Today begins the "Article 32" hearing for accused whistleblower Bradley Manning, the first time in 18 months of incarceration that Manning will face a judge. Tonight there's a vigil outside Ft. Meade, Maryland, and tomorrow - Manning's 24th birthday - there will be a big rally in support.
The Article 32 hearing will determine whether Manning's case will go to court martial, or be decided by a military judge, or enter some other venue, at the military's discretion. Many people are referring to this as a "pre-trial hearing", and similarly referring to Bradley Manning's "trial". This gives the impression Manning will receive a fair, impartial hearing by an actual system of justice. But this is not the case. Manning is being court-martialed. That is, his accusers, his judge and his jury are one and the same. How can there be justice?
A friend of mine from the War Resisters Support Campaign will be at the vigil, rally and hearing, so I'll have a first-hand report to share. Meanwhile, the Bradley Manning Support Network now has a great site with lots of information and updates.
Tomorrow, Saturday, December 17, is an international Day of Solidarity in support of Bradley Manning. People will gather in towns and cities all over the world to show Manning he is not alone, that we stand with him, that we honour his courage and truth-telling.
In Toronto, supporters will gather at 1:00 across from the US Consulate, 360 University Avenue. For information on any city, go here.