Bradley Manning is accused of releasing documents to the Wikileaks website, and on the date of the action had been in solitary confinement for 301 days. Besides the solitary confinement, Manning has also been the victim of various torture techniques, being deprived of both sleep and exercise as well as forced nudity.|
In this 12 minute video, a members of Veterans for Peace, Chapter 72, explains the reasons for the civil disobedience action while a mock cage is being unloaded and set up on SW 5th street adjacent to Pioneer Square. Then a member of that organization, Malcolm Chaddock, is locked in the cage and immediately begins to strip down to flesh colored long johns, portraying the torturous indignities the U.S. government is forcing upon an American citizen.
Throughout the roughly 1/2 hour Direct Action event, Chaddock remained in the cage awaiting any action that local law enforcement would take. The action was taken with full knowledge that there might be arrests. Surprisingly, no such action was taken, and two vehicles belonging to local Homeland Security actually pulled into the lane being blocked by the cage and turned on their emergency flashers to warn motorists of the blockade.
Chants during the action included, "I am Bradley Manning, you are Bradley Manning, we are Bradley Manning." Others included: "exposing crime is not a crime, free Bradley Manning;" "arrest the real criminals, free Bradley Manning;""Bradley Manning is not a criminal, Bradley Manning is a hero." Emphasizing these last two chants, the crowd was encouraged to supply names of the real criminals. These names were enthusiastically supplied by many members of the gathering and then written on signs which were held up high during the remainder of the event. Condoleza Rice, Barak Obama, Halliburton, Dick Cheney, CIA/FBI/UN, were some of the favorites. Another sign read "the American Taxpayer."
Reference was made to video footage from a helicopter allegedly leaked by Manning to Wikileaks which showed innocent civilians killed by U.S. Forces in Iraq.
None of these allegations against Manning have been proven in court.
After about a 1/2 hour "Bradley Manning was "liberated." As he was being released a member of Veterans for Peace addressed the gathering stating that this action "doesn't mean anything unless we keep up the pressure, unless we don't just stop with today, we have to keep talking."
A final speaker reminded the crowd that we are the media, that the corporate owned media will never tell us the truth. He claimed that Barak Obama has now jailed more government whistle blowers that all other presidents combined.
There are war crimes being committed around the globe in your name with your tax dollars, and you're not being told about it."
"This stops now!"