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Free Bradley Manning Solidarity ActionSeptember 6, 2012
CODEPINK Greater Dallas
In Dallas, what was to be a 2-hour event turned into a 5-1/2-hour series of events. CODEPINK Greater Dallas and allies braved three-digit temperatures to do a one-mile march the the Dallas County Democratic Headquarters to demand justice for Bradley Manning. Although the closing time is 6pm, when we arrived, the office was locked. People could be seen inside but wouldn't answer the door, so we demonstrated outside until a couple of people came out to get into their cars. We approached one man, introducing ourselves, and asked him if we could deliver a petition and over 20,000 signatures. He refused a handshake or any conversation, saying, "They're all down at the watch party. It's at the Angelika Theater. I'm not talking to you. Tell it to them." ...which we took to mean all the other staffers at the office. We took his advice and headed on down to the theater (stopping for mini-demonstrations and "outreach" at a cafe along the way...all the way, followed by police), where several hundred were celebrating and watching the speeches. The police "escorted us," with squad cars waiting outside the building, as we went in to find the person in charge. Several of us went into the theater and sat in the front, thinking that if we weren't invited to present the petition, we might share our thoughts aloud with the crowd. Meanwhile, we went in search of the chairperson. Along the way, we met several people who said they loved our buttons, etc., and we passed out some flyers. We found the Dallas Democratic Party Chair and explained to her that we'd like to present a petition, explain our position, and do a photo op. Happily, she agreed, not only posed for photos, but had her photographer take pics, and promised to put it in the next newsletter with a link to where people can sign it...and to keep a copy in the office. She added that "the guy who's the editor" has probably already signed it. :)
It was a long and hot but rewarding day, and we were surprised and heartened at the positive response. Maybe there is some hope.
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