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At about 5:30 PM, the organizer for the rally for Bradley Manning at Oscar Grant Plaza in downtown Oakland told the crowd that Scott and a small band of Vets, Occupiers and other activists had started a sit-in at the Obama campaign office a couple of blocks away. She said that we would be marching over there to support the sit-in and that the rally would continue from there.

In fifteen minutes the Obama office was both surrounded and invaded. Fifty or more people were inside, and perhaps a hundred outside, all chanting

Free Bradley Manning!

Scott Olsen (under the FORWARD sign) and fellow sit-in-ers,
demanding Bradley Manning be freed.

Some time later the police arrived, forced their way in through the back entrance, got most everyone to leave, locked the front doors and commenced to, well, do nothing. Scott and six volunteers remained inside, refusing to leave, four or five police off to the one side, hanging out and shooting the breeze.

This went on until about 8:30 PM, when the police "hostage negotiator" finally told them that they would be arrested if they did not leave in a half an hour.


For reasons I am not clear on, just before time was up, it was decided that Scott should leave the building voluntarily to "have someone on the outside." The six others remained, and at approximately 9:00 PM were all arrested.


A spontaneous march ensued, taking protesters down to the Oakland Police station. Tweets suggest that no further incidents occurred; no one else was arrested. A jail watch continued at the Alameda County jail near the police station to determine if and when those arrested would be released.


Scott Olsen @OlsenVet
I made it home safely. Wish I could say the same for my comrades who got arrested. Wish I could say the same for Brad Manning

Pfc. Bradley Manning @SaveBradley
Many thanks to @CourtneyOccupy, livestreaming this Bradley Manning #vets4brad action in Oakland, after arrests and into the streets. #FF

Alyssa @alyssa011968
#OO #OccupyOakland I feel encouraged. the bravery& persistence of Scott & so many others I've seen here from start

Scott Olsen ‏@OlsenVet
Video taken by me within minutes of us entering the office. Shows us getting pushed by #Obama staffers #Vets4Brad

... over 300 top legal scholars have declared that Bradley’s treatment was a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment,  as well as a violation of the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee against punishment without trial.  Among the signatories is professor Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor who taught President Obama. Professor Tribe was, until recently, a senior advisor to the US Justice Department. --

Photo credit: As usual, Alyssa (kossack Allie123, tweeting as @alyssa011968) took the amazing photos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I sincerely would like to know what... (6+ / 0-)

    Professor Tribe is thinking about his former student's reasoning on this.

    I can't imagine this is his proudest moment.


    Thanks for the diary.

    "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

    by markthshark on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 11:06:04 PM PDT

  •  Bradley Manning and horrific conditions (10+ / 0-)

    From FDL:

    Manning was required to eat all of his meals alone and could only eat his meals with a spoon. He was not allowed to speak with any prisoners. He was given a suicide mattress with a built-in pillow. He was given a “tear-proof security blanket” that was “extremely coarse” and led to rashes and carpet burns on Manning’s skin. The blanket was stiff and would not “contour to his body” so it did not keep him warm. He was not allowed any personal items in the cell. He could only have “one book or one magazine” and when he was not reading the book or magazine would be taken away. It also was taken away each day before he went to sleep. He was not permitted to exercise in his cell. Any attempts to do push-ups or sit-ups would lead to officers ordering him to stop. Every night he went to sleep he had to strip down to his underwear and surrender his clothing to guards.

    Manning had to request toilet paper when he needed to go to the bathroom. He would have to wait for guards to get around to providing this to him. No soap was in his cell. Sometimes when he wanted to wash his hands after using the bathroom, he would be able to, but sometimes he would not. No shoes were allowed to be worn. Initially, he was only allowed one hour of “permitted correspondence” a day. Then, after Oct 27, 2010, that changed to 2 hours/day.

    Constantly, Manning was monitored. Guards checked on him every five minutes asking, “Are you okay?” Manning had to respond affirmatively each time and guards would take note of each exchange in log books. When guards could not see him clearly at night, like when he had his blanket up over his head or when he was curled up against the wall, the guards would wake Manning up and see if he was “okay.” And all of the lights were never turned off. There was also a fluorescent light in the hall outside of Manning’s cell that was kept on during the night.

    These conditions were in addition to the maximum custody conditions imposed, which included being placed in a cell directly in front of the guard post so he could be monitored at all hours of the day, having to wake up at 5 am in the morning, having to stay awake from 5 am to 10 pm every day and not being permitted to lie down or lean his back against the cell wall. He was permitted only 20 minutes of “sunshine call” where he would “be brought to a small concrete yard, about half to a third of the size of a basketball court.” In the yard, he could walk around with “hand and leg shackles” on, while a Brig guard walked at his “immediate side.” The guards gave him athletic shoes that had no laces and would fall of when he tried to walk. Manning chose to wear boots so his shoes would stay on while walking. He would typically walk in “figure-eights” and was not allowed to “sit down or stay stationary” during “sunshine call.”

    The Defense motion declares that such conditions were a violation of Manning's constitutional rights and hence the judge should dismiss all charges against Manning with prejudice.

    Again from FDL

    A more than one hundred page defense motion detailing how Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of releasing classified information to WikiLeaks, was subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment while held at Quantico Marine Brig has been made public. The motion on “unlawful pretrial punishment” asserts officers at the brig made a decision to hold Manning in the harshest conditions possible, regardless of his psychological health. It concludes, as a result of “flagrant violation” of Manning’s “constitutional rights,” the judge should dismiss all charges with prejudice or, at minimum, grant “meaningful relief in the form of at least 10-for-1 sentencing credit for the 258 days PFC Manning inappropriately spent in the equivalent of solitary confinement.”
  •  Scott Olsen left before the arrests (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, jrooth, jpmassar

    so he could upload this video he’d taken just after entering the building.

  •  Honestly... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, exlrrp, jpmassar

    I appreciate this diary for what it is. Great. But how is protesting against this president going to beat a man that is a liar, and thief, and a cheater? Seriously? I mean, there is only so much I can take here, and the feverish hatred that the right has against this president scares me, and the money with which they wield their one-sided, racist message chills my bones.

       We are talking about the very survival of medicare. We are talking about ending the war in Afghanistan. We are talking about battling against an evil that many of us have encountered before, but not with as much advantage and power and money.

        And we have this???? This is what the left talks about???? This is what FDL gives a shit about???? Come on! Look, to be honest, I don't give a shit about Manning. I give a shit about my sons being able to access the very same social programs that I DID! I'm disabled, and only here today because SOMEONE BEFORE ME THOUGHT ABOUT MY GODDAMNED ASS!

        So let's keep our eye on the ball here, folks. Manning? Yeah, how about we stop bashing the president and help this embattled president get back into the white house????

    Breathe. If you can, you ain't dead yet.

    by Socratic Method on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 01:06:10 AM PDT

    •  And you know what? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, jpmassar

      maybe what I posted was wrong. And selfish. I accept that. But I hold our safety net in very high regard, though it is a pittance of what other countries have.

          And I'm not suggesting anyone not cover this on this blog. As with everything, the community will decide what is most important.

           So sorry about the outburst. I'll leave more interested users on this issue to deal with my comments.

      Breathe. If you can, you ain't dead yet.

      by Socratic Method on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 01:14:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It wouldn't be a Manning diary... (5+ / 0-)

      ...without someone dropping in to condemn anyone who refuses to forget that we've thrown him into a black hole.

    •  And I don't give a shit about (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      John Kelly, jpmassar, Shawn Russell

      what you don't give a shit about.

      The fact that Mitt Romney is considerably worse than President Obama dosen't relieve us of the moral obligation to pressure our "leaders" to do the right thing - to not behave immorally.

      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

      by jrooth on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 06:29:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm still waiting for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    someone to turn on Scott Olsen: "What, does he want Romney elected?!!"  or for someone to insinuate we are all racists because we care about a white guy getting his civil liberties trampled on behalf of the national security industry without writing an equally long diary simultaneously about the (very real issue) of prison mistreatment of people of color, all for the real purpose of getting us to shut up, fall in line, and SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT!

    Then, it will be a real Brad Manning diary.

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