From Syria to Bradley Manning


June 6, 2013

Dear Activist,

Late one night at the Nobel Women's Initiative “Beyond War and Militarism” gathering in Belfast, Northern Ireland last week, we huddled with a group of amazing women--Yifat from MADRE, Madeleine from WILPF and Lena from Kvinna til Kvinna--to craft a call in the face of the escalating violence in Syria. Nobel Peace Prize winners Mairead Maguire, Shirin Ebadi, Rigoberta Menchu Tum and Jody Williams were the first to sign onto the statement; now we ask you to join them and invite your friends to join you! We will deliver your support to the UN Women in New York City.

Syria is riddled with men with weapons supplied globally by other men. Over 80,000 people have died in Syria's protracted war, and two thirds of the 1.5 million Syrian refugees are mothers and young children. Our voices as women have to ring loudly in opposition to this continuing violence. If Peace Talks ever get started in Geneva, Syrian women need to be well-represented at the table. We call for this, as well as a ceasefire and an end to the supply of weapons from all corners of the world.

We returned from the Nobel gathering in Belfast to rallies and events around the Bradley Manning trial. We attended the opening days of the court martial in Fort Meade. This trial is a historical and pivotal event; if the US Government wins, members of the US military who want to share the truth will have to choose truth over their own lives. Imagine the chilling effect this will have on potential whistleblowers and the media.

Bradley's trial is expected to last 12 weeks, and he needs our support in the courtroom. Let's reflect his bravery back to him. Go for a day, if you can! If you can't join us in Fort Meade, be sure to keep up with the trial and make it part of your daily conversations. Build Bradley's name recognition and help spread the story the media won't be telling. We will post stories daily on our FreeBrad page; please share them widely.

May love prevail over fear,
Ann Wright and Jodie Evans

PS: Diane Wilson is on day 36 of her hunger strike for the Guantanamo prisoners and others continue on daily hunger strikes. We are grateful for all the support for our upcoming trip to Yemen to meet the families of drone victims and Guantanamo prisoners.