Springfield Celebrates the Release of Chelsea Manning
The Sangamo Valley Green Party will be hosting a gathering of activists today at 6:00 pm in the Old State Capitol Plaza in Springfield, Illinois to observe the release of Chelsea Manning, following President Obama's commutation of her 35 year sentence. Manning, who leaked evidence of US war crimes to WikiLeaks while serving in the army, was held for months in solitary confinement, a violation of international law. Springfield residents, including Greens, came out in 2012 to raise money for Manning's defense at a local Music for Manning fundraiser and the occasion of her release provides an opportunity for local activists to gather and celebrate Manning's freedom and the inspiration she represents to transparency advocates.
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
"For seven years, Chelsea Manning has endured torture and isolation for seeking to educate the public about the atrocities of our war," said Josh Bailey, who organized Music For Manning in 2012 to raise money to aid in Manning's defense. "Though her detention was reprehensible, her release is a victory to be celebrated in an age where victories so often seem out of reach. I have no doubt that Chelsea's heroic actions will continue to serve as inspiration for so many who are dedicated to building a better world."
Manning's leaks exposed war crimes through releases like the "Collateral Murder" video and the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs, which showed high levels of negligence and criminality amongst the operations of the US and their allies.
"Chelsea Manning's brave and selfless actions opened America's eyes to the realities of US Imperialism and Occupation. Yet, Manning remains the only person seriously punished in the fallout of the leaks. Those who committed war crimes were not held accountable, while the person who exposed their actions was charged with aiding the enemy for being a whistle blower. In response to a release of information intended to inform the public of the crimes of their government, Chelsea Manning faced torture and imprisonment. She paid a huge personal price for telling the truth and we owe her a hero's welcome," said local Green Party organizer and Green Party of the United States Co-Chair, Chris Blankenhorn.