Activists Speak Out to Demand Release of Chelsea Manning, No Prosecution for Julian Assange or Edward Snowden
PHILADELPHIA, July 27, 2016 – CODEPINK co-founder Jodie Evans disrupted President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention tonight to demand justice for whistleblowers, specifically the release of Chelsea Manning and an end to threats of prosecution of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Evans held up a banner that read “FREE: ED, JULIAN & CHELSEA” while CODEPINK members Martha Durkee-Neuman and Leslie Harris held banners calling for an end to drone warfare.
“Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden have all forced transparency and accountability onto the U.S. spying apparatus, and should be celebrated for their brave actions, not punished,” said Jodie Evans, who was also the producer of The Most Dangerous Man in America, a documentary about famed whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg who published the Pentagon Papers. “Whistleblowers serve a critical function in calling out corporate and government corruption and they must be protected from criminal prosecution for their role in exposing the truth.”
CODEPINK calls for justice for incarcerated and exiled whistleblowers. Whether it's releasing the Iraq war logs or secret documents on NSA domestic spying, whistleblowers seeking corporate and government transparency have endured severe consequences.
“President Obama’s legacy will be defined by perpetuating endless wars and his use of killer drones, both in countries with which the US is at war with, and also countries the US has never declared war on,” said CODEPINK activist Leslie Harris. “Killer drones have murdered children, terrorized local populations, and bred anti-American sentiment across the world. Their existence is shrouded in secrecy and there is no accountability surrounding their use. It is shocking that 7 years later, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning US President has bombed and killed people in 7 different countries. We need a president for peace that pursues political solutions, not military ones.”
CODEPINK has hosted two international summits about drone warfare, taken delegations to Pakistan and Yemen to meet with drone strike survivors, and brought drone strike survivors to the US to tell their stories in Congressional briefings and other public events. CODEPINK and other coalition members participated in the “Shut Down Creech” action March 27 - April 2, 2016 outside Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada which brought attention to the use of drone warfare and used nonviolent resistance to shut down killer drone operations in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan,Yemen, Somalia and around the world.
Interviews with Jodie, Martha or Leslie can be arranged through Alli McCracken at 860 575 5692.
CODEPINK is in Philadelphia at the Democratic National Convention to call for reduced military spending, immigration policies that welcome refugees and provide amnesty to those who are undocumented, an end to drone warfare, and severed ties with repressive regimes like Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. CODEPINK is asking all presidential candidates to adopt their ten point Peace Platform which calls for foreign and domestic policy based on respect, cooperation, non-violence and diplomacy, not war and hate.