London - England

In front of the US embassy


In London, over 60 people attended a protest outside the US embassy.  Some people had travelled for hours to come from out of London. The picket and speak out was organized by Payday men’s Network and Queer Strike and Wise Up Action.  The speakers stressed the plight of soldiers who are being punished for refusing  to kill, torture and rape for the armies of the world, and named some from the US, Turkey and Israel, including Kimberly Rivera and Micah Turner


Queer Strike stressed Bradley Manning is an LGBTQ whistleblower hero, following the tradition of other gay refuseniks like Stephen Funk in the US and Mehmet Tarhan in Turkey.  A Chilean woman who had survived the Pinochet regime said she wished whistleblowers like Bradley Manning had been around then to warn people of what was coming.  Other Latin American countries’ contribution for justice including Haiti, Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador were recognised.


One person who’d been a long time Stop the WAR supporter asked why they had not even mentioned Bradley Manning at their recent conference and were not at the picket. Same was said about Stonewall.  We all have a responsibility to keep campaigning until our courageous sisters and brothers inside who are whistleblowers and in there as a result of miscarriages of justice, like Mumia Abu Jamal, are free.


Whistle blowers like Birgitta Jonsdottir were also named, persecuted for being the co-producer of the infamous helicopter video Collateral Murder, and Aaron Swartz who was hounded to death after downloading, among other files, material which could be useful to jailhouse lawyers like Mumia-Abu Jamal.


Women Against Rape reiterated their support for Julian Assange, never accused of anything, who has taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, protected from extradition to Sweden and to the US, where he would be treated like Bradley Manning.


All African Women’s Group were very prominent, and wormed everyone up with speeches, chanting and singing.  After their photo op around town, Catholic Worker and others also spoke.  


Ronnie Barkan (Israeli refusenik. Anarchists Against the Wall and Boycott from Within) was a guest of honour, speaking about the case of Natan Blanc, 19-year old Israeli refusenik, jailed recurrently for the sixth time in a few weeks.  He also raised the resistance of the Palestinian prisoners.  Two of them Samer Al-Issawi and Ayman Sharawna have being on hunger strike for more than 200 days against Israel’s administrative detention, with no charges and no end in sight.  


Messages of solidarity (see below) were sent from afar:  by Hugo Blanco, director of Lucha Indigena, in Peru, ; and by Dario Fo (Nobel Prize for Literature, 1997) and Franca Rame (actor and his collaborator), in Italy.  Also from Sue Glenton (mother of Joe Glenton, the first soldier in Europe who publicly refused to serve in Afghanistan); MP Ann Clwyd; Sevim Dagdelen, Member of the German Bundestag; and human rights activist Peter Tatchell.


See more pictures on Demotix

Rome - Italy

In front of the US embassy


As we walked through the rainy, and quite empty, streets of Rome to get from one location to the next, we gave out flyers about today’s international day of action calling for Bradley Manning to be freed, and found that hardly anyone had heard of him or knew anything about him! Although we were few, we were very motivated and managed to inform and draw the interest of many persons, both Italians and foreigners. It was heartening to know that actions/events were going on at the same time, as well as earlier and later today, to show support for Bradley Manning on his 1,000th day of unjust imprisonment. Exposing war crimes is a duty, not a crime!

I thought I’d add a short piece Greg wrote which was meant to be read out to the 50-odd group of protesters who had gathered today in front of the U.S. embassy in London. (Greg unfortunately couldn't join us, having come down with the flu, but was with us in this way.) I spoke with one of the organizers in London and we exchanged comments on our respective actions, but it wasn’t technically possible to read the message to them through their loudspeaker. But I thought I'd share it with you, because I think it’s so straight to the heart of things and heartfelt:

Forty something years ago Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers. The big newspapers supported him and showed great courage and published them all. Now Ellsberg is a hero. This young man Bradley did basically the same thing and he's been held for three years under terrible conditions. It's hard for me to believe that this kid is really so much of a threat to our country. The real threat comes from those who use fascist methods, including torture, to carry out policy. Perhaps that is the key word: policy. I have always loved my country and though it was obvious that bad things happened from time to time but, at least as far as I knew, it wasn't policy. We were better than that, I thought. To treat prisoners this way is a crime. It's the way terrorists operate. But not, I thought, The United States of America. Now the government behaves this way. And the courts allow it. I really wish the people would get their act together and stop this atrocity.


Anna (US Citizens for Peace and Justice – Rome)

Philadelphia - USA

We had a good turnout, about 50 people despite the steady rain, outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Many spoke, among them the Philadelphia-based aunt of Natan Blanc, a 19 year old Israeli who refuses to join the Israeli army of occupation, and has been imprisoned now for 7 consecutive terms of 2-3 weeks each.

The event’s focus was on Bradley, but connected with all the rest: with Palestinian hunger strikers, with Julian Assange, with other criminalized US whistleblowers and the hounding to death of Aaron Swartz with truth-telling prisoners Mumia Abu Jamal and Russell Maroon Shoatz, with the tradition of gay refusal in the military, with the principles established at Nuremberg, with the global Occupy movement, with the struggles of single mothers raising children… 

Most of us really felt the strength that being together gives us.

Link to more photos here


HUGO BLANCO (legendary figure in the liberation struggle in Latin America)

For me to take part in this campaign is a great honour.

Bradley Manning was rightly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, however the entrenched corruption in the awarding of that prize, mocking the will of its founder, awarded the prize to Obama, driver of massacres in Afghanistan, and to the European Union, manufacturer and exporter of arms.

Bradley is the standard bearer of Peace; he honours the name of the United States, showing that those at the bottom don’t share the warmongering of those who, in the service of big business, govern it.

So the system illegally tortures him as a threat to the peace fighters. Despite everything he maintains high morale.

Let us follow the example of Bradley, let’s battle for peace, let’s battle against wars, without fear of reprisals, let’s learn from Bradley to be truly human.

Hugo Blanco

Director of Lucha Indigena,  PERU

ANN CLWYD, Welsh Member of the UK Parliament

As the MP who tabled two Early Day Motions 1624 & 2540 in Parliament, I do, of course, continue to support Bradley Manning.

Given his terrible treatment in detention and the time he spent without trial, he should be released now

He was a whistleblower who did us all a favour.

Ann Clwyd MP

SEVIM DAGDELEN, Member of the German Parliament

Subject: Statement for Action Day Free Bradley Manning

Dear friends,

I do support the campaign for Bradley Manning. I would be delighted if my statement could be published on your websites:

“Bradley Manning has made history and stands for many others who have done so. We have a moral duty to prevent war crimes and to reveal war crimes by publishing information about them. Manning has done that. He truely deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Others do not.

To me, those are not in court, reveal the war crimes, but those who commit war crimes and responsibility.

Free Bradley Manning!”

Best Regards,

Sevim Dagdelen
Member of the German Bundestag
Member of Foreign Affairs Committee
Spokeswoman for International Relations of Die Linke

DARIO FO (Nobel Prize for Literature, 1997) and FRANCA RAME (actor and his collaborator)

We have signed the [Ellsberg] petition months ago.

Segreteria C.T.F.R. srl
Compagnia Teatrale Fo Rame

SUE GLENTON (Mother of Joe Glenton, the first soldier in Europe who publicly refused to serve in Afghanistan)

Support for Bradley Manning is a no brainer.

The knee jerk response from the authorities has proved how right he was to release that information.

He has behaved with incredible dignity in the face of appalling treatment by the Americans, the rest of the thinking world can see that.

I wish him strength to continue and hope for a positive solution to his unjust incarceration.


PETER TATCHELL – Human Rights Activist

I would be honoured to speak at the American Embassy this Saturday to mark 1,000 days in prison for Brad.

But sadly I was prebooked months ago for a speaking commitment in Leicester all day on 23/2.

Please give my support to the vigil. 

Apologies and solidarity! 

Best wishes, Peter

Peter Tatchell
Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation