Demonstrations merge at Occupy SF to denounce U.S. imperialism
With chants of “Free Egypt! Free Manning!”, two militant demonstrations merged at Occupy SF for a rally and march on Tuesday, Nov. 22, bringing together more than 300 protesters.
A 5:30pm emergency rally had been called in response to the continued repression of activists in Tahrir Square, Cairo, which had already left dozens of activists dead and hundreds injured in the hands of the Egyptian military in five days as Egyptians demand an immediate transition to a civilian government. A demonstration in solidarity with alleged military whistleblower Bradley Manning had also been called the day before in response to the announcement of the start of Manning’s pre-trial hearings, now scheduled for Dec. 16.
Recognizing the common thread of U.S. imperialism linking their causes, organizers merged the two demonstrations at at Justin Herman Plaza, the site of Occupy SF, for a united march and rally demanding freedom for Manning and denouncing U.S. support for the Egyptian military rulers who are trying to put the brakes on the revolutionary process unfolding in that country. Following the joint rally at Justin Herman Plaza, protesters poured into Market Street and marched to the Federal Building at Mission St. and 7th St. for a closing rally. Hundreds of passers-by heard demonstrators chanting, “Egyptian people [Bradley Manning][Occupy SF] under attack, what we do, stand up fight back!”
The demonstration in solidarity with the Egyptian people was called by the Bay2Egypt network in San Francisco, and the Bradley Manning demonstration was called by the Bradley Manning Support Network.
Manning has been incarcerated since May 2010, accused of leaking classified military information while serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. Wikileaks published the classified materials, including the shocking video of a massacre of unarmed Iraqis by a U.S. helicopter. Anti-war forces have rallied around Manning, with actions taking place across the country and messages of solidarity pouring in from around the globe.
(complete article and slide show of demonstration here: http://www.pslweb.org/liberationnews)