As I assume most of you on the LNC are aware, hearings have been taking place for the upcoming court martial of PFC Bradley Manning, the WikiLeaks whistleblower, and are set to resume May 21. There is a rally for him in Fort Meade, Maryland, where the trial is being held, on June 1, in advance of the court martial itself happening two days later (see http://www.BradleyManning.org for info on that). I hope the Libertarian Party will have a strong presence there.
In the meantime however, we are already getting publicity standing up for freedom and transparency in a related controversy that has been brewing since late April, when the San Francisco Pride Committee first announced they were honoring Bradley Manning in this year's San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, and then swiftly retracted the honor. This is a major story here in San Francisco and I suspect nationwide in light of the upcoming trial and gay pride parade season, and I and some other local Libertarians as well as members of Outright Libertarians and others around the country are seeking to make the most of it.
We're seeking to organize a virtual parade for Bradley Manning in the form of a series of torch-lighting ceremonies in cities across the country (and perhaps internationally), starting in San Francisco immediately following the parade on June 30, and culminating on July 4 in Washington, D.C. for Independence Day, coinciding with a march on Washington being organized by Adam Kokesh of Adam vs. The Man (although that is a separate event). I've just written up a story on Independent Political Report about our efforts and what's been happening in San Francisco with this controversy -- http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/05/libertarians-organizing-virtual-national-torch-parade-for-bradley-manning/
As noted in that story, we are seeking help from Libertarians across the country to participate in torch-lighting ceremonies where they live between June 30th and July 4th, and film them to go up on YouTube. Please spread the word to your local and regional lists and people you know, and I trust someone on the state chairs' list will forward to that list for further dissemination. Anyone wishing to get involved should contact Outright Libertarians (contact info at http://www.outrightusa.org/joomla25/contact-us ). If we can get a national press release out about this Libertarian project as well, that would be excellent.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
At-Large Representative, Libertarian National Committee
P.S. - Anyone wishing to do a little direct activism is encouraged to call the SF Pride offices and tell them you want them to reinstate Bradley Manning as Grand Marshal for this year's SF Pride Parade. Their number is (415) 864-0831, and their email is info@.... The receptionist who usually answers their phones is nice, so don't be too hard on her, but by all means do make your feelings clear, and if you're GLBTQ or involved with the community, let them know that. Doesn't hurt to mention the LP either of course! To go the extra mile, you might try contacting Pride parade organizers where you live, filling them in about Bradley Manning and the controversy if they haven't already heard, and asking that they honor him in their own local Pride parades in solidarity with supporters in San Francisco. You can find a list of events and dates here -- http://www.nighttours.com/gaypride/ .