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Photos/Report of Free Bradley Manning Direct Action

Today, shortly after noon, Malcolm Chaddock, a member of Veterans for Peace, imprisoned himself in a cell outside Pioneer Courthouse Square in a direct action to raise public awareness of the torture and solitary confinement of Bradley Manning, accused of leaking government documents to Wikileaks.
Today, shortly after noon, Malcolm Chaddock, who had served 4 years in the US army from 1981-85, drove his van down 6th Avenue and parked right next to Pioneer Courthouse Square. With the help of several people, he unloaded a 7' black prison cell on the busy road. As 70 protestors, most wearing "Brad" name tags, shouted out, "Free Bradley Manning," Chaddock went inside the cell. He proceeded to take off his clothes, and stood, wearing flesh-tone body tights to simulate nudity, while covering his face with a picture of Bradley Manning. Chaddock, a member of Veterans for Peace, Chp. 72, did this to express his outrage at what the US military has done to Pfc. Bradley Manning. Manning has been imprisoned for over 300 days at the US Marine base in Quantico, VA., where he is held in solitary confinement, and forced to strip naked for seven hours a day. A big sign placed above the Chaddock's cell called for "Arrest the Real Criminals. Free Bradley Manning."
While he stood inside his "prison cell," protestors held signs with the names of the "Real Criminals:" CIA, FBI, UN, Halliburton, KBR, Bush, Obama, Cheney, Rice, Hillary Clinton, General James Amos, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Others also accused "Capitalism, US Empire, Corporate America, Shell Oil and Blackwater" as the real criminals.
Manning is an Army intelligence analyst, accused of leaking more than 260,000 diplomatic documents, and more than 90,000 intelligence reports on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to Wikileaks, including the horrific video of US pilots in a helicopter attack, firing on and killing unarmed civilians.
Chaddock was approached by Homeland Security agents and the police. Surprisingly, they concluded that there was no need to arrest him, since he was exercising his "freedom of speech." They re-directed traffic for the duration of Chaddock's direct action, which lasted for almost an hour. Chaddock was freed from his "prison cell," to the cheers and applause of the Bradley supporters. He quoted John F. Kennedy, who said, "Anyone can make a difference, and everyone should try."
This direct action was both creative and powerful, and a timely follow-up to Saturday's anti-war march. Many passerbys who saw the action wanted to know what was going on. Some learned about who Manning is and what is happening to him for the first time.
The day before, 350 activists protested at the US Marine Base at Quantico where Manning is imprisoned. In an Egyptian-inspired moment, they broke out of the pen. where they had been enclosed by the local police, to join 3 activists, Daniel Ellsberg, Ann Wright (Ret. Col.) and Elaine Brower, who sat in the middle of the road in an act of civil disobedience. The Virginia State Police reacted violently, stomping and almost trampling on the protestors, and yanking people to their feet by pulling their heads and necks. 30 activists were arrested.
In Washington, DC, 113 activists were arrested on March 19 outside the White House fence during an anti-war protest on the eighth anniversary of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Sunday Action 23.Mar.2011 13:17


On Sunday March 20th there was another rally in Pioneer Courthouse Square to mark the 300th day of Bradley Manning's detention. About 50 folks came out in support. Video and photos of the March 20th event here:


video footage regarding helicopter massacre 26.Mar.2011 20:15


Footage from Democracy Now regarding the military helicopters massacre that was part of the assumed footage that Bradley helped expose:


Bradley Manning is a hero