Hundreds Gather in support of Accused Whistleblower Bradley Manning

Hundreds Gather in support of Accused Whistleblower Bradley Manning

Photo by: Casey McKeel
Photo by: Casey McKeel

On his 24th birthday, hundreds gathered at Fort Meade to support US Army Pvte. Bradley Manning, who is being accused of “aiding the enemy” and 21 additional offenses for allegedly leaking thousands of classified US government documents. These documents  include the infamous Iraq and Afghanistan war logs that were leaked to WikiLeaks in November 2009. Supporters of the Army intelligence specialist came from around the country to stand in solidarity with Manning, demanding his release, as prosecutors presented their case against him.  

 

 

  

Photo by: Casey McKeel

  

 

After gathering at the main entrance to Fort Meade, supporters took to the streets marching over a mile to where the hearing was taking place and held a rally with several speakers.  Dan Choi, a former Army lieutenant and gay activist who was discharged from the Army under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", gave his support for Manning stating how we need to tear down the wall between the American people and the American truth.  Michael Patterson of DC Iraq Veterans Against the War expressed his solidarity, saying that Manning will not be left behind.  Other speakers included former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern and former US Army Colonel Ann Wright. The rally closed with a song from singer-songwriter Dave Rovics who led the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" to Manning.  Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago revealing the US expansion of the Vietnam War, was also scheduled to speak but was unable to make it due to a missed.

 

 

 

   

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by: Casey McKeel  

 

 

   

Groups in attendance at the rally included delegations from Occupy Wall Street, Occupy DC, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Code Pink, and Baltimore's Chapter of Civilian-Soldier Alliance. Sergio Espana, of Civilian-Soldier Alliance, reflected on the rally:

"Not only was Manning's alleged release of documents a torch of moral courage that needed to be lit and added to the growing GI resistance movement, but these documents have been instrumental in positive change at home and throughout the world as seen through the US public outcry over the military training and culture that led to such callousness in the "Collateral Murder" video or the Tunisian uprising being encouraged in part by the Wikileaks files documenting incredible amounts of corruption and massive inequality.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos By: Casey McKeel

 

Manning could up to life in prison with no chance of parole.  The military pretrial hearing will determine whether prosecutors have enough evidence to bring him to trial. 

Casey McKeel is a community organizer and photo journalist. She is a worker/owner of Thread Coffee and collective member of Bearings Bike Project.  She is also a member of Another BDC is Possible.  She splits her time between her love of photography, coffee, and bicycles.