Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bradley Manning Supporters to Protest at SF Pride Office


WHAT:     Bradley Manning Supporters to Protest at SF Pride Office

WHERE:     Outside SF Pride Office, 1841 Market Street
(btwn Octavia & Guerrero), San Francisco

WHEN:     Monday April 29, 2013 @ 5pm

CONTACTS:    Lisa Geduldig: (415) 205-6515 -
Michael Petrelis: (415) 621-6267 -


San Francisco, CA - A group of gay activists has called a protest against the San Francisco Pride Committee’s rescinding of naming as a Grand Marshal openly gay whistleblower, Bradley Manning, a US Army soldier who was arrested in 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed classified material to the website Wikileaks. Manning was charged with a number of offenses including communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source and aiding the enemy. The 25 year old’s trial is expected to begin in June 2013.

The action is being organized by gay peace and social justice activists Michael Petrelis,  Tommi Avicolli Mecca, and Lisa Geduldig.

"Our message to SF Pride is that they should make Manning a Grand Marshal of this year's Pride March and Celebration because of his brave act of whistleblowing against the military industrial complex," said Petrelis. "We are fed up with marriage and military concerns sucking the oxygen out of what used to be a queer movement and Pride March and Celebration about social justice for queers," Petrelis added.

Some don’t think Manning should be a Grand Marshal of the parade, albeit in absentia—that he doesn’t represent or further the causes of LGBT people. Co-organizer Geduldig points out, “He's an antiwar hero, a whistleblower who is gay. He was lipsynching to Lady Gaga while downloading classified documents. It doesn’t get more gay than that.”

Is SF Pride turning its back on activism and dissent? In a statement from Lisa Williams, San Francisco Pride Board President, rescinding the Grand Marshal honor to Manning she says,“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.” Read Williams’ entire statement here:

The organizers are asking participants to carry “I Am Bradley Manning” signs and to wear Manning masks, which can be downloaded here:

Schedule & Speakers

5:00pm    Gather outside SF Pride Office, 1841 Market Street
(btwn Octavia & Guerrero), San Francisco

5:15pm    Speakers include:

Michael Petrelis (Gays Without Borders): Will speak on global gay issues

Tommi Avicolli Mecca (Queer activist for past 43 years): The history of Pride

John Caldera: Honorably Discharged US Navy Corpsman

Carmen Simon (ACT UP)

Related articles and links:
Glenn Greenwald, “Bradley Manning is Off Limits at SF Gay Pride Parade, but Corporate Sleaze is Embraced”

Tommi Avicolli Mecca, “Sometimes It's Hard to Have Pride in Pride”

Bradley Manning Support Network web site: