How you can help Bradley Manning while supporting the Occupy Movement
By Emma Cape, Bradley Manning Support Network. October 19, 2011
The high-profile whistle-blowing of which PFC Bradley Manning is accused links closely to the issues that #OccupyWallStreet and other #Occupy protests seek to address. Back door deals between high-level government officials and large corporations prevent the public from being able to keep Wall Street’s influence on government in-check through democratic means. In our statement of solidarity with the #OccupyWallStreet movement, we explain:
Similarly to the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement can draw from information revealed by WikiLeaks that exposes corporate manipulation of our foreign policy. An October 2009 diplomatic cable shows how U.S. diplomatic officials shared sensitive intelligence with Shell to give the oil corporation unfair economic leverage in Nigeria… Another series of cables illustrate how diplomatic officials successfully squashed a proposed increase in the Haitian minimum wage. Pressure from U.S. diplomats on Haitian officials enabled major American clothing companies like Levi’s and Hanes to continue exploiting sweatshop labor in Haiti. Other cables show that Chevron executives worked in tandem with U.S. officials to avoid paying $18.2 billion in court-ordered damages after the energy giant acquired Texaco, which had dumped billions of gallons of waste in indigenous areas.
We know that many people who advocate for democracy and social justice by supporting PFC Bradley Manning have also attended #Occupy protests. Therefore, we’ve decided to put together this post explaining how you, as a supporter of PFC Manning, can help him while attending your local #Occupy protest. Your actions of support for PFC Manning will in turn help create a safer environment for future government whistle-blowers who wish to hold officials accountable to the people who elected them.
1. Collect petition signatures
Our Stand with Bradley Manning petition calls for Bradley to be acknowledged as a whistle-blower and freed. It is directed toward the Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff, two people who have crucial decision-making power in the outcome of Bradley’s case. Signing the petition is also a way for people to be put on our e-mail list to receive weekly updates about the case and actions they can take to help Bradley. Each person who collects 100 petition signatures will be welcomed to our activist team with a free “Free Bradley Manning” t-shirt.
Please go here to download the petition.
2. Collect photos for the “I am Bradley Manning” blog
Our website, iam.bradleymanning.org, showcases thousands of photos of people around the world who are expressing their solidarity with Bradley Manning by helping to put a human face on the campaign. The photo of filmmaker Michael Moore was collected at #OccupyWallStreet. If you have a camera, then simply make a sign which says “I am Bradley Manning” and after someone has signed our Stand with Bradley Manning petition ask them if you can take their photo for the website. If you see a prominent community figure or celebrity at the demonstration, ask them to participate as well. You can upload photos individually here. We regularly feature creative and otherwise notable entries on our facebook page, Save Bradley Manning.
3. Pass out public education resources
As you talk to the #Occupy protestors about PFC Manning, you may find that some people are more familiar with his case than others. The following articles and fact sheets are useful starting points that will help you talk to the public and answer their questions:
- Bradley Manning 1-pg fact sheet
- Bradley Manning Support Network in solidarity with Occupy Movement
- What did WikiLeaks reveal?
- Addressing confusion about PFC Bradley Manning’s case
- Stickers, buttons, and 6″x4″ info cards
To contact the campaign team, you can fill out the form here and the right person will get in touch with you. Select “Donations and Material Orders” to receive stickers and campaign cards. For all other questions about activism and outreach select “Volunteers and Campaign.”
4. Ask others to join you
Public education can be fun with a group. Try asking friends to join you so that together you reach out to more people. If someone from your local community checks the box on the Stand with Bradley Manning petition indicating they are interested in volunteering, ask them if they’d like to help you do local Bradley Manning support either at present or future events before forwarding the petitions to our national office. If you can take photographs of a group doing Bradley Manning visibility at the #Occupy protests, please share them on our facebook page!