British GLBT actions for Bradley Manning

Pride London 2011 takes place in a couple of weeks’ time and we are delighted that supporters of Bradley Manning will be well represented there. Queer Friends of Bradley Manning are organising a walking group on 2nd July. Do let them know if you want to be involved.

Queer Friends of Bradley Manning

Queer Friends of Bradley Manning

We also hope very much to have the campaign represented at Brighton Pride later this summer.

Payday Men’s Network together with the Global Women’s Strike are long-standing friends of this campaign and we’re very grateful to them for urging GLBT organisations worldwide to do similarly. The full text of their open letter may be read here, but here’s an excerpt:

That LGBTQ organizations and press have ignored his case is particularly outrageous in the US, where many such “representatives” of the LGBTQ community campaigned ardently for repeal of the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy against Gay men and Lesbian women serving openly in the US military, in effect championing our ‘equal right to kill’. Why are they not going all out to defend a gay brother’s right to refuse to kill? Why is Bradley not being championed publicly as our gay hero, splashed all over the LGBTQ press to mobilize urgent support to get him released!

We say “There’s no pride in the slaughter of others!”

We take pride in our LGBTQ sisters and brothers who refuse to be killers, such as gay Filipino/Native-American Stephen Funk, the first US soldier to be convicted and jailed for refusing to fight in Iraq; Mehmet Tarhan, gay Kurdish military refuser in Turkey, whose torture and imprisonment were ended by an international campaign in which grassroots
LGBTQ organizations were prominent; and now Bradley Manning.

The campaign against the punitive conditions of Bradley’s confinement at Quantico has likewise shone a light on the solitary confinement and other torture endured by many tens of thousands of prisoners, not only but especially in the US. The blueprint for Bradley’s treatment at Quantico, for Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and Baghram, is the US gulag of
civilian prisons, where most prisoners are people of color, and where especially those perceived as LGBTQ may endure endless sexual violence.

If Bradley Manning has done as alleged, his brave act is a huge service to humanity and has saved many lives. His chance of a fair trial was undermined when Barack Obama stated publicly that “He broke the law.” We invite everyone, all who stand for justice, but first of all his LGBTQ sisters and brothers and their organizations, to join the growing
worldwide campaign for freedom for Bradley Manning.

Finally, no roll-call of GLBT support for Bradley Manning would be complete without mention of Peter Tatchell‘s enormous contribution. We were thrilled to have Peter speak at our #march20 action outside the US embassy and he has given a sequence of strong statements on Bradley’s case. We would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his continued support.

Peter Tatchell

Peter Tatchell

Update

Queer Friends of Bradley Manning will be holding a banner-making event this Sunday (26.06) in preparation for Pride London. Please do contact them if you’d like to join in.

We’ve just added details of a Free Bradley Manning contingent at Chicago Pride to our events page. This means supporters of Bradley Manning have – or will be – represented at Pride events in West Hollywood, San Francisco, Chicago, Hawaii, London and (hopefully!) Brighton. This is truly impressive.

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