Art as Religion — Ch1: alien.

Originally posted on ChaosCode:

Art as Religion

Chapter One: alien.

I am playing a drum birthed from a single Eucalyptus tree when I see the alien, or rather, when I recoil at the chance to see him, but I know he is there. It is an African Djembe’ fashioned from the breast flesh of the Ghana Coast two-thousand miles away. I am in charge of keeping the heartbeat, the one; the oldest sound in the universe, (the ohm)- the start of the beat.

The amber-resin caked wood of the drum is warm to the touch and I don’t want to leave it. A sulking lion rises from the grain of the body in quiet ceremony — a mottled python locked around his midsection (in razor-tipped grace).

Creatures in perpetual scenes depicting the birth of the sun and the death of the sea adorn the drum in the form of creation myths from…

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Updates via Pvt. Manning Family Fund and WiseUp Wales

News from Leavenworth: Chelsea Manning receives a family visit

Work, Study, Mail Order Shoes and Junk Mail!

But first London

On Monday 3 February, a group of long-time supporters of Chelsea Manning welcomed her aunt Sharon and uncle Joe to Giuseppe Conlon Catholic Worker House in London. Sharon and Joe were to fly out from Heathrow the next day and would be visiting Chelsea at Fort Leavenworth the next weekend along with Chelsea’s sister Casey. This was to be the first visit since Chelsea was convicted last August and sentenced to 35 years in jail (for telling the truth about the wars being fought in our names and more) following over three years in pretrial detention. The Private Manning Family Fund paid for both the Transatlantic and internal flights for this trip along with a contribution to a night in a hotel and other travel expenses. All this came from donations and fundraising events, so a big Thank You to everyone who has given to the fund over the past six months.

Emmy cooked a wonderful lunch for us and we were treated by Razz, John McClean, Dave Turley and Eden Boucher to musical entertainment including solidarity songs that have featured at many of the London vigils for Manning over the past three years. Later the same day Sharon, Joe and Ciaron visited Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy.

As we wished Sharon and Joe a safe journey and a successful visit, we were anxious about how the trip would work out. They had previously been turned away from Quantico Brig and had very nearly been refused entry on their last visit to Leavenworth over documentation requirements they hadn’t been told about in advance, resulting in what should have been a visit of several hours after travelling thousands of miles being cut down to just 40 minutes. When Casey called Joe in the middle of the day to say there was a problem this time over documentation that had to be sorted NOW or the visit would be refused, we feared the worst. So it has been a huge relief for us to hear that the visits were a success and everything went smoothly, although right up to the day before the first visit, Sharon and Joe had still not heard for sure that everything was in order.

leavenworth

Chelsea is focused, keeping busy and in good spirits

Sharon and Joe have brought back reassuring news from Fort Leavenworth of Chelsea’s living conditions, her mood and how she’s occupying her time. Chelsea is busy working on her appeal and has a desk and a typewriter in her room that she can use for this purpose. She also spends a lot of time in the prison library and has a job in the kitchens doing a variety of tasks on a fortnightly rota. The Private Manning Support Network has arranged for her to receive the Washington Post and New York Times every day and family members have set up subscriptions to scientific journals Chelsea requested. Emma from PMSN is assisting Chelsea with organising the educational courses she wants to take and is keeping in regular contact by phone.

The visiting arrangements sound relaxed, with all the prisoners and their visitors in a large visiting room, able to make physical contact and with the guards giving them plenty of space. Casey, who had seen Chelsea during the trial, commented that she was now looking much better and had regained a bit of weight. Chelsea acknowledged this and said she had been under a lot of stress during the trial (no surprises there). The visiting room had vending machines but Chelsea refused the offer of ‘anything you like’ from them, saying that she’s now sticking to a healthy diet and has got used to not eating any junk food!

Chelsea might be successfully avoiding junk food, but there’s no escaping junk mail even in prison, most recently an invitation to buy double glazing and a conservatory! So, how would a double glazing company get Chelsea’s Leavenworth contact details? Probably not from the Write Chelsea section of the Support Network website (follow the link for Chelsea’s address and instructions on how to send her real mail). Prisoners have to wear prison issue clothes but are allowed their own shoes and Chelsea had also been given back her own glasses. She had sent for a new pair of navy and white Converse trainers by mail order; this might explain the junk mail but she’s chuffed with the shoes!

Support for Chelsea in Kansas City

Sharon, Joe and Casey made two visits to Chelsea during their weekend stay in Kansas, on the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, three hours each time. On Saturday evening, Sharon and Joe met Frank Cordaro of Des Moines Catholic Worker, along with Ann Suellentrop and Marc Saviano who spoke about local support for Chelsea and offered to assist family members with future visits including accommodation in Kansas City if required.

The Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence

Chelsea Manning is the recipient of this year’s Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence, presented at the Oxford Union on 19 February. Read more about the award on wiseupaction.info. Report and photos now here.

Bradley Manning and Adolf Eichmann » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Originally posted on Amnesty For Bradley Manning:

Bradley Manning and Adolf Eichmann
Published June 12, 2013 on CounterPunch, reprinted in full here, original post linked above.

Are We All Really Bradley Manning?
by ELLIOT SPERBER

The year 2013 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Hannah Arendt’s controversial critique of the trial of the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, and her work remains unambiguously pertinent. Indeed, not only do the ghosts of the past continue to haunt Eichmann in Jerusalem; another ghost – a ghost from the future – is also detectable among her words. As one reads her text, Eichmann’s polar opposite, Bradley Manning, arises from Arendt’s pages like a photographic negative. Presently on trial for charges that include “communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source,” and “aiding the enemy,” Manning succeeded in accomplishing what Eichmann was tried and executed for failing to do; Manning refused to participate in the commission of crimes against…

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Ways you can continue to support PVT Manning right now

5 of the most important ways you can continue to support PVT Manning right now

1) Sign the petition AND Add your photo in support of PVT Manning’s request for presidential pardon

President Obama has already granted pardons to 39 other prisoners, and a White House spokesperson said he would give consideration to PVT Manning’s request. Showing public support for PVT Manning’s application is the best way to give her a real chance of being released in 3 years, or even sooner. Sign our petition on Whitehouse.gov, and then submit your photo with a personal message at

2) Write a letter to Convening Authority Major General Jeffrey S. Buchanan

Maj. Gen. Buchanan has the power to reduce PVT Manning’s sentence for the first 6 months after the trial. Convening Authorities reduce soldiers’ sentences when they believe the court martial failed to deliver justice. We think PVT Manning deserves clemency more than anyone, and we know it’s important to show it!

3) Write and call the White House

While our current focus is on the White House petition, that is only the beginning of our effort to demonstrate our support for military whistleblowing to the Commander in Chief. You can write to and call the White House in order to express your views in a more personal manner. You can also help by organizing a letter-writing drive with others in your community!

4) Donate to the appeals process

The legal appeals process is the most important avenue to hold the U.S. military to account for the many ways in which PVT Manning’s due process rights were violated throughout her trial, from the months of unjust and abusive solitary confinement to the utter failure to provide a speedy trial. PVT Manning’s legal defense will target appeals at all of the ways in which PVT Manning’s trial violated her rights under the U.S. Constitution and the UCMJ. Your donation can help support this crucial process.

By contributing, you’ll also be helping to uphold Americans’ right to a speedy trial, to be treated as innocent until proven guilty, and to be made fully aware of the nature of the charges against them without fear those charges may change midway through the trial.
5) Write to tell PVT Manning of your support!

Near the end of her trial, PVT Manning expressed gratitude to the countless numbers of supporters who’ve written her letters in prison. Now that the trial is over, she is looking forward to having the ability to write people back.

You can write to PVT Manning at the address below. While the outside of the envelope must be marked “Bradley Manning,” PVT Manning will be happy to accept letters that refer to her with her chosen name Chelsea on the inside (of the letter).

PVT Bradley E Manning
89289
1300 N Warehouse Rd
Ft Leavenworth KS 66027-2304
USA

via The Private Manning Support Network

» Write a letter supporting PVT Manning’s request for clemency! Private Manning Support Network

operatioN|Manning:

EVERY WEDNESDAY!! CALL / WRITE THE CONVENING AUTHORITY #FreeCHELSEA!

Originally posted on Amnesty For Bradley Manning:

Write a letter supporting PVT Manning’s request for clemency!

Reblogged from the Private Manning Support Network

Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Convening Authorities are granted the power to reduce or eliminate a convicted soldier’s sentence.  They use this power when they feel the court martial failed to deliver justice.  As Commanding General of the Military District of Washington, Major General Jeffrey S. Buchanan is the only other individual besides President Obama with the power to ameliorate WikiLeaks whistleblower PVT Manning’s sentence in the immediate future.

We are now requesting letters from professors, law experts, human rights advocates, politicians, artists, veterans, and concerned citizens urging Maj. Gen. Buchanan to reduce PVT Manning’s sentence.  These letters will be submitted as part of an application for clemency from PVT Manning’s legal defense.  These letters, once completed, should be sent to nathan@bradleymanning.org

There are a few important guidelines to keep in…

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Are you sure you’re sleeping well, Mr. Appelbaum?

Originally posted on a.nolen:

Mr. Jacob Appelbaum, representative of the Navy-funded Tor Network, spoke on behalf of Edward Snowden during the 2013 Whistleblower Award ceremony on Aug 31st. The ceremony took place in Berlin, and was organized by the German chapter of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA).

Laura Poitras, who put Snowden in contact with Appelbaum, was also in the crowd.

I’m left with a lot of questions.

Why is Appelbaum, an American with DoD ties and a tenuous link to Snowden, addressing this German-speaking crowd? Couldn’t IALANA find a German-speaking human rights activist to read Mr. Snowden’s message? At the very least, why didn’t Laura Poitras read Snowden’s message herself? Why this persistent promotion of Appelbaum, Laura?

Is the IALANA acceptance speech an attempt to manufacture a meaningful connection between Snowden and Appelbaum now that Putin has tied Snowden’s hands? (Don’t disparage Russia’s American buddies!) Why is Appelbaum’s weak…

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Hope in a time of permanent war

Originally posted on Philosophers for Change:

uscorp7

by Henry A. Giroux

Revolution is not ‘showing’ life to people, but making them live. A revolutionary organization must always remember that its objective is not getting its adherents to listen to convincing talks by expert leaders, but getting them to speak for themselves, in order to achieve, or at least strive toward, an equal degree of participation. – Guy Debord

The war drums are beating loudly and America is once more mobilizing its global war machine. How might it be possible to imagine hope for justice and a better world for humanity in a country that has sanctioned state torture, is about to bomb Syria and kill untold number of civilians, spies on its own citizens, extends the reach of the punishing state into all aspects of society, and inflicts violence on black and brown youth through racial profiling and the machinery of the mass incarceration state?  How does…

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