Yesterday, following speeches from Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace, 100 protesters marched to the location of President Obama’s Official San Francisco Democratic Acceptance Speech Watch Party. In a room full of local Democratic officials, Obama activists and donors, they delivered a message demanding that the President free accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower and Nobel Peace Prize nominee PFC Bradley Manning.
Several of those attending the party stopped to ask the protesters about Bradley Manning. One woman decided to come outside to join the protesters, and a San Francisco delegate even offered to send a proposal to the national DNC on their behalf. Once President Obama began his nomination acceptance speech, the activists began chanting, “No more promises, free Bradley now!” Michael Thurman, of the SF Bay Area Iraq Veterans Against the War and the Bradley Manning Support Network explained, “We’re tired of President Obama promising what he refuses to deliver. Bradley Manning exposed war crimes, corruption, and abuse. He’s the type of whistle-blower Obama vowed to protect.”
The San Francisco action was part of an effort to target the Obama campaign in 34 cities nationwide. The protests ranged as far as Hawaii, Alaska, and even Texas. Protesters hope that through reaching out to American citizens, and those in the Obama campaign staff in particular, they can pressure the President to take a public stance in support of Manning.
Though he’s spent 837 days in prison, Bradley Manning’s trial won’t begin until at least February 4. On November 27, defense lawyers will argue a pretrial motion to dismiss charges, based on extreme imprisonment conditions at Quantico that were declared “inhuman and degrading” by the UN.
In the meantime, Manning supporters encourage more actions at Obama campaign offices, calling on the president to live up to his 2008 promise to protect whistle-blowers.
By the Bradley Manning Support Network. September 7, 2012.