Lisa Williams, President of SF Pride’s Board of Director’s, statement on Friday regarding Manning was so shockingly pro-military and devastatingly false with regards to Manning’s actions, I feel terrified about the sway conservative military organizations can have on “liberal” folks. Williams stated that “Even the hint of support for actions which placed in harm’s way the lives of our men and women in uniform – and countless others, military and civilian alike – will not be tolerated by the leadership of San Francisco Pride”. Our servicemembers were certainly placed in harm’s way, but not by Manning’s truth-telling. They were placed in harm’s way by our country’s presidents and their jingoistic foreign policies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After three years, Manning is facing Court Martial – and SF Pride’s decision to publicly vilify and condemn Manning before trial has even occurred holds the potential to have broad and terrible effects. This Court Martial will be a political battle, and the outcome will have VERY broad implications for the future of truth-telling and First Amendment rights for servicemembers across the board – which, of course, will mean the limiting of the US population’s ability to be informed on the true actions of our nation.
Shame SF Pride. Shame for buckling under pressure. But, further shame for choosing to go beyond that to take a pro-military stance, condemn Manning before trial and completely ignore the potential fallout of your stance.
I, for one, have written to the SF Pride Committee a very simple email asking for the reinstatement of Manning and the retraction of Friday’s statement. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with this suggested text:
Dear SF Pride Committee:
I strongly oppose the SF Pride Committee’s decision to rescind the naming of Bradley Manning as Grand Marshal in this year’s SF Pride. I demand that the Committee reinstate Bradley Manning as Grand Marshal and retract its April 26, 2013 statement regarding Manning and Manning’s actions.
whoever you are….