Courtroom art auction by Debra Van Poolen an astounding success!

The Bradley Manning Support Network is pleased to announce that the courtroom art auction featuring the work of Debra Van Poolen was an astounding success raising more than $4480!  The first round of the auction raised $2200.00 while the second round of the auction raised $2480.42. An enormous thanks to all the bidders and especially to Debra Van Poolen. 

Debra has been attending each day of the court martial, usually sitting in one of the two front row seats labeled “Media”.   While the majority of the pieces auctioned off were mostly completed in the courtroom, Debra often gives her drawings final touches in her studio.  The two watercolor paintings–the portrait of Bradley in his uniform and the portrait of Bradley with the US flag leaking tears–were produced by Debra at her home.  

Four of the most popular images from the auctions are now available as limited edition, giclee’ prints.   Debra plans to use the money raised from the sales of the prints to further promote the truth about Bradley Manning, as well as to help pay for the remaining expenses of the “bradass87” DC production.  

Artist bio:

Debra Van Poolen, 44, is an artist, permaculturist and activist.  Currently, Debra is taking on the role of courtroom artist, covering each day of the court martial of Bradley Manning for three main purposes. First, due to the mainstream media near blackout of the trial, leaving very few artists to cover the trial, Debra sought to supply the need for more courtroom artists daily recording the important events of this unprecedented occasion in US history.  Second, Debra is hoping her drawings will highlight the humanity of each person involved with the trial, especially the vulnerability of the 25-year old Bradley Manning who could face the extreme sentence of life in prison. Third, Debra intends that each of her drawings and paintings serve as yet another motivation for their viewers and purchasers to promote justice in this court martial.  

80% of the profits from the first round of the auction were donated to the Bradley Manning defense fund.

In the second round of the auction, 80% of the proceeds were split evenly between the Bradley Manning Support Network legal defense fund and the Washington DC production of the play “bradass87”, written by Claire Lebowitz. (



9 thoughts on “Courtroom art auction by Debra Van Poolen an astounding success!

  1. Even the staunchest supporter of Bradley Manning should wonder just a bit about the extensive fundraising “for Bradley’s defense” and ask the very reasonable question of where all that money actually goes to.

    • Hi Wes. Both supporters and non-supporters of Bradley are free to review our monthly fiscal reports that are shared publicly at — as they have been every month since July 2010. For a recent narrative on pending projects and expenses, I suggest reading my article, “Bradley Manning backers prioritize support efforts” at . Individuals should evaluate our history of accomplishments–which includes fully funding Bradley’s chosen legal defense team, among many highlights–and our current efforts, when making a decision to financially contribute or not. However, your claim that we are not transparent in our fundraising efforts is factually incorrect. Jeff Paterson, Bradley Manning Support Network steering committee member and campaign staff manager

      • Great response, there’s no come-back to that!

        Big thanks to the Bradley Manning Support Network for what they do.

    • Give me a break, Wes! I think it’s clear that you just aim to start trouble. Not smart. Not going to happen. We love, respect, and support Brad and his fantastic defense team, and all websites that help promote the cause of speaking truth to power on behalf of Brad and democracy.

  2. Wes,

    You ask, “Where does the money go?” Have you read the court transcripts? Have you considered the preparation of Bradley Manning’s defense attorney, David Coombs? If he were paid only a dollar an hour for preparation, the cost would be enormous. It is my sense that no matter what the cost, the contributions alone will not be enough.

  3. We should take Wes’s cynicism at face value. He didn’t know. And we all got an excellent answer. Keep up the good work, Bradley Manning Support Network.

  4. Occupy did a Kickstarter to fund posters. They called for artists to submit, then they published and it was really great. The funders got posters depending on the level of donation.

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