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Minneapolis emergency protest demands pardon for Bradley Manning

By staff |
August 21, 2013
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Jess Sundin speaking at rally demanding freedom for Bradley Manning.
Jess Sundin speaking at rally demanding freedom for Bradley Manning. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN – About 50 supporters of WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning joined an emergency rally at the Federal Building here, Aug. 21, in response to Military Judge Denise Lind’s sentencing him to 35 years in prison. The protest was called by Free Bradley Manning-Minneapolis and was one of the many held across the U.S. sponsored or coordinated by the Bradley Manning Support Network.

A statement from protest organizers demanded President Obama “fulfill his campaign promises to promote government transparency and protect whistleblowers by pardoning Bradley Manning.”

Jess Sundin, a leader of the Anti-War Committee and one of the activists raided by the FBI in 2010, told the crowd, “According the ACLU, 35 years is the longest-ever prison sentence for leaking government secrets to the media. The government prosecuted Bradley Manning for espionage, but we know that his real ‘crime,’ in their eyes, was to expose the inhumane conduct of the American war machine. He told the world the truth about secrets shared by war criminals. We are here today, because prosecuting this man is the shameful act of cowards, afraid for the world to know what kind of monsters they really are. We are here today, because we know why Bradley Manning has been targeted, and we will not stand by silently while this injustice is carried out in our names.”

Sundin continued, “We will fight for Manning’s freedom, along with that of Lynne Stewart, whose cancer may take her life in prison, where she was sent for her work as a people’s attorney. We will fight for Manning’s freedom, along with freedom for the Holy Land Five, for Somali women Amina Ali and Hawo Hassan and all the Muslim and Arab people imprisoned for sending humanitarian aid to war zones where empire has made it a crime to help one’s fellow man. We will fight for Manning’s freedom, while we stand up against political repression against anti-war activists like myself, against environmentalists, occupiers and anarchists.”