As announced here and elsewhere, there was an MLK Day demonstration at Quantico Marines Base in support of Bradley Manning — accused “Wikileaks” whistleblower who may have leaked diplomatic cables, Afghanistan and Iraq action reports, and the notorious video of the helicopter killing of a Reuters journalist (and many others) in Baghdad in 2007.
The above video, by author and activist David Swanson (“War is a Crime,” “Daybreak”), records some of that demonstration — organized in large part by MCCRC coalition mainstay and Defending Dissent Foundation director Sue Udry, and attended by many MCCRC and DC Civil Liberties Coalition activists.
Manning is a native of Potomac, Maryland — so on top of the serious issues his arrest and treatment are raising, he’s one of our own. Regarding treatment, his lawyer wrote on December 18:
Due to being held on Prevention of Injury (POI) watch: PFC Manning is held in his cell for approximately 23 hours a day. The guards are required to check on PFC Manning every five minutes by asking him if he is okay. PFC Manning is required to respond in some affirmative manner. At night, if the guards cannot see PFC Manning clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure he is okay.
Bradley Manning Support Network organizer David House wrote on December 23 that “In his five months of detention [not counting two previous months in Kuwait], it has become obvious to me that Manning’s physical and mental well-being are deteriorating. What Manning needs, and what his attorney has already urged, is to have the unnecessary ‘Prevention of Injury’ order lifted that severely restricts his ability to exercise, communicate, and sleep.” (Both items via David Swanson’s summary).
Please consider lending your name to this petition on Manning’s behalf, and write your Congressperson urging improved treatment for Manning, and his release prior to trial.
UPDATE: also please add your name to the “FireDogLake” petition on Manning’s behalf.