Friday and Saturday: Protests and March in Support of Bradley Manning, as His Pre-Trial Hearing Begins

This Friday and Saturday, supporters of accused WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning will gather in Fort Meade, Maryland, to demonstrate in support of the Army Private. On Saturday there will also be a pro-Manning march and rally in Fort Meade in conjunction with Occupy protesters, as well as worldwide demonstrations to mark Manning's 24th birthday.

Here are the details, via the Bradley Manning Support Network

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16:
-- Pre-Trial Hearing

Location:  Magistrate Court, 4432 Llewellyn Ave, Fort Meade, MD 20755.

Most journalists will be seated in a remote viewing area near the courtroom, equipped with closed circuit TV. Media wishing to attend the proceedings should contact the US Army Military District of Washington Public Affairs Office at [email protected] or 202-685-4645.

-- Vigil 08:00 AM EST to 05:00 PM EST

Location:  Fort Meade Main Gate, Maryland 175 & Reece Rd, Fort Meade, MD 21113.

Supporters will maintain a presence outside the base while proceedings are being held. A bus from Occupy Wall Street is expected to arrive by early afternoon. 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17:

-- Rally and March 12:00 PM EST to 03:00 PM EST

Location:  Supporters will meet again at the Fort Meade Main Gate. After the rally, supporters will march one mile along MD 175 / Annapolis Road to Llewellyn Avenue.

Confirmed speakers include Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistle-blower; Lt. Dan Choi, gay veteran and activist; Col. Ann Wright, retired US Army Colonel and diplomat who has been active with the Freedom Plaza occupation in Washington, DC; John Penley, a Vietnam Veteran who is active with Occupy Wall Street; and Michael Patterson, an Iraq War conscientious objector who is active with Iraq Veterans Against the War and Occupy DC at McPherson Square. 

Over fifty demonstrations will take place around the world on December 17 as part of an international day of solidarity for Bradley Manning to mark his 24th birthday.

The Baltimore Sun brings us more details of Manning's trial:

Manning, 23, is scheduled to appear at Fort Meade on Friday for a preliminary hearing on charges that include aiding the enemy and violating the Espionage Act. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

Manning is suspected of leaking field reports from Afghanistan and Iraq, diplomatic cables that included analyses and observations of foreign leaders and governments, and video footage of a 2007 helicopter attack that killed 12 in Baghdad.

The five-day Article 32 hearing is to be his first appearance since his May 2010 arrest in Iraq. It will also to be a return to Maryland for Manning, who lived in Potomac and studied at Montgomery College before he enlisted in the Army in 2010.

It's sure to be an emotional weekend for Manning and his supporters.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at December 15, 2011, 5:06am

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