Tag Archives: grand jury

Statement from Chelsea Manning Regarding Grand Jury and Consequences Associated with Her Refusal

Statement from Chelsea Manning Regarding Grand Jury and Consequences Associated with Her Refusal

Alexandria, VA — On Wednesday March 6, 2019 Chelsea Manning appeared before a Federal Grand Jury in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) and refused to answer questions from prosecutors regarding the release of information she disclosed to the public in 2010.  Chelsea invoked her 1st, 4th, and 6th Amendment protections to provide just cause for her refusal.  On Friday March 8, 2019 Chelsea will return to the court for a hearing wherein Judge Hilton will consider the legal grounds for her refusal.  The following is a statement from Chelsea Manning regarding the Grand Jury and the possible consequences associated with her refusal:

“On Friday, I will return to federal court in Alexandria, Virginia for a closed contempt hearing. A judge will consider the legal grounds for my refusal to answer questions in front of a grand jury. The court may find me in contempt, and order me to jail.

“Yesterday, I appeared before a secret grand jury after being given immunity for my testimony. All of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010—answers I provided in extensive testimony, during my court-martial in 2013. I responded to each question with the following statement: ‘I object to the question and refuse to answer on the grounds that the question is in violation of my First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment, and other statutory rights.’

“In solidarity with many activists facing the odds, I will stand by my principles. I will exhaust every legal remedy available. My legal team continues to challenge the secrecy of these proceedings, and I am prepared to face the consequences of my refusal.”

Chelsea Manning is represented by Moira Meltzer-Cohen, appellate attorney Vincent Ward, and local counsel Chris Leibig and Sandra Freeman.

All are encouraged to support Chelsea any way they can.  To learn more about Chelsea Resists or to donate to Chelsea’s legal defense visit: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/chelsea-manning-needs-legal-funds-to-resist-a-grand-jury-subpoena

Questions regarding Chelsea Manning’s support committee should be directed to ChelseaResists@protonmail.com

Chelsea Manning Continues to Challenge Grand Jury Subpoena, Motion to Quash Denied, Remains Under Seal

Chelsea Manning Continues to Challenge Grand Jury Subpoena, Motion to Quash Denied, Remains Under Seal


Punitive Risks from Opaque Grand Jury Echo Trump Administration Resentment Towards Manning and President Obama’s Decision to Commute her Sentence

Alexandria, VA — This morning a judge in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) denied a motion filed by Chelsea Manning’s attorneys to quash a subpoena compelling grand jury testimony from Chelsea.  Chelsea and her attorneys plan to utilize every available avenue to challenge this subpoena. Chelsea has been compelled to come back to court tomorrow. Following today’s events Chelsea’s support committee, Chelsea Resists!, has issued a solidarity statement:

“Today we stand in solidarity with Chelsea Manning, and her fight against the dangerous and undemocratic grand jury system. Grand juries operate in secret, allowing the government to retaliate against activists and dissidents behind closed doors.

“This case is no exception. By demanding that Chelsea testify and keeping the basic facts of this grand jury under seal, the government today denied the public’s right to see this oppressive process in the light of day.

“Donald Trump and his administration have publicly declared their disdain for Chelsea, and for President Obama’s decision to commute her sentence. Chelsea has stood by the testimony from her 2013 court martial, and this subpoena serves no legitimate purpose. It is a punitive effort to reverse Obama’s legacy, exposing Chelsea to legal hardship and possible imprisonment.

“Even further, this case has profound 1st Amendment implications. It threatens to erode the rights of journalists who publish information in the public interest. The grand jury could also subject Chelsea’s activist networks to intrusive surveillance for engaging in lawfully-protected activity.

“By challenging this subpoena, Chelsea joins dozens of activists who have refused to jeopardize themselves and their communities. After seven years of imprisonment and torture, Chelsea has suffered enough. We demand an end to this vindictive fishing expedition, and the abolition of the repressive grand jury system. #LeaveChelseaAlone!”

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Chelsea Manning is represented by Moira Meltzer-Cohen, appellate attorney Vincent Ward, and local counsel Chris Leibig and Sandra Freeman.

All are encouraged to support Chelsea any way they can.  To learn more about Chelsea Resists or to donate to Chelsea’s legal defense visit: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/chelsea-manning-needs-legal-funds-to-resist-a-grand-jury-subpoena

Questions regarding Chelsea Manning’s support committee should be directed to ChelseaResists@protonmail.com

Chelsea Manning Challenges Grand Jury Subpoena, Support Committee Issues Statement in Solidarity

Chelsea Manning Challenges Grand Jury Subpoena, Support Committee Issues Statement in Solidarity

Alexandria, VA — Chelsea Manning has been summoned to appear and give testimony before a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) on March 5, 2019.  Following a rich history of contributions to activist communities, Chelsea will utilize every available avenue to challenge this subpoena. In support of Chelsea, activists have begun mobilizing through a support committee called “Chelsea Resists!” the following is the first statement from her support committee:

“By serving Chelsea Manning with a grand jury subpoena, the government is attempting once again to punish an outspoken whistleblower for her historic disclosures. We stand with Chelsea in support of her refusal to participate in this repressive and undemocratic process.

“Grand juries are notoriously mired in secrecy, and have historically been used to silence and retaliate against political activists. Their indiscriminate nature means the government can attempt to artificially coerce a witness into perjury or contempt. Chelsea gave voluminous testimony during her court martial. She has stood by the truth of her prior statements, and there is no legitimate purpose to having her rehash them before a hostile grand jury.

“Since her release in 2017, Chelsea has become a prominent public speaker, emboldening countless activists who resist fascism, white supremacy, and transphobic bigotry. Her 2010 disclosures exposed war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and showed the public the true nature of 21st century asymmetric warfare. By employing these tactics against her, the government is using a roundabout method to further punish Chelsea for her past actions, adding to the seven years of trauma, imprisonment and torture she has already endured.

“Since its first day in office, the current administration has attempted to erase every last piece of Barack Obama’s legacy — from the Affordable Care Act to civil rights protections for transgender people. We reject the coercive tactics of the carceral state and its fascist leaders, who weaponize the law to target activists, immigrants, and anyone who dares speak truth to power. Today, we stand in solidarity with Chelsea, as well as all current and former political prisoners who have resisted grand jury repression.”

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Chelsea Manning is represented by Moira Meltzer-Cohen, appellate attorney Vincent Ward, and local counsel Chris Leibig and Sandra Freeman.

All are encouraged to support Chelsea any way they can.  To learn more about Chelsea Resists or to donate to Chelsea’s legal defense visit: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/chelsea-manning-needs-legal-funds-to-resist-a-grand-jury-subpoena

Questions regarding Chelsea Manning’s support committee should be directed to ChelseaResists@protonmail.com

Communities Organize After Grand Jury Decision, Vow Nonviolent Protest in Ferguson & Beyond

Communities Organize After Grand Jury Decision, Vow Nonviolent Protest in Ferguson & Beyond

FERGUSON, MO — At 8PM CT, Ferguson Action issued the following statement in response to the St. Louis County Grand Jury’s failure to levy charges against Darren Wilson for the August 9th killing of Michael Brown Jr.

“We are devastated that the grand jury has failed to indict Darren Wilson in the killing of Mike Brown,” said Montague Simmons Chair of The Organization for Black Struggle.  “All this community wanted was simple justice. Wilson killed an unarmed man and should face a trial by jury. Instead, he benefited from a highly unusual grand jury process, led by a prosecutor with whom the local community pleaded to step down or be removed from the case. Mike Brown was a young man with his entire life ahead of him. He could have been any of us. In fact, since his murder, we have seen more police killings of unarmed Black people. In the last week alone, the killings of Akai Gurley in New York City and Tamir Rice in Cleveland have served as stark reminders that the problems with policing in Ferguson are rampant throughout the country.”

“In this moment, we all have a choice to make,” said Tef Poe, Co-Founder of Hands Up United, “We can stand by while police and their apologists in prosecutors’ offices and city halls continue to kill, harass and criminalize our communities – or stand up in this moment to demand that our elected officials lead and finally deal with our broken policing system.”

“In Ferguson, St. Louis, and in cities throughout the country, people will be taking to the streets to demand justice for Mike Brown and an end to the nonstop criminalization of people of color by police,” said Michael McPherson Co-Chair of The Don’t Shoot Coalition, “As Americans we have a moral obligation, and a constitutionally guaranteed right, to stand up to injustice and oppression. Protest, including nonviolent civil disobedience, is a longstanding American tradition that has been indispensable in transforming this country for the better – especially in gaining equal standing for communities of color. We have every intention of fulfilling this commitment in our protests, and we demand that our rights be respected.”

“In preparation of exercising the right to air our grievances, we have trained hundreds of people in non-violent direct action,” said artist and St. Louis community organizer Damon Davis. “We have organized people around the country to stand up to this injustice that was, sadly, so predictable. This grand jury decision will not deter us. It is a start, not an end. We are all Mike Brown, and Ferguson is everywhere. We need a justice system that protects us all, and we will direct our moral outrage into nonstop, nonviolent action to win meaningful change.”

“This refusal, once again, to ensure Black Americans and the family of Mike Brown the due process granted by our citizenship should be every Americans call to action to demand genuine changes for this failing system,” said Ashley Yates, Co-Creator of Millennial Activists United. “Racial prejudice has no place in society and definitely should not be tolerated in policing or judicial process. The time for change is now.”

Icelandic Parliamentarian, Birgitta Jonsdottir, will Visit NYC in Support of Bradley Manning Despite DOJ Grand Jury Investigation Into Her, Wikileaks

Icelandic Parliamentarian, Birgitta Jonsdottir, will Visit NYC in Support of Bradley Manning Despite DOJ Grand Jury Investigation Into Her, Wikileaks

[NEW YORK, NY]  On Friday, April 5, 2013 Icelandic Parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir will host an evening of art and dialogue in support of jailed Iraq war whistleblower, Pfc. Bradley Manning, at Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Sq. South MAP). A 6pm benefit informal art auction & film screening will be followed by a panel discussion at 8pm.

The panel discussion will feature Jonsdottir in conversation with Alexa O’Brien and Kevin Gosztola, journalists who each have provided extensive coverage of the Manning pretrial proceedings at Ft. Meade, MD, along with Peter Hart, a critic with the media watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting. The panel will be moderated by Sam Seder, host of the political talk show, The Majority Report.

Jonsdottir’s visit comes on the heels of a February 2013 revelation by Iceland’s Justice Minister that, in August 2011, Icelandic lawmakers expelled several FBI agents from the country. An Alexandria, VA Grand Jury Probe is seeking information about Jonsdottir, among others, in relation to Wikileaks, its developers and managers, and Pfc. Bradley Manning. Despite advice from the Icelandic Government not to visit the US until the closure of the Grand Jury, Jonsdottir has chosen to schedule her visit amidst this still-active Grand Jury, citing the urgency of Pfc. Manning’s plight. As Manning’s court-martial trial is scheduled to begin on June 3, 2013, he faces a potential life sentence, if convicted on all counts.

Jonsdottir was instrumental in facilitating Pfc. Manning’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, both in 2012 and again in 2013, with wider support. “I nominated Bradley Manning for the Nobel Peace prize for the first time in 2012 ,with a couple of fellow MPs from Iceland,” said Jonsdottir, “In 2013, I did it again with the same MPs, members from the European Parliament and a former Minster from Tunisia. It is very encouraging to see the growing support for Manning around the world, but most importantly, within the USA.”

Jonsdottir is also suing president Barack Obama over the indefinite detention powers within § 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In September 2012, Judge Katherine Forrest of New York’s Southern District Court enjoined the President from using § 1021(b)(2) in a landmark ruling in favor of Jonsdottir and six other plaintiffs, citing that their work in activism, academia, and journalism could potentially put them at risk of detention under § 1021(b)(2). The Obama administration is currently appealing Judge Forrest’s ruling.

 Large-format prints of single frames from the now infamous “Collateral Murder’” video (disclosed by Manning, published by Wikileaks and co-produced by Jonsdottir) depicting the killing of unarmed Iraqi civilians and two Reuters journalists by US Apache gunfire, will be displayed and sold in benefit of Pfc. Manning.

Bradley Manning Print by Molly Crabapple Limited-edition 17″ x 22″ giclée prints by celebrated social justice artist and illustrator, Molly Crabapple, will also be sold as part of the benefit. For those who want to support the benefit but cannot attend the New York City event on April 5th.  Crabapple’s prints are currently available online to bid upon HERE.  The first 200 highest bids will receive these prints.

The event aims to raise awareness about Manning, now 25 years old, who recently explained in a court statement that he leaked the documents as an act of conscience; to uncover U.S. abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan and to help people in America better understand wars abroad. The event also hopes to raise money for Bradley’s defense fund, a fund for the families affected by the massacre captured in the “Collateral Murder” video , and money for Ethan McCord, the soldier who helped save the children wounded in the attack.

For a list of additional events in NYC with Birgitta Jonsdottir click HERE. To RSVP to Friday’s event via Facebook click HERE.

 

To arrange an interview with Brigitta Jonsdottir while she is in the USA, please contact Andy Stepanian via email at andy@sparrowmedia.net or by phone at 631.291.3010