Posted by CODEPINK Staff
By Bridget Sakowski, CODEPINK DC Intern
On Wednesday, members of CODEPINK DC and I attended day three of Bradley Manning’s July motion hearing, which discussed the maximum punishment that he could receive for one of the charges he is facing. Like many others who gathered to attend the hearing, I came in order to show my support for Manning as well as demonstrate my staunch opposition to the charges he is facing. Manning is accused of releasing a sequence of embarrassing U.S. diplomatic and military cables, which we later published by Wiki Leaks. The release of these cables brought attention not only to the extent of civilian causalities in Iraq, but also the blatant disregard by the U.S. and other foreign militaries for human rights. Rather than viewing Manning as a criminal, he should be recognized as a hero for helping to expose extensive U.S. war crimes.
Even though the hearing provided me with a better understanding of the legal going-ons of the case, as someone with little interest in law, the time spent prior to the hearing protesting and meeting with fellow supporters was far more fulfilling. On our arrival, CODEPINK DC and fellow Bradley Manning supports protested outside Ford Meade praising Manning for his work in illuminating war crimes. Even though many of the cars that passed were probably unaware of Bradley Manning or the importance of his action, the mere fact that we were demonstrated provided more awareness of this cause. Only able to attend one day of the hearing, I was comforted by the vast support that supports and journalists who come from all across the country provide to Manning at every hearing. Though their work, the hearings, which do not permit recording devices or release transcripts, are publicized and information is dispersed. Although I was able to show my support for Manning for the day, it is the work of those supporters that is making a substantial difference in his case.
The Bradley Manning Support Network is always looking for financial and volunteer-based assistance. Go to their site to get involved! http://www.bradleymanning.org/