On Thursday, September 6, supporters of Bradley Manning are planning to hold several nonviolent demonstrations around the country. The protests are timed to occur at the same time President Obama delivers his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
This isn’t the first time those advocating for the release of the Army private have clashed with President Obama. In August, Manning activists “occupied” the Obama campaign headquarters in Oakland and Los Angeles in California, as well as the office in Portland, Oregon.
Protesters reportedly targeted the Obama campaign offices in response to a comment made by the President in 2011 wherein he said that Manning “broke the law.” This statement has been interpreted by Manning activists as a declaration of Manning’s guilt before a trial on the merits of the charges has been held.
Some of those participating in the Oakland and Portland demonstrations were arrested, although the event went largely unreported.
“We are planning to replicate [those occupations] on a bigger scale in dozens of cities across the U.S. on September 6, the final day of the DNC, when Obama will be making his acceptance speech,” says Nathan Fuller, spokesman for the Bradley Manning Support Network. “If he said anything on the matter, it’d be better than his silence since declaring Bradley Manning guilty.”
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Photo: CodePink activists hold signs in support of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, the alleged leaker of documents to WikiLeaks, who is currently jailed, during a demonstration outside FBI headquarters in Washington, Jan. 17, 2011: AP Images