This fire engine is on tour and – like certain other vehicular-based advocacy projects which are also dear to the heart of this campaign – it has a case to make. This weekend (25th and 26th June) The Bradley Manning Emergency Rescue goes to Sheffield at the Steam and Vintage Rally, Rackford Road, North Anston, (Junction 31 M1, A57 Workshop to Sheffield). Here’s the report of its driver from the Derby Fire & Rescue Show last weekend:
Interesting day here at Derby, talking to all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds from ex-army guys to mothers with children. Everybody I have spoken to thinks that the detention of Bradley is wrong although variety in their reasoning was large.
Here’s the lowdown on the publics’ reasoning so far:
1. The army failed in their duty of care. (Most of these people thought that he did leak the documents, but his state of mind was such that he didn’t know what he was doing and the army should have picked up on this a long time before the documents were leaked).
2. There is no way that he could have done it. (He wouldn’t have had the time, the clearance and availability of a suitable commercial internet link).
3. He did do it but it is not a crime because he exposed wrongdoing (self explanatory).
Interestingly more people including some ex-army thought that he didn’t do it than those that went for the idea that it is not a crime because he exposed wrongdoing.
I was surprised how well educated the public were about this and was pleasantly shocked how many had carried out enough research to come up with the Duty of Care argument.
There was a number of people that were anti war however I noticed that there was no need to argue a point with these guys; all that they wanted to know was where to sign the petition.
One thing that I have learned is that you need to keep your wits about you when doing public events to support Bradley. Being prepared to jump to one of the three arguments above is not always easy.
There is little point in just talking up an anti war stance because all that you are doing is preaching to the converted. Bradley needs mainstream support.
Another interesting day on Sunday, quite a few more people who did not know who Bradley Manning is. Even got stopped at the petrol station on the way back by some guy who wanted to know who Brad is.
I am now concentrating on working on my pitch which is definitely lacking something at the moment. I need to keep the passion, make it bite-sized and try and steer away from the elephant in the room (why are you doing this?).
Hopefully if I have the time in the next couple of weeks I am going to make some info boards up. Also going to get a table for handouts and a petition, get a collection tin and print some stickers to hand out like they do for other fund raisers.
Plans are afoot for big things at the end of August and all offers of help with the project would be gratefully received – Tim at Bridge Accrington‘s the man to be in touch with.
All the above was originally posted on our facebook page, should you not have visited us over there yet…
Bradley Manning Emergency Rescue will be appearing at the following events over the course of the summmer… with more to be confirmed! Full details have also been added to our events calendar.
2nd-3rd July – Eden Camp Modern History Museum in North Yorkshire.
16th-18th July – Weeting Steam Rally in Norfolk
6th-7th August – Odiham Fire Show in Hampshire
13th-14th August - Sandtoft Trollybus Museum, near Doncaster
3rd-4th September - Boston, Lincolnshire
… I want to put something together for this one in support of David House as well as Brad. Not sure what yet, but I am thinking some sort of Bostons unite kind of thing. As far as I am concerned David has had the decency to stand by Bradley 100% so he deserves my support.