For Immediate Release
June 3, 2013
Contact: Jaron Browne, firstname.lastname@example.org
The San Francisco Trans March will honor Private Bradley Manning on Friday, June 28th from 3-7pm at Dolores Park on the opening of the 2013 PRIDE Weekend. Manning, a member of the LGBT community, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, reached national attention in 2011 when he released a video and documents that exposed the killing of unarmed civilians & news reporters by US forces in Iraq.
In Bradley’s own testimony he stated, “I hoped that the public would be as alarmed as me about the conduct of the aerial weapons team crewmembers. I wanted the American public to know that not everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan were targets that needed to be neutralized, but rather people who were struggling to live in the pressure cooker environment of what we call asymmetric warfare.”
In the first 10 months after his arrest, Bradley was kept in solitary confinement and even forced to strip naked for several days. These conditions were described as “cruel & unusual” by a UN rapporteur on torture, and only ended after substantial public outcry. LGBT community leaders & human rights activists continue to call attention to Bradley’s right to safety and fair treatment.
In April of this year, PFC Bradley Manning was announced as a Grand Marshal of the 2013 San Francisco Pride Celebration. Two days later, SF Pride board president Lisa Williams issued a separate announcement that the SF Pride Board would not be honoring PFC Manning as a Grand Marshal. Transgender activist & author Leslie Feinberg, Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, and many more have added their signatures to the open letter criticizing the decision by the board of SF Pride to rescind Bradley Manning’s appointment as honorary Grand Marshal for this year’s Pride parade.
We join in their statement, that LGBTQ activists fought hard for years to win the right to live free from the fear that we could be targeted with violence deemed acceptable to society at large, simply for being who we are. We members of the LGBTQ community would like to stand in solidarity with others around the world who still must live in fear of violence and oppression, simply for being born into a particular group.
We honor Bradley Manning and join together to work toward a world where all people live in safety and dignity, and all human rights are protected.