Listen to Chelsea’s story: In her own words

February 15, 2016 by the Chelsea Manning Support Network

InTheirOwnWords_3Chelsea Manning was the subject of the second episode of Amnesty International’s podcast In Their Own Words, a brand new series featuring the stories of human rights activists around the world.

One of the most trying aspects of Chelsea’s imprisonment has been the inability for the public to hear or see her; prison restrictions do not allow any kind of photographs, visual or audio recordings. The most recent photo we even have of Chelsea was taken by the prison in February of last year, and Chelsea had to file a Freedom of Information Act request to even receive it!

And yet, our voices and our image have always been an integral part of our identity. Our humanity. Chelsea has said, “I feel like I’ve been stored away all this time without a voice.”

In this episode, Amnesty finally gives Chelsea a voice, for the first time in years, employing actress Michelle Hendley to speak and breath new life into Chelsea’s words. Through Michelle, we finally hear Chelsea tell us who she is as a person, what she’s been through, and what she’s going through now.

“I have to say, I cried a few times listening to this,” said Chelsea, after a Support Network volunteer played the podcast for her over the telephone. “Hearing her speak, and tell the story. She sounds like me. It sounds like the way I would tell my story.”

Since its release on Feb 5, the podcast has already been listened to over 10,000 times, passing up Amnesty’s first episode voiced by actor Christian Bale by over 4,000 listens. It received attention from Vice’s Broadley, BoingBoing, Pink News, Fight for the Future, the ACLU, the Advocate and numerous other online blogs and tweets.

Read the full transcript here:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Special thanks to Aaron Swartz Day and International Hackathon for the transcript.

Help us provide support to Chelsea in prison, maximize her voice in the media, continue public education and build a powerful movement for presidential pardon.

Please donate today!

9 thoughts on “Listen to Chelsea’s story: In her own words

  1. The biggest criminal on earth right now is president Obama and his soulmate dick Cheney.
    They should take Chelsey Mannings place in prison.

    • I totally agree monica, Chelsea is a heroin of the highest order, she is amongst a number of very special people who stand by their convictions and pay a very harsh personal price. She is an example to many who appreciate courage and are tuned into the collective consciousness of wanting humanity to evolve yo their full potential of pure love and compassion towards everyone.

  2. Dear friends,
    I know this is a message to ask pardon by President, but I can’t do it. How can I ask pardon for a really beautifull things that she was done? I can ask clemency but not pardon. I am greateful to Chelsea.
    Yours sincerely,
    Alessia

  3. A very moving and searingly honest story. Thanks to the personal and international heroism of Chelsea MANNING. So many US politicians and upper echelon military personnel who should be hanging their heads in abject shame at the treatment they have brought to this young person.

  4. This made me admireChelsea even more. She had such a brutal childhood, and I know something about questioning wondering about one’s own identity. She is and remains a big heroine to me- i know i wouldnever be as brave as she is

  5. Dear Chelsea,
    I hear your voice even when it is imprisoned. You are the voice of peace on earth. Thank you is such a mild word for what you have done for the human race. You have suffered the most for exposing the atrocities of this era. Your sacrifice is the most powerful example of not standing by and doing nothing.
    I envision you free and having a wonderful time. In my particular scenario you are salsa dancing with a spectacular partner who is a great lead. In a just world you are a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. You are a Star!

  6. I’d like to see a book about Chelsea under the title, Getting Honest
    Her journey has been one about becoming as honest with ones self as possible while her inner world was battling an identity crisis.
    Since this journey is now already underway, and now that there is this life of incarceration for Chelsea, I’m drawn to the life of Nelson Mandela. His story of courage makes it evident that the mind of a person can transform the way that one feels.
    Under great pressure, under a constant physical and mental strain, a blinding light in the quarries which caused Mr. Mandela to lose most of his sight. I now relate what I’ve read.
    Now, I’m not quoting, I’m only summarizing something talked about, and it went something like,
    The prison staff tried many times to tempt me with gifts to see if I’d accept them, and so they could have something they could use to begin manipulating me. I always rejected every offer because I had learned to feel comfortable with not wanting anything beyond meals and water.
    Again that’s not a quote, but, by getting honest, Chelsea, you have to keys within you to unlock that side of you that celebrates your suffering which comes from the knowledge that you are where you are due to getting fully honest with yourself.
    It’s too bad that the “real” men who knew how to man-up, weren’t up for the challenge of disclosure. And it took a man who felt more comfortable with being a woman to find the courage to expose the war crimes.
    Thank you Chelsea for now facing the consequences.

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    ==========================
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  8. I pray for you everyday Chelsea Manning you are a hero in my eyes and what has happened to you is extremely fucked up you deserve to be free if there was anything I could do I’d do it keep your head up your an amazing human being if I were your parents I’d be the most proud parents in the world

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