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Center Column Archives
On August 16th, six veterans and activists in Oakland, CA, and six more in Portland, OR, were arrested at Obama campaign offices for occupying the spaces in solidarity with accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower PFC Bradley Manning. Dozens of veterans and anti-war demonstrators coordinated a West Coast set of actions that also included protests in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Seattle.
On July 20th, George Cadman interviewed Medea Benjamin about her new book "Drone Warfare: Killing By Remote Control," which is "a comprehensive look at the growing menace of robotic warfare, with an extensive analysis of who is producing the drones, where they are being used, who 'pilots' these unmanned planes, who the victims are and what some of the legal and moral implications are." Benjamin's book also looks at what activists, lawyers and scientists are doing to ground the drones, and ways to move forward. Medea Benjamin spoke at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Monday, July 23th.
A "Free Bradley Manning" protest was held in front of the county courthouse in Santa Cruz on February 23 to coincide with Manning's arraignment in military court in Maryland on charges stemming from the accusation that he provided thousands of classified defense department documents to Wikileaks. Approximately two dozen community members participated in the demonstration, which was located at the courthouse general assembly location of Occupy Santa Cruz on Water Street.
Eighteen months after he was first detained on accusations of revealing information to WikiLeaks, PFC Bradley Manning appeared before an Article 32 investigating officer for a pre-trial hearing on December 16th at Fort Meade in Maryland. Supporters gathered outside the gates of Fort Meade to call for Manning's freedom and denounce the proceedings as unjust. Supporters have long argued that PFC Manning could not receive a fair hearing due to unlawful command influence from President Obama, who publicly declared in April that the former Army intelligence analyst "broke the law."
On November 21st, the United States Army scheduled an Article 32 pretrial hearing for PFC Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence specialist accused of releasing classified material to WikiLeaks. The pretrial hearing will commence on December 16th at Fort Meade, Maryland. This will be PFC Manning’s first appearance before a court and the first time he will face his accusers after 17 months in confinement. A rally and march in solidarity with Bradley Manning takes place on Tuesday, November 22nd
, starting at 5pm at Market & Powell Streets in San Francisco.
UPDATE: The trial has been delayed. More details will be forthcoming.
On November 17th, a Jerusalem civil court will convene regarding the case of Tristan Anderson, an international solidarity activist from Oakland, California, wounded in March 2009 when he was shot in the head by Israeli border police in Ni'ilin, Palestine. He survived the attack on his life, but has been left paralyzed on one side of his body and with significant damage to his brain. To date, no one has been charged with any crime whatsoever related to the shooting of Tristan Anderson. Also on November 17th
, supporters are invited to an event in Berkeley in solidarity with the trial featuring Tristan, an update from court from Gabby, and a discussion as well as music.
On October 29, the 18th Annual Peace & Unity March was held in Watsonville. The march was organized to honor victims of gang-related violence in Watsonville and to push for an end to the violence in the community. Sandino Gómez, historian for the Watsonville Brown Berets, recounted how the march began in 1994 to honor Jessica and Jorge Cortéz, 16 and 9 years old, who were gunned down because they had witnessed a gang–related crime. Gómez emphasized that “violence is not the solution” and that everyone present “must be part of the solution”.