California Voters Bare Skin to Demand that Sen. Feinstein Speak Out Against Torture on Accused WikiLeaks Whistleblower Bradley Manning

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Contact:  Rae Abileah, 415-994-1723,

California Voters Bare Skin to Demand that Sen. Feinstein Speak Out Against Torture on Accused WikiLeaks Whistleblower Bradley Manning

SAN FRANCISCO – From 8-9 am this morning, Tuesday, March 22, a mother of an Iraq veteran and more than a dozen activists with CODEPINK stripped and stood outside Senator Feinstein's office on Tuesday morning during rush hour traffic to dramatize the mistreatment of Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, suspected WikiLeaks whistleblower.

PHOTOS are available for download:
VIDEO footage on youtube:

"When it comes to WikiLeaks exposure of the truth about war, and the current mistreatment of Pvt. Manning, we are appalled at the silence and complacency coming from top governmental leadership, from President Obama to our Congressional leaders, Senator Feinstein, Senator Boxer, and Congresswoman Pelosi," said CODEPINK organizer Toby Blome.

Wearing Bradley Manning masks, and stripping down to their bare skin, nearly a dozen activists stood in the cold early morning weather, with messages to the public to awaken them to the injustice and humiliation done to Bradley. The activists held up signs that read, "Manning: Stripped of his Rights" "Wikileaks Exposed the Naked Truth About War" "War Crimes are Obscene - Whistleblowers are Honorable" and "Feinstein: Exposing War Crimes is Not a Crime". 

Bradley Manning has been held in solitary confinement for over 10 months, with no trial date set, and under very harsh conditions.  He is forced to strip naked before he goes to sleep at night; he is not allowed to nap during the day; and the only meaningful exercise that he gets is the one hour a day he is allowed out of his cell to walk in figure eights.

After meeting with Sen. Feinstein's staff and leaving numerous voicemail messages over the last two weeks requesting a response from the Senator, CODEPINK activists finally received Sen. Feinstein's official reply, through her aide, Mr. Molinari on Monday, March 21, who said, "She doesn't want to get involved," and "We're not going to get involved."

"When our government fails to ensure our constitutional rights, it is a direct assault on our democracy," said Chelsea Byers, a 21 year old college student and CODEPINK activist living in San Francisco.  "In outrage over this injustice and in solidarity with Bradley, we bore our skin to the elements, exposing the vulnerability and humiliation that Bradley endures on a daily basis."

Bradley Manning's mother, who perhaps would have been the one most likely to come forward on Manning's behalf, has significant speech limitations due to multiple strokes.  "Today we stand with Bradley and today we stand with Bradley's mother," said mother and CODEPINK activist Leslie Angeline.