Saturday, March 26, 2011

Protests And Rallies Held For Bradley Manning : Video

By Jerry Smith Mar 26 2011

Various protests and rallies were held around the world this past week and last weekend for Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier accused of leaking the embarrassing diplomatic cables, the classified documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the 'Collateral Murder' video to WikiLeaks.

On Sunday about 35 of the more than 400 people in attendance, including Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg and Retired Army Col. Ann Wright, were arrested while protesting outside the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia, where Manning is being held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day in a windowless 6-by-12-foot cell, shackled and forced to sleep either naked or in a suicide-proof smock due to supposed fears that he may commit suicide.

Manning is currently facing 24 charges, but one of the more serious charges against him is 'aiding the enemy'. If found guilty of 'aiding the enemy', Manning could spend the rest of his life behind bars or get the death penalty.

Police in riot gear, on horse back and even some carrying automatic assault weapons showed up and arrested any protesters who would not leave the highway entrance to the base. Some minor scuffles erupted as officers tried to push the protesters who were sitting under a banner that read 'Caution: Whistleblower Torture Zone' in front of the entrance out of the way.

Prince William police spokesperson Jonathan Perok wrote in a press release that when demonstrators stood on U.S. 1 and refused to move:
"An unlawful assembly was declared and as a result approximately 35 total arrests were made.”
A statement released late Sunday by Prince William County police said that about 35 people were taken into custody and charged with unlawful assembly and careless interference with traffic. Police also said that one protester was also charged with assault and battery of an officer.

David House, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Manning's friend and one of the few people who have visited him in prison, about 15 times since September, told the protesters:
"It's stuff like this that gives Bradley hope. When I go in there, look him in the eyes and say, 'Bradley, there are people on the outside that support you,' his eyes light up."
House has talked before about how he has watched his friend go from a "bright-eyed intelligent young man” to someone who appears “catatonic” at times, and has great "difficulty carrying on day-to-day conversations,” and has said:
“For me this has been like watching a really good friend succumb to an illness or something. I think that Bradley Manning is being punished this way because the US government wants him to crack ahead of his trial.”
Several people at the protest wanted to place flowers at the Iwo Jima memorial at the entrance to the base but were kept away by police. Spokesperson for the Marine Corps Combat Development Command at Quantico, Col. Thomas V. Johnson said access to the memorial was not permitted because protest activity is not allowed on base grounds.

Col.Johnson also said:
We're pleased that people were able to express their First Amendment rights in a manner that did not infringe upon base property."
Wright, the former army colonel who is now a State Department official was upset that they "wouldn’t even let us get up to the memorial", and sat in the middle of the highway with Ellsberg and some others in frustration. She said of the police:
“It was disrespectful.”
Ann Wilcox, an attorney for the demonstrators said:
“I thought we had to do this, to show we had some fortitude. If we had quietly gone back, we wouldn’t have made the statement that we made.”
Ellsberg said of Manning:
“I identify with him more than anyone else I’ve seen in the last 40 years.”

"I want Bradley Manning's courage to be contagious."
Referring to when he released the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg said:
“I was willing to go to prison and give my life and be executed.”
Ellsberg said that solitary confinement is:
“a form of torture, and as such, it’s illegal internationally and domestically."
Ellsberg also said:
"It’s giving lie to President Obama’s promise to end torture. It’s happening right here to an American soldier in an American brig."
Ellsberg also spoke about former State Department spokesperson Philip J. Crowley (PJ) who was forced to resigned earlier this week after he made comments to a small audience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology condemning Manning's treatment. Ellsberg said that Crowley:
“Acted honorably and boldly.”
Click here to read more about Crowley's forced resignation.

72 year old Jules Orkin came all the way from Bergenfield, N.J., to show his support for Manning. Orkin described himself as an army veteran and sat on the edge of the Highway in prison-like orange clothing and with a black bag over his head to show his belief that Manning is enduring torture. He said:
“I think he served a higher honor to expose things we’re doing wrong.”
Barbara Jane Gaborow of King George said:
“Even if you believe (Manning) did break the law, he doesn’t deserve torture."
Sarah McKee from Amherst, Mass., who said she was a former federal prosecutor said of Manning's treatment:
“The U.S. Constitution is being dishonored."
Lisa Cantoni of Woodbridge called the protests a disgrace and said of Manning:
“We are Americans, and he’s supposed to be on our side. He should be punished. He should not be freed... That’s preposterous.”
Some people in cars gestured out their windows or shouted, “Traitors!”, but far more drivers honked their horns in support.

Kevin Zeese, a lawyer with the Bradley Manning Support Network said of the protest:
"It was a strong showing of a cross-section of Americans who support Bradley Manning."
Some of the various signs people had said:
“Bradley Manning is a hero."

"It’s the empire that has no clothes.”

”We can’t afford the Pentagon. We’re broke.”

”Afghanistan: Just another war for the rich.”

”Guilty until proven guilty???”
Ellsberg was also among a group of about 100 people arrested on Saturday at an anti-war protest outside the White House marking the 8th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

At a protest in London over Manning's treatment many people from Pembrokeshire, where Manning's mother lives, attended.

Vicky Moller, one of the protesters who came from Pembrokeshire to protest said to the BBC:
"His mother was allowed to visit him last month. His mother has had several strokes. She was really damaged by what happened to him and so she now speaks through her sister."

"Her sister went with her to the prison. Her sister was not allowed in so she couldn't speak to her son and she's been very, very upset ever since."
Moller spoke to the protesters and said:
"Whether he is innocent of what he is charged with I don't know, but he is an innocent personality."

"He is young, he is well motivated, and I know that sensory deprivation like isolation is one of the cruellest things you can do to a person."

"When I realised there was a Welsh connection, I felt that Wales could do something about it."
Cynon Valley MP Ann Clwyd has even tabled a Commons motion on the Manning issue and said:
"I think it is a serious case."

"He's being held in solitary confinement, he's kept in his cell for 23 hours a day, not allowed to exercise, he's stripped of all his clothes during the night, he is not permitted to sleep during the day."

"Organisations like Amnesty International have already put out several press releases saying that Manning is being subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment."
Clwyd asks the UK government to bring up the Manning issue with its U.S. counterparts, and to make sure that Manning's "detention conditions are humane" at the Quantico marine base.

The internet group Anonymous has recently said that they are planning new attacks in support of Manning against government officials involved in Manning's case and will “harass” the staff at Quantico “to the point of frustration,” including a “complete communications shutdown” of its Internet and phone links.

Click here to read more about Anonymous' support of Manning.

The U.S. government has been trying to link Manning to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in an attempt to prosecute Assange in the U.S. for publishing the war documents, the classified diplomatic cables and the Collateral Murder video, they accuse Manning of giving to WikiLeaks.

The United States government has gone so far as to subpoena Twitter for the account information it has on subscribers “associated with WikiLeaks,” including Assange, Manning, Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, US computer researcher Jacob Appelbaum, and Dutch volunteer for WikiLeaks Rop Gonggrijp.

Jonsdottir, Appelbaum, and Gonggrijp have been fighting the governments request, but Assange and Manning have not contested the order. WikiLeaks and Assange felt the U.S. lacked jurisdiction "over expressive activities beyond its borders," and said they would not be taking part in the hearing.

Click here to read more about the U.S. governments attempts to get the Twitter information.

Here is video of Ellsberg, Wright and other protesters getting pushed by police at the protest at Quantico:

Video of police arresting protesters including Ellsberg and Wright:

Video of Ellsberg speaking at the protest at Quantico:

Video of the Quantico protest featuring Wright and some speeches, including Ellsberg's:

Arrests at the rally for Bradley Manning at Quantico Mar 20 2011:

Video of the Quantico protest:

Video of the Quantico protest:

News story by RT News on the protest at Quantico:

Video of the Quantico protest featuring Ellsberg:

Bradley Manning Rally/Protest - Sydney 20th March 2011:

A free Bradley Manning protest in Fredericton, Canada:

Video of a free Bradley Manning rally in Portland, OR:

Video of Bradley Manning Jail Cell in Street Protest in Portland 3.21.11 Part 1:

Video of Bradley Manning Jail Cell in Street Protest in Portland 3.21.11 Part 2:

Video of Bradley Manning Jail Cell in Street Protest in Portland 3.21.11 Part 3:

Video of a free Bradley Manning rally in Portland, OR:

Video of Ellsberg getting arrested at the protest at the White House the day before:

Another video of Ellsberg getting arrested at the White House the day before:

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