We call for all charges against Bradley Manning to be dropped and for his immediate release. Blowing the whistle on war crimes is not a crime!
When we heard that Tim Price's new play the Radicalisation of Bradley Manning was to be performed by National Theatre Wales in Pembrokeshire, Cardiff and Flintshire during April, starting with Tasker Millward, the school Bradley attended as a teenager in Haverfordwest, it seemed an ideal opportunity to organise a series of solidarity actions and events to coincide with these performances. Our aim was to raise awareness of, share infomation about and generate support for Bradley across Wales.
On Friday 13th April, there was an event for Bradley Manning at the local Picton community centre in Haverfordwest, the interactive exhibition including a mock up of the 6' X 12' cell at Quantico where Bradley was held in solitary confinement. Ben Griffin was joined by Catholic Worker and ex-prisoner of the US Ciarion O Reilly to speak on 'War in the 21st century', Ben from the point of view of an ex SAS soldier turned peace activist and Ciaron from the point of view of a lifelong anti-war activist. The exhibition was left in place for those attending a Transition supper at the same venue that evening. Vicky Moller hosted further talks by Ben and Ciarion on Saturday on Saturday 14th near Newport.
On Wednesday 18th, we set up our quiz board and info stall at Chapter Arts in Canton. It was still school holidays, so we had a lot ofchildren passing through. People wrote letters of solidarity to Bradley, others tried their hand at the quiz, took flyers and stickers and stopped to talk. Other days we were busy putting up posters and distributing flyers, spending time in the library at the exhibition and making links with Cardiff activists.
During the day on Saturday 21st, two of us attended the CAAT regional meeting in Cardiff where we had a stall for Bradley Manning. That evening, the Red and Black Umbrella squatted social centre hosted a big-screen viweing of the live streamed play followed by a discussin. On sSunday afternoon, we were out on the streets with a multiple banner hang out at a major road junction by the entrance to Bute Park and in front of Cardiff Castle. The Royal Horticultural Show in the park meant there was a constant stream of people walking past the banners. There was a comedy night planned for Sunday evening. Good venue and a shame more people didn't turn up, but we enjoyed great music from Jack Omer including his Song for Bradley.
Bradley Manning was back in court in the US on Tuesday 24th April. We organised a day of action with a Free Food, Free Bradley Manning! stall with Food Not Bombs Cardiff, followed by a banner hang to dry out our wet banners and a screening of Jim Spione's Oscar nominated short film Incident in New Baghdad in the evening. The film considers the infamous 'Collateral Murder' incident, footage of which Bradley Manning is accused of leaking, from thepoint of view of Ethan McCord, a US soldier present at the scene who rescued two injured children and who has gone on to speak out against US wars. This event was organised with UNA Cardiff & District and CND Cymru, and was sponsored by the University of Cardiff Centre for Applied Ethics.
North east Wales
The last event of the tour took place on Sunday 29th April, with a gig for Beadley Manning at the new cultural centre in Wrecsam: Saith Seren. The evening featured an eclectic mix of music, poetry and prose in English and Welsh. Performers included Lawrence Huxham, local folk band Offa, Vic Button, Frank Bowman and Hazel Ogden, along with poets Les Barker, Sion Aled Owen, Aled Evans and Lindi Carter. Bridie Przibram and Lindi read extracts from Bradley Manning 'in his own words'. Lawrence, Les, Lindi and Sion Aled performed specially composed pieces for Bradley, while Ian Chesterman of Offa added a final verse for Bradley to the Peter, Paul and Mary song ' If I were free'. All the performances were relevant and thought=provoking and came together in a fitting finale to a tour dedicated to this brave young man at the mercy of the US for daring to tell the truth.
For more infomation and to get involved. please go to
Wise Up for Bradley Manning
International Solidarity network
For 2earlier post about Bradley Manning
from teifidancer go here