Ciaron O'Reilly (Giuseppe Conlon House/ London Catholic Worker) | 10.02.2011 09:10 | Terror War
***More info call Ciaron 079 392 90576 (outside uk) +44 79 392 90576
They're in Chains for Us, We're on the Loose for Them!
Julian Assange's Extradition Resumes Friday, Bradley Manning Remains Buried Alive & What's Left of the Anti-War Movement is on the Streets!
I write this as someone who has spent the last 30+ years being dragged through the courts, cells and jails for anti-war ressitance. I've been bashed & sexually assaulted in custody, raided, blacklisted, whiteouted, deported, censored, detained under bogus terrorist legislation. I'm beatup but upbeat, I'm pissed off but not depressed, I'm tired but not out of ideas, I'm hoping that this piece stimulates debate and fast. I'm not risking a life buried alive in American gulag like whoever released this footage http://www.collateralmurder.com/ hoping to stimulate a broader debate about the war. Or like Julian Asssange for circulating it. I don't kiss ass or kick ass... this is an attempt to confront those who pose as anti-war activists, @'s, paid organisers, NGO bureaucrats about their housebroken silence in the face of the state's persecution of Bradley Manning and Juian Assange, right here, right now!
Looking forward to y'all response!
Catholic Workers reading a Litany of the Afghani Civilian and British Military War Dead outside the Extradition hearing of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange
The two great anti-war show trials of our "Iraq/ Afghanistan War" era continue apace. The anti-war remnant (no longer a movement, reduced from 2 million on the streets in Feb 03 to a handful by police infiltration, opportunism or sheer incompetence of the self appointed leadership 10 years into these wars on Iraq and Afghanistan).
As the "Chicago 8" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Seven,
"Catonsville 9" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catonsville_Nine,
"Pentagon Papers" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Ellsberg
and Harrisburg Conspiracy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_McAlister prosecutions marked the Vietnam War period, the persecutions of Bradley Manning and Julian Assange mark the decade long wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. The U.S. Attorney General is presently working on what kind of plea bargain they will offer Manning, after months of softening up torture in solitary & sensory deprivation in the Quantico/Virginia gulag - to deliver Assange. Also reports of a secret grand jury assembled in the U.S. to deal with Assange. The Swedish extradition farce is a merely a sideshow and holding action. The British government did its best to put Assange in solitary and offine in December 10... they failed. They presently have Assange electronically tagged and curfewed.
Bradley Manning and Julian Assange have bet their lives on the assumption that if people in the countries (U.S., U.K., Australia, Ireland, et al) prosecuting these illegal wars, invasions and occupations only KNEW the truth they would be compelled to act against, or at least discuss, the war! Well, the jury is still out on that one, as (with a few honourable exceptions) Bradley and Julian have largely been hung out to dry by the human rights, church, liberal media bureaucrats, authoritarian left and @ scene in England.
On Monday February 7th. 2011, at the Woolwich Court (conveniently located next to the infamous Category A Belmarsh Prison... most probably connected by a trap door under the dock), the world's media were assembled, private and state security deployed. The Catholic Workers http://londoncatholicworker.org/ rocked up, establishing a shrine comprised of images of the Afghani and Iraqi war dead and three men who may spend the rest of their days incarcerated for opposing these wars on the poor.
*23 year old Welsh American U.S. Army Inteligence Officer Bradley Manning http://www.bradleymanning.org/ accused of leaking this footage of a U.S. helicopter massacre of unarmed Reuters journalists and the Iraqi family who arrived at the scene to tend to the wounded http://www.collateralmurder.com/
*Shaker Aamer, Saudi born London resident, husband and father of four Londoners, the only British resident remaining in Guantanamo. The only Britsh resident to be tortured with a British agent in the room.
*Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder
Throughout the day, the Catholic Workers dressed in Guantanamo outfits labelled
- Bradley Manning, Quantico
- Saker Aamer, Guantanamo
- Julian Assange ?????????
- You Next???????????
...reading out a litany of the dead. Names of Afghani civilians and British troops killed in the war, the true nature of which Julian Assange & WikiLeaks have exposed and Bradley Manning is accused of exposing. Sue and Rowan featured in a Channel 4 doc "The People's Supermarket" http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-peoples-supermarket/4od broadcast the night before, served dumpster dived delicacies to those gathered. Folks from "WikiLeaks London Support", "Justice for Assange" and other folks boosted numbers to around 30 max at the court opposed to the extradition and judicial farce. A dissident member of the U.S. military turned up in civvies, but turned away when there was no large crowd to blend into.
The police inspector approached me on the second day, kind of concerned and incredulous, saying
"Ciaron, where is everyone?"
"You tell me, can't work out!
"Maybe they're all in cyberspace, maybe the English peace movement is dead in the arse, maybe the public school boys who run the Guardian, @ scene, Stop the War in England don't like Julian because he's a hippy kid. Maybe they don't like him because he's Australian... too blunt, too direct, maybe they're jealous of him? Who knows? Go figure? But they ain't prioritising mobilising around a free speech anti-war advocate who's looking at a lifetime in a U.S. gulag or getting shanked once he arrives!"
The cops looked sympathetic, confused and left.
The world's media looked confused and came over to interview me. They were kind of desperate and dateless, anyone else who was up for an interview was trying to get into the court's public gallery (have you noticed how Brit court public galleries are designed to accommodate the least number of the public?... no one seems to raise this issue as they prioritise scrambling for the remaining seat... I remember being on trial in Melbourne once, we refused to co-operate until they moved us to a bigger court room to accommodate all of our people... but that was the '80's AND THIS AIN'T THE '80's!!!!)
Anyways I digress, I spotted some Swedish media, went over to blag some snuz http://www.snustobacco.net/ they didn't have any (they said?) but they wanted an interview, then on the way back I was interviewed by Indian TV, then Brazilian, the BBC, ITV, NBC, CBS, SBS (aussie guy who they had been pulled outta Cairo to cover this Assange hearing), French, German, Italian, Rumanian, (the kiwis are probably still rowing to get here in time!), then a Russian stuck an earpiece in my ear and I was live to Moscow!
Meanwhile in Brisbane, my brother Sean and a handful of Catholic Worker folks were being well policed at the British consulate http://www.indymedia.ie/article/98834?&condense_comments=false#comment277841
In Minneapolis, folks speaking out and acting up weren't taking "no" for an answer. The British consulate had abandoned ship, sent staffers home in response to the traumatic possibiity of a few protesters delivering a letter.
We will be back at Woolwich Court/ Belmarsh Prison on Friday morning Feb 11th as this court case resumes. We'll set up camp by 8 am, court case kicks off at 10 am with closing arguments. We will be joined by Razz (and his guitar) who recently played John Lennon in this great Christmas anti-war youtube hit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DOR7Ml4XF0 and also by British a combat veteran of the Iraq war who will join us in reading out the names of the Afghani and British war dead.
Please consider joining us in solidarity with Bradley, Julian, Shaker and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan who remain in the firing line. Join us here or make a public statement there where you are. Julian's mum is heading to OZ ex-PM Rudd's office in Brisbane
Be there or be Square or Be Anywhere! Free Julian Assange! Free Bradley Manning! Free Speech!
Ciaron O'Reilly (Giuseppe Conlon House/ London Catholic Worker)