Free Bradley Manning: An Action Told in Photo

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Free Bradley Manning: An Action Told in Photo

Free Bradley Manning Action. Photo By: Robin Gunkel
Free Bradley Manning Action. Photo By: Robin Gunkel

The Bradley Manning Rally at Fort Mead brought well over a thousand protestors from across the country in support of hero whistle blower, Bradley Manning who goes on trial today, June 3rd, at Ft. Meade after having been arrested three years ago and placed in solitary confinement. The rally was brought together with the assistance of multiple groups including CODEPINK Women for Peace, Courage to Resist, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, and World Can’t Wait, among other national organizations. The sun was scorching and intense, but everyone’s shared commitment to the cause was unwavering. We marched together a mile down US 175 before holding a rally where heart-wrenching speeches and music culminated in Pentagon Papers whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, speaking to a support network of impassioned people determined that Bradley not stand alone.

One of the most powerful chants of the day was “I am Bradley Manning.” It’s a meme that speaks a very direct truth- there’s no separation in personhood between us and him, as he remains in solitary confinement. And, as Chris Hedges has illuminated in his essay, We Are All Bradley Manning, “The trial is not simply the prosecution of a 25-year-old soldier who had the temerity to report to the outside world the indiscriminate slaughter, war crimes, torture and abuse that are carried out by our government …. It is the concerted effort by the security and surveillance state to extinguish what is left of a free press…” What’s at stake is for all of us, for US citizens and also the world. The documents Bradley leaked have impacted ending the War in Iraq and helped in igniting the Arab Spring. We feel the ricochets of his heroism and know that his bravery has already impacted everything.