By Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist
“God knows what happens now. Hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms… I want people to see the truth… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” That’s an excerpt from an online conversation the FBI attributes to 23 year-old Bradley Manning. Over 50 supporters marched to support Bradley this morning in the 2011 SF Pride Parade.
International human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell recently hailed Bradley a “gay hero” for his known commitment to equal human rights.
Tatchell writes: Bradley Manning is openly gay. He has participated in Pride marches and campaigned against the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” restrictions on gay military personnel. In 2008, he attended a rally in New York to oppose attempts to ban same-sex marriage in California. Manning is also a humanist and a man with a conscience. When he discovered human rights violations by the US armed forces and duplicity by the US government, he was shocked and distressed. He became disillusioned with his country’s foreign and military policy; believing it was betraying the US ideals of democracy and human rights.
For telling us all the truth about the human cost of our own wars, Bradley Manning now faces life in prison or the death penalty. Never before in the history of the U.S. has someone been charged with “Aiding the enemy through indirect means” by making information public. If Americans do not take action now to support Bradley, the outcome of Bradley’s trial could set a chilling precedent for the future of whistleblowers and government accountability.
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Welcome to the Prison Radio Blog. Prison Radio’s mission is to challenge mass incarceration and racism by airing the voices of men and women in prison, bringing them into the public dialogue on crime and punishment, and to illustrate the perspectives and the intrinsic human worth of the more than 7.1 million people under correctional control in the U.S.
While the Prison Radio website is currently focused on recording and distributing the radio commentaries of Mumia Abu-Jamal, this blog will expand that focus to include news, essays and articles, video, music and much more. We will be covering and giving voice to not only Mumia, but to other political prisoners in the U.S. as well, including Lynne Stewart, Bradley Manning, Leonard Peltier. We will cover broader issues around the death penalty, solitary confinement, and prisoner’s rights. This will also be a platform for artists and activists working and creating around these issues.
Our intent is that this material serves as a catalyst for public activism. We seek to have listeners question the costs to society of mass incarceration and the increasing use of the death penalty. We believe prisoners voices and stories will:
- Help shift public opinion toward a more humane view of prisoners
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Prison Radio is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization. Prison Radio is a project of The Redwood Justice Fund which is dedicated to the defense of the environment and of civil and human rights secured by law. Established by Judi Bari in 1994, the foundation embraces a wide array of environmental and social justice projects including:
- Purple Berets, a women’s rights organization dedicated to obtaining equal justice for women.
- Redwood Summer Justice Project, which defends the rights of environmental activists.
- Women’s Justice Center which advocates for Latina victims of violence against women in Sonoma County, California.
- Get Out Of The Military, a small group of dedicated military law counselors working with soldiers who want a discharge and need support through that process. The group also works to decrease suicides and sexual assault and harassment within the military.
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