Though I have been to 17 different Occupy camps and the Kelly Thomas organized efforts here in Los Angeles - I deeply regret that I cannot get back east in time to join my fellow OccupyWS and their OccupyDC associates who are joining the Bradley Manning campers to Rally around and protest at Fort MeadeMaryland this weekend.
Even former Defense Department Daniel Ellsberg plans to join the protest. He was the DOD analyst who leaked the Vietnam War records known as the Pentagon Papers. They will also be joined by former Veteran Lt. Dan Choi, the Gay national leader in the campaign to end Don't Ask Don't Tell. Many are hoping to make it there for Friday morning, December 16, 2011 - as Bradley Manning is supposed to have his preliminary hearing at that time.
Manning was moved to Fort Leavenworth Kansas after his treatment during incarceration drew national attention. You can see details of the story as reported upon by the Baltimore Sun here -
Bradley Manning's detention at the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va. — where he was held from July 2010 until April of this year in a maximum-security, single-occupancy cell drew more national attention. At that time he was placed on a prevention-of-injury order and allowed to wear only a suicide-proof smock at night. this drew concern from Amnesty International and a request to visit from a United Nations torture investigator.
As many of you are aware - I support the protests and feel that both Bradley Manning and Julian Assange are true national heros. They, at great risk to themselves, are incurring the might of the U.S. Government and DOD. They collaborated and published facts that we All needed to Know. As Amnesty International and the United Nations became involved correctly on his treatment - to make it known that abuse is intolerable. We, too, as citizens, need to preserve the integrity of our American soul by holding our public servants accountable to us.
THERE is NOTHING in the United States Constitutions
that grants our tax paid for public servants and/or military
the right to Do Evil in Our Name
Though thousands of police have been Ordered to close down Occupy camps around the country; the 3 month old movement remains a worldwide phenomenon. The Bradley Manning case is one we can all get behind. Unfortunately you write and tell a story, it may - or may not, get its 15 minutes of fame. However, you write a song about it, and people can sing it and hear it forever. Thus we are blessed by Graham Nash, an artist musical who became an American citizen to have the full legal right to speak out against injustice in this country. He is now also doing his part and serving us well with the song Almost Gone by Graham Nash and James Raymond - published on YouTube.
In the Huffington Post story "Bradley Manning Is ALMOST GONE" - Graham Nash is quoted to have said the following - endearing reason why he became a US Citizen;
I became a citizen of the United States of America decades ago mainly because I did not want to be hypocritical, criticizing this country, throwing caustic comments from the sidelines, usually in song, yet not being a true part of this wonderful social network. I also wanted to be able to vote and I wanted to be able to praise the obvious beauty of this country and it's people and the things they stand for, having been brilliantly set out in our Constitution.
Being a citizen means the world to me,
and it also means that I can raise my voice and my opinion.
Graham Nash also states in the HuffPo article, that he thinks the persecution of Bradley Manning is both illegal and immoral. The article concludes with this remark;
Let us all stand up for justice and raise our voices against a two-tiered system -- the one of "one for us, and a different justice system for them."
We have reasons to be encouraged, as fellow DK'r Chris Bowers has pointed out in his Diary "New Poll Shows Occupy Wall Street Support Growing-" there's proof positive that American citizens are no longer content with being Sheeple; enough is Enough already.
As I travel around to various Occupy camps and read reviews here that we at Occupy need to do this, that or the other - I would ask that those who critize take a step back. In 3 months time we have become a worldwide phenomenon and even Matt Taibbi has come out stating he will step in with the NY protestors. We ARE making a difference and I would ask that you get involved - with words encouraging.
If one dones nothing but critcize -nothing critical will get done!
Here at Occupy Los Angeles - a U S Marine went public on the fact that HomeLand Security picked him up for no good reason - showed him a picture he had never seen before of his young son - and warned him to leave the Occupy camp - Or Else!
An attorney (Pete) did quit his elected public position and joined us at OccupyLA. Pete is doing his part, with his own money and time (helped on Real Estate issues) and is currently the founder and manager of "Occupy the Rose Parade"
UNITY is the Key - for it is United we Stand and our own Declaration of Independence said it is our right and our DUTY to throw off tyrannical government.
Please help by doing ANYthing you can to support us - even if it is just "like'ing"