Update 6/2/13: Thousand rally for Bradley Manning at Ft. Meade

Supporters marched on Ft. Meade for PFC Bradley Manning (Photo: Nathan Fuller)By the Bradley Manning Support Network. June 2, 2013.

Photo right: Thousand march on Fort Meade, 1 June 2013, by Nathan Fuller

A thousand supporters of US Army PFC Bradley Manning rallied and marched on Fort Meade, Maryland, this afternoon for the young whistle-blower.

Under a sweltering sun, Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, former political prisoner-turned-human rights advocate Sarah Shourd, LGBT activist and US Army LT Dan Choi, and retired US Army Col. Ann Wright addressed supporters at the Llewellyn Gate, nearest the military courtroom. 

The demonstration, which lasted several hours, comes two days before Manning’s trial is set to begin at Ft. Meade, on June 3, and three years after his arrest. The government is charging Manning with indirectly “aiding the enemy” for releasing hundreds of thousands of war logs, diplomatic cables, and military videos to the transparency website WikiLeaks.

PFC Manning has said that he hoped the releases would “spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as well as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.” 

A dozen chartered buses brought supporters from across the northeast, including three buses from New York City. Military veterans and activists traveled from around North America—some arriving from as far as Michigan, Montreal, and Mexico City.

“People came from great distances to stand with a true American hero,” said Jeff Paterson, director of the Bradley Manning Support Network. “From Bradley’s demeanor in court, it’s clear he takes strength from the outpouring of support.” 

Today’s rally was held with the assistance of many national organizations, including Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, CODEPINK Women for Peace, World Can’t Wait, and Courage to Resist. 

In addition to today’s event, the Bradley Manning Support Fund is also responsible for 100% of PFC Manning’s legal fees. Twenty thousand supporters have contributed over $1.25 million dollars in defense of PFC Manning and towards associated public education efforts, since his arrest in Iraq in May 2010.

Press advisory was originally titled “Nearly two thousand rally for Bradley Manning at Ft. Meade”. However, after reviewing video from the march, we believe that number was about one thousand. Video shows approximately 800 marched from Reece Road to Llewellyn Ave along US 175, we had crews stationary at both rally locations, and we had shuttles drive those who could not walk that distance in the sun. Additionally, we know that 100 to 200 individuals were prevented from attending the rally and march by police roadblocks that were erected miles away at approximately 12:45 pm–15 minutes before the announced gather time, and 45 minutes before the scheduled program began. The roadblocks had no apparent rational, beyond blocking the approach to the gathering location via east on US 175  and the designated parking lots via both east on US 175 and west on Reece Road. Title changed and this note added on 5 June 2013 by Jeff Paterson, Bradley Manning Support Network steering committee.

16 thoughts on “Update 6/2/13: Thousand rally for Bradley Manning at Ft. Meade

  1. Who issued this press release? There were NOT two thousand people there, but I WAS there. I support Bradley Manning. I have been beating on the Baltimore Sun all evening to stick out like a sore thumb and do the same. But lying about attendance levels at these events is LYING. It’s not public relations. That makes whomever released this press release no better than the Tea Party who said they had 25OK attendees at I rally where realistically, there were more like 400 people. I KNOW how many people fit into Freedom Plaza. About the same number as today. 400 tops. You people need to take the “acting” out of activism and get wise. My method of doing this is holding the media accountable for not covering these events. Don’t LIE. Bradley didn’t lie. For Pete’s sake!!!!!!!! Get you “act” together. This is like Glenn Beck level of exaggeration. http://equalityforallamericans.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-protest-to-free-private-bradley.html

    Best of luck to our hero, Bradley.

    Laurie Brown

    • Hi Laurie. We have a number of videos we’re posting that show that indeed “nearly two thousand people” participated in the march. No, not two thousand–but well, well over one thousand. Because of the heat, many people did not stay at the second rally location–so if those were the only people you were counting, that might be the issue. Additionally, we had at least one hundred people who missed the event after being turned away entirely when most of US 175 and Reece Road were unnecessarily shut down by police at approx. 12:45pm for miles in most directions. Ethan McCord, a former US soldier, who is shown saving the lives of the children in the “Collateral Murder” video was one of them. That Ethan had come from Kansas, but was not able to make it the last 5 miles to rally, is an indication of the difficultly people had. Our Steering Committee member Rainey Reitman was another person scheduled to speak but was not able to. If you were not already there before 1pm, the police made it very difficult to impossible for you to get there.

        • And NO argument about the police making it nearly impossible to find. And they were very nervous. I tailed them for a while. But you have to BEAT on the media to show up. It’s so easy to click “like” or “going” on a Facebook page and nobody does anything. If you don’t get the media to show, everyone just looks like a bunch of hippies. I have beating on the Baltimore Sun via Twitter since yesterday. Maybe I will have to call them in person. The could be RELEVANT again. The Washington Post no longer is. Sorry, I used to be in the newspaper business. This is such a HUGE story but newspapers are whores to advertisers.

      • So where is the video with the nearly 2000 people??? Inquiring minds want to know. I HATE deception. Makes me want to doubt anything said about Bradley on this site and today is my first time here… argh!

  2. We invite supporters everywhere to participate in the Bradley Manning Freedom Torch Parade at the end of this month!! FreedomTorch.us … If you are interested in holding one in your area please contact me!! 602 492 4201 THANK YOU!!

  3. I attended the rally at fort Meade yesterday June 1st and I’m very proud of all those who were there. I feel now that it’s my duty to return home and sound the alarm. It’s absolutley astonishing to me how my average working class family in Ireland knew all about Bradley manning when I told them I was attending. They were proud of me too!
    Almost everyone I told here in the United States replied ‘Who’s Bradley Manning?’
    Well I told them who he is but they sort all brush it off because at some point they may have heard something in the media but it was designed to turn them against Bradley Manning. This has awakened me to the true power of the US media to tranquilize the awarness of the population. I’m afraid we may be the last few people in human history to question the true nature of the worlds leadership. I will go home and speak up for Bradley and speak out against the path we are being herded onto like factory farmed animals to the slaughter.
    The dark side truely does exist.
    It must be confronted by those who are awakened even if it means losing life or freedom just like Bradley said.
    Bradley Manning is truely courageous and be loves us!

    FREE BRADLEY MANNING

    FREE ALL THOSE WHO ARE BEING UNJUSTLY
    IMPRISONED

    FREE THE MINDS OF THOSE ASLEEP IN FRONT OF TELIVISION

    WHERE ARE THE BRAD PITTS AND ANGELINA JOLIE’S?

    THEY ARE IN THE TUBE OF IGNORANCE, WAKE THEM UP TOO IF YOU CAN!

    THANK YOU BRADLEY!

    • People are trying to cope with unemployment, loss of retirement and traumatized by so called “terrorists”. People don’t even realize that they are uninformed and that the media is all owned by 4-5 corporations and that they only see what is intended for them to see. Bradley Manning, Monsanto, civil unrest and crimes against humanity are going unnoticed all across the world. There used to be a day when journalism was really journalism, not anymore. You won’t hear about Bradley Manning, Monsanto poisoning and killing us or the real truth about chemtrails and what is being sprayed and by whom on any major media channel unless it is disinformation.

      • The House of Rothschild bought Reuters news service in the 1800’s. Within the last 20 years, Reuters bought the Associated Press. Now the Elite own the two largest wire services in the world, where most newspapers get their news. The Rothschilds have control of all three U.S. Networks, plus other aspects of the recording and mass media industry according to research by Eustice Mullins in his book ‘Who Owns the TV Networks’.

    • Gus Van Sant didn’t even know who Bradley Manning was. And, he’s a man who “prides” himself in the treatment of heroes and anti-heroes.

      I am so glad the issue is getting some “mainstream” press, if only today.

      Ironically, RT (Russian) cable news does a pretty good job covering the Manning issue the last few days. They have even been quoting/using Democracy Now! tidbits.

      Who would have ever thought the Russians would be so balanced in their news coverage while the mainstream American Media has basically censored the topic or have been very biased against him.

      Strange times.

  4. Veterans For Peace members – scores of us – were very happy to take part in the Fort Meade march and rally yesterday. Also present were members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Veterans support Bradley because we HATE war and the lies that send our young men and women off to kill and die for corporate profiteers. We LOVE our war resisters, our truth tellers, and our whistle-blowers.

    As Bradley has said, we cannot have a democracy without an informed citizenry. So we are glad to see excellent coverage of the rally today in the Baltimore Sun, the Washington Post, Associated Press, Real News, and lots of international outlets. The Bradley Manning Support Network succeeded in its goal of framing the debate favorably for Bradley just before the Army’s kangaroo court martial gets under way.

    Keep on fighting for Bradley, especially all you veterans. Look for action updates at http://www.veteransforpeace.org.

  5. 60+ showed up at 9 AM in Tucson………should have been more but at least there were some of us. We often hold signs for freeing Bradley Manning at the weekly War Protest in front of the Federal Court House on Thursdays. I wish there were more of us who would come out for public demonstrations.

  6. Press advisory was originally titled “Nearly two thousand rally for Bradley Manning at Ft. Meade”. However, after reviewing video from the march, we believe that number was about one thousand. Video shows approximately 800 marched from Reece Road to Llewellyn Ave along US 175, we had crews stationary at both rally locations, and we had shuttles drive those who could not walk that distance in the sun. Additionally, we know that 100 to 200 individuals were prevented from attending the rally and march by police roadblocks that were erected miles away at approximately 12:45 pm–15 minutes before the announced gather time, and 45 minutes before the scheduled program began. The roadblocks had no apparent rational, beyond blocking the approach to the gathering location via east on US 175 and the designated parking lots via both east on US 175 and west on Reece Road. Title changed and this note added on 5 June 2013 by Jeff Paterson, Bradley Manning Support Network steering committee.

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