Supporters Declare “I am Bradley Manning” in Times Square Rally for Accused WikiLeaks Source

Rally for Bradley Manning, NYC
Rally for Bradley Manning 2
By Elaine Brower

New York, NY — 100 supporters of PFC Bradley Manning converged today (Saturday, June 4, 2011) at Times Square while hundreds of others rallied at Ft. Leavenworth, KS for the soldier who stands accused of leaking classified government information to WikiLeaks and ultimately to the public.

Supporters held posters saying “Free Bradley Manning” and gathered around large anti-war banners near the Times Square military recruiting station, and coincidentally, near an action in support of marriage equality.

This was the first rally for Bradley Manning since he was transferred to Fort Leavenworth on April 20, 2011, after having suffered under extreme and unusual confinement conditions at US Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. During the nine months at Quantico, Manning was denied meaningful exercise, social interaction, and sunlight, and was at times kept completely naked. A number of those present at the rally are still facing trespass charges for lying in the road in front of the Quantico base on March 20, 2011, in an action that is believed to have spurred Manning’s transfer.

World Can’t Wait, Code Pink, the Granny Peace Brigade, Veterans for Peace, Radical Women and the Freedom Socialist Party called the rally. Tourists and people passing by joined in donating funds for Manning’s legal fund, and in having their photos taken with the message “I am Bradley Manning.” Photos will appear at iam.bradleymanning.org.

A former Marine took off his taxi job to attend, in his first political action, saying that Manning has captured his support just for “telling the truth.” Students who heard of the action online offered to promote the next one. “We talked to people from all over the world today, and get out thousands of flyers about Manning. Most people from other countries know much more about Wikileaks, U.S. wars, and Brad Manning than people living here. We are out to change that,” said Elaine Brower.

The next rally to support Manning will be Saturday July 2, 4:00 pm at Union Square, West 14th & Broadway.

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