Update 2/20/12: National Occupy day for prisoners, SEP candidate supports Bradley, vigils for 2/23 arraignment

Today is the National Occupy Day of Support for Prisoners. Originating in Oakland and now spreading to cities across the country, the Occupy movement is holding a national day in solidarity with America’s detainees, emphasizing abused inmates, unjust sentences, and political prisoners.

National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners

Those familiar with his case know that these descriptors apply to Bradley Manning. PFC Manning was held in solitary confinement for 10 months (the first 2 in Kuwait, then 8 in Quantico, VA), and UN torture chief Juan Mendez is still barred from visiting him to investigate his treatment.

Occupy Oakland’s initial call-out for the solidarity day included PFC Manning alongside other U.S. political prisoners. Accused of causing no harm but simply revealing the truth, Manning should not be detained in the first place. Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Courage to Resist will be attending the Bay Area action to represent PFC Manning.

Here is a list of nationwide events for today’s action – show support for Bradley at your local protest!

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White demands Bradley Manning’s immediate release. In an op-ed reviewing Manning’s treatment and the material attributed to him, White writes:

Manning is alleged to have provided WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of documents on US machinations abroad, as well as a video depicting a military helicopter massacring Iraqi civilians. Yet it is not the war criminals that Obama is prosecuting, but those who are alleged to have played a role in revealing these crimes.

If he is responsible for the leaks, Manning, only 24 years old, deserves not condemnation but support. His actions are an expression of revulsion, broadly felt in the population, against the Iraq war and American militarism.

Many activists, legal experts, and government insiders sympathetic to Manning believe that torturing him has been part of the government’s attack from the start. It appears that they are working to break Bradley Manning down so that he accepts a plea agreement that would help with the prosecution of WikiLeaks. Not only is it a case about individual rights, like the right to a fair trial, but also one of civil liberties. White’s statement takes aim at the Obama administration’s ongoing removal of civil liberties, and its sinister lies promoting “transparency” while prosecuting “more whistle-blowers under the Espionage Act than all other administrations combined.” (Read more…)

A vigil will be held at the U.S. Embassy in London on February 23, for Bradley’s arraignment. This Thursday, PFC Manning will be arraigned for court martial in Fort Meade, Maryland. Several UK groups are organizing a vigil to stand with Bradley during his arraignment. (Read more…)

Supporter in Sweden sends ‘Free Bradley Manning’ photo. The supporter, Devrim, sent in this photo, along with the caption below:

Free Bradley Manning display in Sweden

“This photo was taken in Stockholm, Sweden. I was walking past a shop where they had put this big photo of Bradley Manning on display, clearly visible for anyone passing by on the street outside. I thought it was a nice and simple way to show support and wanted to share it with you. Regards, Devrim.”

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