Occupy London gathers today for Bradley Manning and this Sunday walks for peace
A day after accused WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing began in the US, Occupy London, UK Friends of Bradley Manning, Veterans for Peace, London Catholic Workers and others will meet today for a gathering outside the US Embassy at 2pm. 17 December marks Bradley Manning’s 24th birthday, the second that he has spent in detention.
Naomi Colvin, a supporter of Occupy London and organiser with the Bradley Manning Support Network said: “Bradley Manning is a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize yet his pretrial hearing is only starting now, some 19 months after he was first arrested in Iraq.
“The conditions of his detention continue to be the subject of an official UN investigation and his lawyer has expressed doubt about whether he can receive a fair trial. We do not know who was responsible for the disclosures of military and diplomatic information released into the world by WikiLeaks, but whoever it was deserves our support as a whistleblower and a hero.”
Occupy London supporters will walk for peace
Tomorrow Sunday 18 December, peace groups of all faiths and none, will walk from Occupy London’s occupation beside St Paul’s Cathedral to the peace camp at Parliament Square – the longest continuous peace protest in the country. During the walk they will deliver an invoice for the cost of recent wars, to the War Cabinet in Whitehall.
12pm The Bank of Ideas
2:30pm The War Cabinet
3pm Parliament Square
Hundreds of people are expected to join in the walk, expressing their opposition to UK government’s policies overseas, especially in Afghanistan. They will also be voicing their concern at all future threats of war, particularly towards Iran.
Organisers of the peace walk said: “After 10 years, the war in Afghanistan is at its bloodiest yet. Far from winding down as politicians claim, the violence is increasing. The recent attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers shows the dangerous potential for escalation. Nearly 400 British soliders have been killed and at the current rate it will not be surprising if that tragic figure is reached by New Year. Meanwhile tens of thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed, more than anyone bothers to count.
“Now the government, together with the US, is threatening a new war on Iran. This is despite the fact that the recent IAEA report contained no new evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. The western powers seem to be doing everything possible to increase tension with Iran. The expulsion of Iranian diplomats in response to protests at the British Embassy in Tehran closes down one of the last channels for negotiation. This kind of brinkmanship can only antagonise the Iranian regime. Any attack on Iran would have unimaginable consequences.
“These wars are not only unjust, they also cost billions of pounds. To take just one example, the war in Afghanistan costs £4.5bn a year, the same amount being cut from public sector pensions. These wars are waged only in the interest of the 1% – a government cabinet of millionaires and their friends in the oil and arms companies.
“We the 99% demand peace. We stand for a world free from austerity, corporate corruption and war. This is the kind of world that Occupy London and other occupations worldwide represent, from Cairo to Barcelona to Oakland. To this end we will be handing in an invoice for the wars of the past ten years to the War Cabinet on Whitehall at 2.30-3pm.
“Join with us on Sunday 18 December 18 to say no to the continued war in Afghanistan, no to any future attack on Iran, yes to world peace and peace in the city of London.”