Bradley Manning

Alexa O'Brien has become known as a "one-woman court record system" for her extensive coverage of whistleblower Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning's trial. She has also covered the WikiLeaks release of US State Department Cables, the Guantanamo Files, the global "war on terror" and the Arab Spring.

This is an edited extract from a speech she gave to a public forum called “Defending Dissent: from Manning to Occupy” in Sydney on September 17. The full forum can be watched here.


You may have heard of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and US army private Chelsea (formerly known as Bradley) Manning, who both leaked large amounts of secret US government information, and wondered what all the fuss was about. Well, not much, if you ask Australian attorney-general Mark Dreyfus.

The US army whistleblower formerly known as Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for releasing thousands of classified military documents to WikiLeaks.

In a statement after the sentencing, Manning announced her decision to transition to life as a woman and requested to be called Chelsea.

The Sydney Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition released this statement on August 22.


The Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition (SAWC) is inviting people to join their float in this year’s Mardi Gras parade on March 2.

Spokesperson Linda Pearson said: “SAWC is entering a float in this year’s Mardi Gras to raise awareness about Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, and to demonstrate our solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex communities. We also wanted to offer our supporters this opportunity to take part in what will be a unique and enjoyable event.

The Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition released this statement on March 4.


On March 2, the Sydney Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition (SAWC) entered their 100-people walking float in Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade. Supporters came from all over Australia to help raise awareness of the plights of Bradley Manning's and Julian Assange.

Participants in the first section of the float held up an image of Bradley and chanted “Free Bradley Manning”, whilst carrying banners displaying the website

US military lead prosecutor Major Ashden Fein summed up his case against Bradley Manning for "aiding the enemy" with these chilling words: "He was not a troubled young soul. He was a determined soldier with the knowledge, ability and desire to harm the United States in its war effort.

"Your honor, he was not a whistleblower, he was traitor."

We totally disagree.

Manning witnessed a terrible crime and he reported it to the people of the world using the most effective available news medium — WikiLeaks.

Support WikiLeaks and Assange Coalition released this statement on July 31.

The conviction of US Private First Class Bradley Manning for 19 offences, including five counts of espionage, is a travesty of justice.

Manning is not a spy who betrayed his country, but a courageous whistleblower who acted on his conscience when he leaked US government documents to WikiLeaks.

He should have been commended, not prosecuted, for revealing evidence of war crimes, human rights abuses and corruption.

The US Army announced on March 2 that it has charged 22-year-old Private First Class Bradley Manning with a further 22 charges. Manning is being held on suspicion of having leaked classified information to WikiLeaks.

One of the new charges is “aiding the enemy”. This means Manning could face the death penalty if convicted.

So far, Pentagon and military officials have found no direct link between Manning and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Below is an abridged version of a speech by NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge in Sydney on April 10. The action was part of an international weekend of solidarity calling for an end to the persecution of alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning.


First, I'd like to acknowledge that this is Aboriginal land that we are standing on. It always has been, always will be Aboriginal land. And in fact sovereignty has never been ceded over this land that we are standing on here today.


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