Manning, Motions & Media @ Brecht Forum, 7:30pm

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Date: June 22, 2012


The Brecht Forum
451 West Street (between Bank & Bethune Streets)
New York City, NY

* With Shayana Kadidal, Betty Yu & Emma Cape

This discussion will explore:

1) How the Bradley Manning case (and WikiLeaks) has impacted media, shifted editorial standards, particularly concerning expectations about government openness and transparency, and informed a new breed of advocacy journalists, often working independently from the established press

2) Some of the unique legal issues specific to this case—issues which impact on government transparency, the public's “right to know”, and how journalists are maneuvering through the maze of governmental intransigence both in the legal process of the actual trial and in its failure to commit, in general, to full public disclosure and openness. Manning's own trial seems to have fallen prey to the same government secrecy that WikiLeaks seeks to end: we will look at the recent motion filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) that, if successful, would allow the media and the public to have access to the court proceedings and evidentiary materials; currently, full access has been withheld and denied by the military court.

Finally, the panel will closely consider the critical "aiding the enemy" charge, for which Manning could, if found guilty, be sentenced to life in prison or even face execution. Panelists will discuss the implications of such a charge for government transparency, press freedom and the public's right to know. The unconstitutionally vague charges against Manning include abstract phrases like causing "injury to the United States" and acting "to the advantage of any foreign nation." Panelists will also discuss the government's failure to perform due diligence in obtaining evidence to either prove or refute such charges.

Shayana (Shane) D. Kadidal is a lawyer and writer works with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York City. He is the senior managing attorney of the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative there, coordinating legal representation for the captives held in extrajudicial detention in the United States' Guantánamo Bay detention camps in Cuba.

Emma Cape is the campaign organizer for the Bradley Manning Support Network. She has been advocating for social justice ever since her role in organizing fellow high school activists against the invasion of Iraq nine years ago. She has worked for a number of grassroots political non-profits fighting for human rights and environmental protections.

Betty Yu is the Network Manager for the Center for Media Justice (CMJ), a national movement-building intermediary working to strengthen the communications effectiveness of grassroots racial justice sectors, and sustain a powerful local-to-local movement for media rights and access. She has over 15 years of media justice activism, social justice organizing, and media making experience.

Co-sponsors: Brecht Forum, Citizen Soldier, May First/People-link & War Resisters League-New York City Chapter

Sliding scale: $6/$10/$15