Democratic viewpoints on politics, policy and activism

OKC Supporters Celebrate the Commutation of Chelsea Manning's Sentence

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The Center for Conscience in Action has been actively involved in advocacy work for Chelsea Manning since 2010 shortly after she was arrested for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks. (She was then known as Bradley.)

In that time, we have organized marches, public forums, vigils, talks, letter-writing campaigns, petition drives, Twitter storms and more for the whistleblower who was born and raised right here in Central Oklahoma. We have written articles and blog posts, tabled, held annual birthday parties, and marched in the OKC Pride Parade. We sent staffperson Rena Guay to attend several days of her press conference in 2013.

Today we celebrate the happy conclusion of our Chelsea Manning project, as President Obama has commuted the bulk of her sentence and she will be released from the Army’s prison at Fort Leavenworth.

The following statement should be credited to Rena Guay:

“We are extremely grateful to President Obama for showing mercy for Chelsea and letting her out early. We believe, as do many military law experts, that the sentence was excessive. And we have always felt a special responsibility and honor in keeping Chelsea’s cause alive in Central Oklahoma, her birthplace and childhood home.”

“There was also the added complication of Chelsea’s diagnosis — by military doctors prior to her court martial — of gender dysphoria. Now, she will be able to get the medical and psychological treatment that is recommended, that the military was neither willing nor prepared to provide, including gender reassignment surgery.”

“Finally, Chelsea will be able to speak for herself in a way she has not been able to before, and to be true to the person she is. We look forward to her many future contributions to the area of LGBT and human rights, as well as her unique creative and intellectual gifts. We also hope to organize one more party for her here — at which she can finally attend in person.”

Photos from some of our many actions for Chelsea.

Fighting The White House for the Public Option

I reported late yesterday afternoon that a deal had been made and the White House was talking down the Senate on the Public Option because it wasn’t going to be bi-partisan.  (Never mind that it didn’t stop the White House from signing the stimulus bill earlier this year)

So, a local group in Maine has launched an ad targeting Sen. Olympia Snow who represents a state that went for Obama by 58% to 40% of the vote. They also started a national petition to the President to show support for the Public Option.  I urge you to sign it and see how we can show the White House that its not ok to play politics with our health care for the appearance of bi-partisanship with the Party of No.

“Every day, insurance companies deny care and let people die. Getting one Republican senator’s vote is not worth delaying reform — too many real lives are at stake. We need you to fight and state clearly that anything less than a strong public option is not change we can believe in.” Sign here.”