Monday, July 01, 2013
Marching at Gay Pride to support Bradley Manning
If you are not a San Franciscan, you may have missed the kerfuffle that had me out yesterday getting sunstruck at the annual Gay Pride Parade. Here's a tendentious synopsis: past grand marshals of the parade get to nominate who should receive the honor in subsequent years. Some of them suggested the young, gay, Army private currently being tried for passing to Wikileaks classified documents that the US government found embarrassing and which suggested that US forces had committed war crimes in Iraq. The kid had had enough; the military and the Obama administration have thrown the book at him.
Bradley Manning won the vote among the usual electors to be named Pride Parade Grand Marshal -- and the Pride Committee that puts on the event -- lines up corporate sponsors, arranges police and insurance, etc. -- flipped its lid. The vote could not be allowed to stand and it wasn't. The committee ditched its own procedures and nixed Manning on the grounds he doesn't live here.
So hundreds turned out to march in honor of Manning anyway in a huge contingent far back in the parade.
After standing around for 3 hours, we were more than ready to move once we finally got off.
We were all kinds …
… though I did see a lot of folks who, like me, haven't attended these somewhat overwhelming events for some time.
We weren't all local. These women were from visitors from Ohio.
A motorized cable car carried elders and some disabled folks.
Many (it seemed like most) along the line of march cheered us along.
We believe Bradley Manning served his nation, even if the military can't see it that way.
Yes -- we're proud of Private Manning.