On November 21st, 2011 the United States Army scheduled an Article 32 pretrial hearing for PFC Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence specialist accused of releasing classified material to WikiLeaks. The pretrial hearing will commence on December 16th at Fort Meade, Maryland. This will be PFC Manning’s first appearance before a court and the first time he will face his accusers after 17 months in (mostly solitary) confinement. Currently 23 yr-old Bradley is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the U.S. Army has stated that if convicted of all charges, he would face a maximum punishment of confinement for life.
Bradley is accused of releasing to Wikileaks the famous Collateral Murder video, depicting the killing of journalists and wounded civilians by an Apache helicopter in Iraq as well as the Afghan War Diary, the Iraq War Logs, and U.S. Diplomatic Cables. The documents contain information about war crimes and government corruption and have played a role in motivating recent pro-democratic protests around the world, in particular the revolution in Tunisia. For speaking truth to power, he continues to inspire democracy movements globally and the Occupy movement throughout the US.
On December 16th and 17th Vigils and Protests will be held worldwide to stand in solidarity with Bradley Manning to call attention to the military’s attempts to use him as an example to suppress war crime whistle-blowers. On December 16th, 4:30 to 6pm there will be a Candlelight Vigil to support Bradley Manning at Downtown Plaza in Ashland, Oregon.
Local sponsors of the vigil are: Citizens for Peace and Justice, Ashland Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Amnesty International – Southern Oregon Chapter, Peace House, Rogue Valley Veterans for Peace, and Occupy Ashland.
Contact Information for this event: Liisa Wale 480-370-7302