"FREE ASSANGE! FREE MANNING! FREE SPEECH!"
Four Days of Action announced for Julian Assange and Bradley Manning 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th February.
Cyber, anti-war and human rights activists will today descend on the Australian High Commission and on Monday/Tuesday on the Woolwich magistrates court, while on Saturday there will be a public meeting in Harringay, north London.
FOUR DAYS OF ACTION ANNOUNCED
"FREE ASSANGE! FREE MANNING! FREE SPEECH!"
Friday 4 February: Cyber, anti-war and human rights activists will today descend on the Australian High Commission and on Monday and Tuesday 7 and 8 February on the Woolwich magistrates court, attached to the Category A Belmarsh Prison, to demand freedom for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, presently on restrictive bail and facing extradition, and also for Bradley Manning, the young soldier who is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico Marine Base in USA. The activist groups will join others from WikiLeaks London Support group outside the court.
Saturday 5 February: a public meeting will be held at Harringay's Giuseppe Conlon Hall, which also serves as a 'house of hospitality' for refugees and others in need of help and support. Speakers will include former political prisoner of the US, Ciaron O'Reilly, and a speaker from the support group 'UK Friends of Bradley Manning'. Footage from the 'Collateral Murder' video Manning is accused of leaking will be shown and there will also be live music.
IRISH DISARMAMENT ACTION MENTIONED IN WIKILEAKS
Irish/ Australian anti-war activist Ciaron O'Reilly served 13 months in US prisons for his part in disabling a US B52 Bomber at the now defunct Griffiths Air Force Base in upstate New York on the eve of the 1991 Gulf War. In December 2010 WikiLeaks published secret cables which had been sent from the US embassy in Dublin following the 2006 acquittal of O'Reilly and four other activists of criminal charges in relation to $US2.5 million damage to a US war plane being refuelled at Shannon Airport en route to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. A Dublin jury had unanimously acquitted the activists on all charges but the cables show that US authorities were considering further legal action against the activists through the civil courts. The cables also quoted Irish government making apologetic and dismissive statements about the Irish legal system.
"REPORTING WAR CRIMES SHOULD NOT BE A CRIME"
O'Reilly has said: "Reporting war crimes should not be a crime. The war on Iraq is the crime. I should know a crime when I see one. I have a 30 year criminal history in a wide variety of jurisdictions! The persecution of Julian Assange and Bradley Manning are the great anti-war show trials of our era. They echo the persecution of Daniel Ellsberg, the Chicago 8, the Berrigans and the Catonsville 9 during the Vietnam period. We need to be on the streets protesting as loudly as we can while these two men are in the docks and in the dungeons for their opposition to these criminal ongoing wars on the people of Afghanistan and Iraq."
MANNING'S PRISON CONDITIONS AMOUNT TO TORTURE
"I was talking to a British Iraq combat veteran recently and he reflected on the sophistication of the war machine in prosecuting wars, marketing wars domestically and persecuting anyone who has the courage to oppose these wars. When I was a prisoner of the United States government, they did to me what they are doing to Manning: they isolated me. I was arrested and sentenced in upstate New York and was transported by Con Air to the Mexican border, then driven hours into the Texas outback to do my time in an overcrowded isolated county jail in Pecos. Manning, a US Army intelligence analyst, has been buried alive in solitary confinement in the largest US marine base in the world. His present prison conditions amount to torture in anyone's terms of reference."
BOGUS CHARGES NOTHING NEW
"Many believe that Assange has been hit with bogus charges that will eventually evaporate as a holding action before the British government hands him over to the Americans. At the end of my sentence, I was moved from Texas to Louisiana. I was rearrested on release on a minor immigration charge and was also charged with 'being guilty of a crime of moral turpitude' and an exorbitant $50,000 bail was placed on my head. This is a charge they had previously used effectively against their political target Charlie Chaplain to banish him from the United States. In my case the charge evaporated, as these proposed charges with Assange will also evaporate."
BRADLEY MANNING IS A UK CITIZEN
UK Friends of Bradley Manning have been campaigning for the UK to recognise Manning as a British citizen on account of his Welsh-born mother, and to take steps to protect him as such.
WikiLeaks London Support group have maintained a consitent presence outside of all Assange's bail hearings.
DETAILS OF ALL EVENTS
Friday Feb. 4th 4.30pm-6.30pm Vigil and Speak Out at the Australian Embassy on The Strand, central London.
Saturday Feb. 5th, 3pm Public Meeting at Giuseppe Conlon Hall 49 Mattison Rd. Harringey London N4.
Monday and Tuesday Feb. 7th and 8th, 9am-5pm Vigil outside Julian Assange's extradition hearing at Woolwich Courts, Belmarsh Rd. London SE28.
'These actions are being co-ordinated by the London Catholic Worker, an organisation which offers hospitality to the destitute as well as taking part in nonviolent resistance to war.'
For further information, please contact: Ciaron O'Reilly
Phone 079 392 90576
Email: ciaronx [at] yahoo.com