years and through five separate confinement locations. My request has only been ignored, delayed, mocked, given trinkets and lip service by the prison, the military, and this administration.”

“I need help. I needed help earlier this year. I was driven to suicide by the lack of care for my gender dysphoria that I have been desperate for. I didn’t get any. I still haven’t gotten any.”

“I needed help. Yet, instead I am now being punished for surviving my attempt. When I was a child, my father would beat me repeatedly for simply not being masculine enough. I was told to stop crying—to “suck it up.” But, I couldn’t stop crying. The pain just got worse and worse. Until finally, I just couldn’t take the pain anymore.”

“I needed help, but no one came then. No one is coming now.”

“Today, I have decided that I am no longer going to be bullied by this prison—or by anyone within the U.S. government. I have asked for nothing but the dignity and respect—that I once actually believed would be provided for—afforded to any living human being.”

“I do not believe that this should be dependent on any arbitrary factors—whether you are cisgender or transgender; service member or civilian, citizen or non-citizen. In response to virtually every request, I have been granted limited, if any, dignity and respect—just more pain and anguish.”

“I am no longer asking. Now, I am demanding. As of 12:01 am Central Daylight Time on September 9, 2016, and until I am given minimum standards of dignity, respect, and humanity, I shall—refuse to voluntarily cut or shorten my hair in any way; consume any food or drink voluntarily, except for water and currently prescribed medications; and comply with all rules, regulations, laws, and orders that are not related to the two things I have mentioned.”

“This is a peaceful act. I intend to keep it as peaceful and non-violent, on my end, as possible. Any physical harm that should come to me at the hands of military or civilian staff will be unnecessary and vindictive. I will not physically resist or in any way harm another person. I have also submitted a “do not resuscitate” letter that is effective immediately. This shall include any attempts to forcibly cut or shorten my hair or to forcibly feed me by any medical or pseudo-medical means.”

“Until I am shown dignity and respect as a human again, I shall endure this pain before me. I am prepared for this mentally and emotionally. I expect that this ordeal will last for a long time. Quite possibly until my permanent incapacitation or death. I am ready for this.”

“I need help. Please, give me help.”

A statement from Chelsea’s lawyer at the ACLU, Chase Strangio:

I learned late last night that Chelsea has begun a hunger strike today in protest of the ongoing denial of her medically necessary health care and the relentless scrutiny and abuses she has experienced in the years since her arrest. I am deeply saddened and very concerned for Chelsea’s well-being. The government has long been aware of her medical needs and continues to ignore them. When we filed our initial case against the Department of Defense in September of 2014 over Chelsea’s treatment related to her gender dysphoria, we made very clear that the lack of treatment put her at very serious risk of harm. They have known this for years. We are still in litigation over her treatment and are optimistic that justice will ultimately prevail but the government need not wait to be ordered to do the right thing and we hope they act promptly to treat Chelsea consistent with their constitutional obligations.

 

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40 thoughts on “Chelsea Manning begins hunger strike protest

  1. You are a hero and the way you are treated by this government is just another disgusting act on the part of the US. We are all losing our rights if we even have any left.

  2. Blessings to you, Chelsea. May you receive the support, love, kindness, and respect that you deserve. Thank you for sacrificing your freedom in order to expose the truth. Stay strong. We believe in you.

    One Love, Walker

  3. Assholes! For what purpose would they insist that Chelsea cannot grow her own hair– it’s her body! She’s been treated horribly. I have personally written a letter to President Obama to please pardon Chelsea Manning before he leaves office. I have had no response to my letter. It is frustrating and painful to sit by and let our government treat this human being who did absolutely nothing wrong in this horrific way. I am incensed by it. And everyone who works in the prison system near her is complicit and also to blame. I don’t care for those who say they’re just doing their job if they deeply feel that their job is not the right thing –then they shouldn’t have that job they should quit. They should have the guts like Chelsea did to expose atrocities –do not stand for them! Do not work for them! Take a stand against them! We need more Chelsea Manning’s in the world–not less! US government– Stop trying to control them– all whistleblowers want to do is expose wrongdoing.

  4. Has anyone created a petition to the government yet to end Chelsea’s hunger by demanding that they comply with her basic human rights?

  5. You shouldn’t even be in jail; you should be free to be the she you want to be. I honor you so much, as do every American I know and care about. Thank you for all that you have done to try to bring real fairness and decency to the face of our armed indignation. Stay strong, Chelsea!

  6. Please stay strong Chealsea, ,know that there are many out here that are rooting for you. A petition should be started to demand treatment and an end to institutionalized , government sanctioned transphobia. I am so saddened that it had to come to this point to gain media attention. It’s appalling. We as a society need to come together and say we will not stand for this. Incarcerated or no, you deserve basic human rights , access to proper medical care (which most certainly includes gender affirming treatments) should be a given. I hope you get everything you are asking for Chealsea. You deserve it.

  7. People care. You are a hero, not a criminal. The bias toward trans by the “Justice” system is deplorable. They cannot take your soul, and many, many are counting on you to stay. We are behind you. Sending you peace and energy.

  8. So sorry and angry to hear what is being done to you, Chelsea. I hope you come through this with what you need. My thoughts are with you.

  9. best wishes from the uk chelsea you are so brave keep fighting it must be so painful and scary for you and a living hell i can only imagine what its like for you in that place
    don’t let the bastards get you down stay strong xxxx

  10. You did the right thing! Thank you, we owe you a debt. The way you have been treated is deplorable, and not something I would have ever expected to a citizen of the United States. My thoughts are you, I hope you’re afforded the dignity and care you deserve. I look forward to the day we see you walk out of that hell hole!

  11. Dearest Chelsea,

    You are a woman no matter how others treat you. And you are a heroine for your moral courage to all people of conscience the world over. I am a transgender man and I am with you in spirit and in solidarity always.

    Sending love and respect to my trans sister resister,

    Ben Power

  12. Chelsea –

    I am truly saddened by how horribly you are being treated! You who followed your conscience, and should be held in honor. I will pray for your health and well being. Please remember your spirit is free, because you followed your truth. Sending blessings to you.

  13. A sad response to government brutality towards a brave patriot- someone who was faultless except in enmbarassing Obama for making the public aware of his vile brutal, and secret drone war on innocent people. Aaron Swartz already dies for similar actions- either assassinated or a suicide.

  14. I respect you Chelsea.
    I appreciate you, and all you have done.
    I wish you are treated with dignity, and receive all the help you need.

  15. The inhumane treatment of Chelsea Manning fills me with rage and despair. I can perfectly understand why she’s had enough.
    As a European I was thrilled and most hopeful when Pres. Obama took office, but his appalling persecution of whistle-blowers is enough to make me feel ashamed of myself for having supported him like I did. To make things worse, I’m beyond scared of what’s ahead with the coming administration, given the miserable options the American voters are left with on November 8th (with the exception of Dr. Stein, who I’m afraid doesn’t stand a chance.)
    Chelsea Manning should be thanked for his courageous actions and his service to the worldwide community, instead of being psychologically tortured on a daily basis by a bunch of thugs – more or less in the general indifference, which makes us all accomplices in the crimes committed against her.
    My thoughts are with you, Chelsea.

  16. Chelsea you are being supported all over the world. You are a hero. I leave these words with you Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Chant them to give you strength x

  17. This is utterly disgusting of the government, its military and our President Obama to treat Chelsea Manning so despicably, not to mention the revolting continued existence of Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, despite Obama’s promises eight years ago to shut it down. Chelsea Manning is a brave and valiant human being, far more of a patriot than those who are following orders to keep her imprisoned and under degrading conditions.

  18. US government immediately release the Chelsea Manning !!!

    Be the humans who flock to the taxpayers’ money to live comfortably without production can only be the product of labor and labor have stopped the violence first ~~

    To become a man of conscience Immediately release the Chelsea Manning confined in jail for power!

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