Earlier this month, Michael Lyons, the navy medic who was sentenced
to detention in Colchester Military Corrective Training Centre for
refusing to take up arms and protesting the war in Afghanistan, was
Michael Lyons was inspired to take action after studying some of the
material Bradley Manning is accused of disclosing via WikiLeaks,
especially about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Read more about
his case here and here.
In an open
letter written while
Michael was in detention, his wife Lillian said:
Despite the difficulties Mike has faced he is completely at
peace with all of his decisions. He says that he has a clear
conscience and if he had done anything differently he wouldn’t
be able to live with himself so he is happy and proud of what he
has made a stand against.
Solidarity actions were
held for Michael Lyons in Colchester and around the country. Some
supporters visited Michael in prison. Many others wrote letters and
lots contributed to an appeal for donations instigated by London
Catholic Worker to
help defray the substantial costs for Lillian of visiting Michael –
a 700 mile round trip.
The importance for prisoners of receiving letters of solidarity and
support cannot be overstated. Lillian writes:
One of the most important things is how amazed he is by all the
support he and I have both had and how it has meant so much and
how strongly he feels about the fact that if it wasn’t for all
the letters from around the world he received on a daily basis
he is not sure how he would have coped.
Michael has said that one thing he would now save if his house was
on fire would be his box of support letters.
Michael and Lillian are now busy getting on with their lives and
their plans to pursue (civilian!) medical careers. Last word to
Lillian, who wrote just after Michael had been released:
Michael is fine, he’s really happy and keeps shouting FREEDOM
every now and again! It’s all a bit surreal for him but he is
cherishing every minute of it!