Protest: ‘Bradley Manning is a hero’

Issue 
Sydney, March 20. Photo: Kate Ausburn

“As rain poured down last night, I thought I can’t possibly go this morning, but then I got on WLCentral this morning and Daniel Ellsberg has been arrested in his 80s outside the White House, so we can brave a little rain!”

These were the thoughts of one local activist at a Sydney rally in support of alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning on March 20. The rally was part of an international day of action called by Bradleymanning.org and Courage to Resist.

Manning is suspected of having leaked military documents about Iraq and Afghanistan, a video of a military attack that killed a dozen civilians including two Reuters staff, and 250,000 diplomatic cables. His charges include “aiding the enemy”, a crime that carries the death penalty or life in prison.

Demonstrations were held in cities all around the world, including in the US where Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower behind the release of the Pentagon Papers, now in his 80s, joined demonstrators.

Ellsberg, along with over 30 others, was arrested for refusing to leave an intersection outside the Quantico Marine Corps Brig where Manning is currently detained in maximum custody detention.

Sydneysiders were thinking of their counterparts in Washington as they gathered near the US Consulate in Martin Place, in the wind and rain to stand up against the continued mistreatment of Bradley Manning.

The small but vocal crowd chanted “Free Bradley Manning” and heard from rally organiser Michele Ambrose and Greens NSW Member of Parliament David Shoebridge. There was then an open microphone, giving those gathered the opportunity to speak out.

Socialist Alliance activist Paul Benedek said: “Do we think that the truth is a crime?

“The Australian government has a lot to be ashamed of. What have we heard in support of Bradley Manning and democracy? We’ve only heard condemnation. When history judges, history will see Manning as a hero.”

On March 11, spokesperson for the US State Department PJ Crowley resigned after speaking out against Manning’s conditions. Crowley described Manning’s treatment as “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid”. Barack Obama insisted that Manning’s conditions are “appropriate”.

David House, a friend on Manning’s visiting list, told Associated Press: “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.”

For more information on the campaign to free Bradley Manning, .

Comments

If he is convicted of illegally releasing classified information, then he deserves a long incarceration. He was given trust, and alledgedly threw it back in the faces of those who had trusted him. People tend not to have too much sympathy for that type of betrayal.

Thank you for publishing the videos of your rally in Sydney in support of Bradley Manning, and for spreading the word about his unnecessarily harsh pre-trial detention treatment and conditions.

If U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning did what the U.S. Army has accused him of doing, then he is a true patriot who is evidently passionate about truth and freedom.

In a free country Pfc. Manning would be hailed as a genuine hero for his outstanding contribution to humanity.

The world needs more individuals like Pfc. Manning.

Peace,
A. Humanist
USA

In response to the argument that he was given trust and through it back at those who trusted him - the question is what were those who "trusted him" doing? If subjects of Hitler decided his regime's crimes wer appalling and acted to reveal those crimes, would you similarly condemn them?

And did the warmongers really "trust him" - or "use him" - like so many other young Americans, as cannon fodder and tools to engage in their oil wars.

Finally, Daniel Elsberg was another who broke "trust" in order to reveal the crimes of the Vietnam war - he was vilified by those in power, but is now seen as a hero who helped to stop a horrific war. Like Elsberg, Manning is a hero of our times who is helping to reveal truth, undermine the warmongers, and deserves to be free.

trust is supposed to go both ways, Bradley seen that the trust had been broken already, governments should be able to be trusted, they were voted in democratically, when they fail us journalists usually tell us, but with so much mistrust labelled as confidential everyone needs to be looking for the truth all the time, where ever you work, and letting us all know how our trust has been breached by people we voted for. What people don't like is inhumane treatment, betrayal of trust and lies.

F Bradley Manning provided the information to Wikileaks....{oh, that's right, we're in America, it's supposed to be innocent til proven guilty...hmmm....we can see how that's working out }....is a Hero! REGARDLESS of what job you have, at some point when there is stunning evidence of gross wrongs, horrific actions, immature diplomatic disasters and deceit, some one has to have the GUTS to blow a whistle and make people aware of it even when it's our government doing the gross wrongs, horrific actions and risking our diplomatic relationships with immaturity and practicing such deceit! Just because it's our government doing this doesn't mean they should get a pass to get away with. We are supposed to be able to TRUST our government to represent the people of America, we are the ones being betrayed by the disgusting government! Aren't you just proud to be represented by such a deceitful bunch of civil and military politicians?........it's embarrassing! No wonder the world hates America! And of course, the government , as usual, plays dirty! A good offense is a good defense. They hope the more they accuse the whistle blower of being the bad guy, the less attention they think is on their unacceptable actions! I remember not to long ago there was legislation brought up to protect whistle blowers. I guess that doesn't apply to whistling on our perfect government!........Old Russia or Old Germany anyone?....... People tend not to have too much sympathy for our government!

I agree that he undeniably a hero, for showing the truth that needed to be shown. He is not in any sense of the word a traitor, for he simply showed things that were controversial because of their lack of ethics. Clear blinding Truth.

Should be he condemned for this action? Put yourself in his shoes. Seeing that information is continually censored each other for little to no rhyme of reason, questions, at the very least, have got to be raised. To use any means necessary to things that need to be seen out in the open. I mean, a helicopter shooting, frankly, innocent people who have done no harm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_Manning#Baghdad_airstrike/

Must paranoia erode the mind to such a degree of apathy and resentment? He is a noble a spirit, representing the possible freedom that can exist, only if we let go of our egos. Freedom of trust.

If one wishes to, he can even be symbolized by the pure sign of liberty.

Should he be condemned? Look inside yourselves, and see what is and what is not truly necessary, to the moral integrity and exploration of psyches.

Love and Peace Forever,

Graeme Skipper-Horton