Caravans Set to Arrive from Multiple Occupy Encampments
Occupy Wall Street participants will join hundreds of supporters of accused WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning on Friday at Fort Meade, Maryland. PFC Manning’s pre-trial hearings begin on Friday. About 50 people will depart from Liberty Square at 5:00 am Friday morning via chartered bus, arriving in Fort Meade as the hearings begin at 9:00 am. New York-based supporters will stay at Saint Stephens Church in Washington, DC and camp at Occupy DC in McPherson Square on Friday night. On Saturday, December 17, they will march and hold a noon rally along with supporters from Occupy DC and across the country.
“Having closely covered the WikiLeaks releases and Arab Spring as a journalist, as well as helping organize the original action to occupy wall street on Sept 17, I know for myself there would be no occupy movement without the alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning,” says Alexa O’Brien, a writer at wlcentral.org and one of the founders of usdayofrage.org, which helped organize the occupation of Wall Street in New York City and four other American cities on Sept 17.
The bus trip was proposed by the WikiLeaks Truck working group of Occupy Wall Street and passed unanimously by the New York City General Assembly late last Saturday night.
“Occupy Wall Street owes a huge debt to Bradley Manning. He has been subjected to torturous conditions and is now facing 52 years in prison for the alleged crime of standing up for truth and justice,” says Melanie Butler, an organizer with CODEPINK: Women for Peace and a member of Occupy Wall Street, who helped organize the bus trip. “He is a hero of our generation and we are honored to stand in solidarity with him on the 3-month anniversary of the movement he is charged with helping create. The information he is accused of releasing contributed to Occupy Wall Street and democratic revolutions across the Middle East. He is charged with democratizing information for the 99%.”
This Friday will be PFC Manning's first appearance before a court and the first time he will face his accusers after 18 months in confinement. Over fifty solidarity demonstrations are planned across the worldwide Occupy movement for Saturday, December 17th, which is also Bradley Manning’s 24th birthday and the 3-month anniversary of OWS.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16 at FORT MEADE:
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.
8:00AM EST to 5:00PM 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 9:00 AM.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17 at FORT MEADE:
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.