Three Nobel Peace Prize Winners Say: Bradley Manning Deserves Americans’ Support for Military Whistleblowing

Bradley Manning, long waiting trial and prison for allegedly exposing war crimes, should be honored, not jailed — say Nobel Peace Prize laureates

Thanks to WikiLeaks, US citizens are better informed about wars prosecuted in their name. We owe Manning honour, not jail time

By Desmond Tutu, Mairead Corrigan-Maguire and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel
The Guardian November 16, 2012
Last week, PFC Bradley Manning offered to accept responsibility for releasing classified documents as an act of conscience – not as charged by the US military. As people who have worked for decades against the increased militarization of societies and for international cooperation to end war, we have been deeply dismayed by his treatment. The military under the Obama administration has displayed a desire to over-prosecute whistleblowing with life-in-prison charges including espionage and “aiding the enemy”, a disturbing decision which is no doubt intended to set an example.
We have dedicated our lives to working for peace because we have seen many faces of armed conflict and violence, and we understand that no matter the cause of war, civilians always bear the brunt of the cost. With today’s advanced military technology and the continued ability of business and political elites to filter what information is made public, there exists a great barrier to many citizens being fully aware of the realities and consequences of conflicts in which their country is engaged.
Responsible governance requires fully informed citizens who can question their leadership. For those citizens worldwide who do not have direct, intimate knowledge of war, yet are still affected by rising international tensions and failing economies, WikiLeaks releases attributed to Bradley Manning have provided unparalleled access to important facts. Continue reading

New Zealand: Solidarity with South African Mine Workers

: Picketing South Africa 20 years on…

17 August 2012

For the first time in 20 years New Zealanders will picket a South African
government institution in Auckland tomorrow in protest at yesterday’s killing
of striking mine-workers by South African police.

The appalling scenes where up to 18 workers were shot dead are reminiscent of
the darkest days of apartheid – the Sharpeville massacre of 1960 and the
murder of black school children in Soweto in June 1976 come immediately to
mind.

The precise details of the killings are unclear but irrespective of this the
blame lies squarely with the ANC government which has been in power for 18
years while conditions have become worse for most South Africans.

The mineworkers strike and the struggle for decent housing, health, incomes
and education are the same struggles the ANC once supported but have turned
their backs on since gaining power.

They have betrayed the core principles of the historic “Freedom Charter” and
instead followed free-market economic policies which has meant little change
in the lives of the poorest South Africans while a wealthy elite, which
includes a few black faces now, has become obscenely rich.

Race-based apartheid has been replaced with economic apartheid.

New Zealanders didn’t protest on the streets to pave the way for a small
number of black millionaires to be created at the expense of the majority.

Last year in a withering attack on the ANC Bishop Desmond Tutu said the ANC
government was in some ways worse than the old apartheid regime and told South
African President Jacob Zuma that the day would come when people would pray
for the defeat of the ANC.

For many that day can’t come soon enough.

The picket will be held outside the new South African consulate in Auckland at
1 Kimberley Road, Epsom, Auckland from 2pm tomorrow, Saturday 18th August.

Included on the picket line will be some veterans of the anti-apartheid
struggle.

John Minto
GPJA Spokesperson
Ph (09) 8463173 (H)
Mob 0220850161
johnminto@orcon.net.nz