Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

'Do the Right Thing': World Rallies Behind Bradley Manning

International Day of Solidarity as the whistleblower awaits sentencing, faces 11th hour switch in charges

Sarah Lazare

Army private Bradley Manning received an outpouring of support over the weekend as people around the world launched rallies, vigils, and civil disobedience actions demanding the release of the whistleblower.

Yet, inside the courtroom, Manning has been met with anything but support: the whistleblower faces a last-minute change in charges that his lawyers say defies due process and could weaken his defense.

From London to Seoul to San Francisco, organizers in over 40 cities across the globe launched solidarity actions Saturday, as Manning awaits sentencing from the judge overseeing his case. The actions included protests at US embassies throughout Europe, a large banner drop in Florida, and a flash mob in San Francisco, organizers told Common Dreams.

RT reports 40 protests in German cities alone, with the largest German rally in Frankfurt.

"It is very heartwarming to see people support him, but it is not a surprise, and support is growing day after day," Farah Muhsin of the Bradley Manning Support Network told Common Dreams.

"People see that this is not a fair trial, and they see that Bradley Manning did the right thing and the heroic thing, sparking the debate he hoped to spark about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, about US involvement in other countries. Organizing these actions helps spark these debates."

Last week, the presiding judge defied legal propriety and assisted the prosecution by allowing the government to change its charges just days away from sentencing, to accusations that Manning 'stole' portions of databases, rather than entire databases. This puts the defense at a severe disadvantage, as they have spent the previous months defending against charges that are now irrelavent.

Manning's defense is demanding a mistrial on the 'theft' charges. Jeff Paterson and Nathan Fuller of the Bradley Manning Support Network declared in a statement, "If [the judge] does not declare a mistrial on the theft charges, she will be taking the government’s unsupported position yet again, further prejudicing Bradley Manning, whose trial is already rife with injustice."

The weekend protests followed several rallies last week—timed to garner support as Manning enters the sentencing phase—including an action immediately following closing arguments in Manning's trial, in which supporters blocked the gates to Ft. McNair, Washington, D.C. at the office of Major General Jeffrey Buchanan, the trial's convening authority.

Manning's supporters are calling on Buchanan—who has the ability to reduce Manning's sentence—to 'do the right thing' and protect the whistleblower.

Manning is currently facing a possible life sentence for exposing hundreds of thousands of classified documents revealing US war crimes and injustices after the judge presiding his trial refused to drop the 'aiding the enemy' charge.

Manning's supporters have blasted military authorities and the Obama Administration for denying the private due process, elevating his charges, and placing him in solitary confinement torture conditions for nearly a year—severe punishments that critics say are aimed at intimidating whistleblowers.

Update:

The judge presiding over Manning's case announced today that the verdict will be read at 1pm eastern time Tuesday.

_____________________


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'It's Not Coming Out': Bernie Sanders Stands Firm on Medicare Expansion

"It's what the American people want and, after waiting over 50 years, what they are going to get."

Julia Conley ·


'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·


Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·


New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo