Private Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning), who risked her freedom and her life so that people would see the truth about the US occupation of Iraq, is spending another birthday in prison. This is Manning’s fourth birthday behind bars. She was held in solitary confinement (a recognized form of torture) for 10 months, and was sentenced to 35 years in prison for releasing the video now known as Collateral Murder and other information to Wikileaks. Not one person was harmed as a result of the information becoming public.
On the other hand, the men who cooked up the highly profitable (Read more…)
Maybe you thought we gave up and went away? Not a chance. The War Resisters Support Campaign is still working to make Canada a safe haven for people of peace and conscience.
Several US war resisters were forced out of Canada, court martialed, and given harsh prison sentences by the US military. Many more could no longer bear the uncertainty and surrendered themselves to the military. But some forty people who refused to participate in the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, along with their families, are still living in Canada. And we are still fighting for them.
About a (Read more…)
At long last, Iraq War resister Kim Rivera is out of prison and reunited with her family. This is great news, the best news. I should be thrilled, but the whole situation makes me so sad that I can’t muster much joy.
Three days ago, Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera gave birth to a son, Matthew Kaden, in a military hospital in San Diego. As soon as her hospital stay ends (which may have already happened), Kim will be taken back to prison. Her newborn baby will stay with his father and his siblings… but his mother will be forced to finish her prison term. Her release is scheduled for mid-December.
The US Army has rejected all appeals for clemency, and is insisting Kim serve the final weeks of her sentence, even though it means separating a mother and a newborn infant.
Today marks four years since Iraq War resister Rodney Watson requested sanctuary from the First United Church in Vancouver. Watson has been in sanctuary ever since.
We can honour Watson’s sacrifice and his commitment to peace by renewing our demand that the Canadian government allow Watson and all war resisters to live freely in Canada.
Abby Zimet reports on Common Dreams: Days before Bradley – now Chelsea – Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for helping expose U.S. war crimes in Iraq, the Obama Department of Justice filed a petition in federal court arguing that the perpetrators of those crimes – Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al – enjoy “absolute immunity” against criminal charges or civil liability. The filing came in a suit brought by Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother and refugee now living in Jordan, who alleges that the planning and waging of the Iraq war under false pretenses constituted (Read more…)
Some of you may remember when wmtc was obsessed with the War Resisters Support Campaign, a fact that was noticed in some very interesting places. (Hi CIC! Are you still reading?) I joined the Campaign in 2007, then in 2009, I began school for my Master of Information degree.
I managed to stay active in the Campaign during my first two years of school, but by fall of 2011, night classes plus my library page job on top of my regular paid employment forced me to take a back seat. I thought I’d reactivate immediately after (Read more…)
Here are two important things you can do to help support Chelsea Manning.
1. Do whatever you can to work for her pardon. You can sign the petition to President Obama here.
You have to create an account, but that only takes a few moments, and the form accepts Canadian postal codes. Please sign and share widely.
2. Write her. According to her support team, she’s looking forward to being able to correspond with her supporters for the first time. The mailing address will say Bradley Manning, as that’s the only name the military will recognize. But you can and (Read more…)
A while back, I saw a blog post angrily asking why everyone referred to Bradley Manning as a man when it is “known” that he is trans. The answer is simple: out of respect. That’s how Manning was identifying. Period. Anything else was rumour.
Now that Manning’s court martial (fake trial) is over, she has come out as a transwoman. So now we can refer to Chelsea Manning with the same respect.
From Chase Madar, in The Nation: Update, 8/22/2013: Yesterday, Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Today, Chelsea Elizabeth Manning announced through her lawyer (Read more…)
In case you haven’t seen it, this link at Democracy Now! has the transcript of Bradley Manning’s statement, read by his lawyer David Coombs, after Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison. The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. We’ve been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on any traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we’ve had to alter our methods of combating the risks (Read more…)
My thoughts on the Bradley Manning verdict at Socialist.ca: here.
Earlier this week, Bradley Manning’s defense ended its case in Manning’s sentencing hearing. Manning made a statement to the military court: an apology.
Reading it, I thought of 1984, when Winston faces the terror of being eaten alive by rats, and he tells his tormentors what they want to hear. I read the apology and I thought, They have crushed him.
Manning has been tortured – physically and mentally. He has been through an ordeal that few us can possibly imagine. No matter how much we admire him, no matter how we stand with him in spirit or in (Read more…)
Brandon Toy, writing in Common Dreams. I hereby resign in protest effective immediately.
I have served the post-911 Military Industrial complex for 10 years, first as a soldier in Baghdad, and now as a defense contractor.
At the time of my enlistment, I believed in the cause. I was ignorant, naïve, and misled. The narrative, professed by the state, and echoed by the mainstream press, has proven false and criminal. We have become what I thought we were fighting against.
Recent revelations by fearless journalists of war crimes including counterinsurgency “dirty” wars, drone terrorism, the suspension of due process, torture, (Read more…)
Revolutionary thought of the day: This war is murder, this conquest is robbery… If this war be called patriotism then blessed be treason.
Clarence Darrow, 1898, on the Spanish-American war
Amnesty International is calling for the release of war resister Kimberly Rivera, who was forced out of Canada by the Harper Government. Will you please write a letter in support of her release? Here’s how.
If you want to write to Kim, you can reach her at: Kimberly RiveraP.O. Box 452136San Diego, CA 92145-2136
Important Note: The military has very strict (arcane, incomprehensible) rules about what prisoners can receive. Please do not include anything in the letter but the paper you write on. If you send gifts – even stamps, writing paper, or stickers – the letter (Read more…)
While I’m not writing, I hope you will read this excellent article by Matt Taibbi on mainstream media coverage of the Bradley Manning court martial.
I cannot understand why good writers like Taibbi continue to refer to the “Bradley Manning trial”. A trial is, in theory, an impartial hearing, where an unbiased judge and 12 ordinary citizens hear a full range of evidence from both prosecution and defense.
Bradley Manning, by contrast, is being tried by his accusers. The accusers are judge and jury, and they write the rule book.
What’s more, the court martial procedures used by the United (Read more…)
From the War Resisters Support Campaign:
Iraq War Resister Kimberly Rivera sentenced to 14 months in military prison after deportation by Harper government
On Monday afternoon, during a court-martial hearing at Fort Carson, Colorado, Kimberly Rivera was sentenced to 14 months in military prison and a dishonourable discharge after publicly expressing her conscientious objection to the Iraq War while in Canada.
A pre-trial agreement capped the sentence at 10 months of confinement and a bad conduct discharge.
Kimberly Rivera with her husband Mario
Private First Class Kimberly Rivera deployed to Iraq in 2006 and sought asylum in Canada in (Read more…)
We expect Kimberly Rivera to be sentenced today. War resister, prisoner of conscience, peace activist, artist, mother, friend, Kim Rivera is in the hearts of all who know her, all her supporters who stand by her in this time of need.
Kim is being punished for choosing peace over war, light over darkness, love over hate.
She is being punished by the US military, but that punishment was made possible by Stephen Harper, Jason Kenney, and their so-called majority government.
Shame on them. Shame, shame, shame.
Supporters of U.S. war resisters in Canada may be interested in hearing about the War Resisters Support Campaign event earlier this week. A large crowd came out to share a meal, hear an update on the Campaign, and raise funds for legal fees for the court martial of war resister Kimberly Rivera.
War resister Jules Tindungan kicked off the evening by speaking about the letter from Iraq War veteran and resister Tomas Young, which I’m sure you’ve all seen. We watched Young himself read the letter on Democracy Now (here).
It was announced that war resister
. . . → Read More: wmtc: war resister campaign update: behind the tindungan decision
Yesterday, March 19, 2013, was the 10th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. Looking for something to post, I sorted through about a dozen essays and stories online, but nothing reflected the anger and sadness and disgust and urgency and frustration I feel about everything connected with the ongoing Iraq War. I didn’t write something myself, because it feels like I’ve said everything I have to say a good 50 times over.
I’m going to leave my post to Tomas Young. Young is an Iraq war veteran, and he is dying. He was profiled in the documentary “Body of
. . . → Read More: wmtc: ten years on: hate mail to bush and cheney from a dying iraq war veteran and war resister
If you’re in the Toronto area, please join us for an evening of community, information, and fundraising in support of war resister Kimberly Rivera. Kim is confined to the Fort Carson, Colorado army base, while her husband and four children (two of whom were born in Canada) are in Texas. We expect Kim’s court martial to begin on April 29.
WHAT: Ten Years Since the Invasion of Iraq: The case for U.S. war resisters: Fundraising dinner in support of Kimberly Rivera’s legal defense
WHEN: Monday, March 25, 6:00 dinner, 7:00 programme
WHERE: United Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto
. . . → Read More: wmtc: ten years since the invasion of iraq: a fundraiser for court martial defence for kimberly rivera
The Freedom of the Press Foundation has posted the leaked audio recording of Bradley Manning’s statement to the military court in Ft. Meade. In it, Manning explains why he leaked more than 700,000 government documents to WikiLeaks. FPF also has posted transcript highlights, in case you can’t make it through the full 35-page statement.
The US military “court” – that is, Manning’s accusers – are trying to prevent public access to the proceedings, especially Manning’s own statements. We can all help thwart their plans.
Listen to the statement here.
You can download Manning’s statement, in part or in full, and
. . . → Read More: wmtc: hear bradley manning’s complete statement, and help spread his words across the internet
Please watch Michael Ratner, the lawyer representing Julian Assange in the US, reporting on Bradley Manning’s testimony yesterday. Ratner is President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York and the Chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin.
Revolutionary thought of the day: Across the road at the sawmill smoke was coming out of the chimney and Anselmo could smell it blown toward him through the snow. The fascists are warm, he thought, and they are comfortable, and tomorrow night we will kill them. It is a strange thing and I do not like to think of it. I have watched them all day and they are the same men that we are. I believe that I could walk up to the mill and knock on the door and I would be welcome except that they have orders
. . . → Read More: wmtc: rtod