Category Archives: Uncategorized

Support Army Private Ryan Johnson, Imprisoned a decade after refusing crimes of his country

Photo by Christopher Anderson / Magnum

Please support US military war resister Ryan by making a tax-deductible donation to his support fund, hosted by Courage to Resist. Doing so will help Ryan through the remainder of his prison sentence, and help Ryan and his wife Jennifer relocate after his release. Donate today:

We at Courage to Resist are reaching out to you to help imprisoned Army soldier Ryan Johnson and his wife Jenna. We’re helping them get on their feet upon Ryan’s expected May release from Miramar Brig in Southern California. Your support is critical to help them begin their next chapter.

Ryan Johnson hasn’t gotten many easy breaks. He lost his father at the age of three. Growing up he would face years of abuse at the hands of a new stepfather. As a teen Ryan escaped into patterns of drug abuse, self-harm, and finally dropped out of high school. Now he endures insult of military imprisonment after literal injury serving the US armed forces. This pall of unfortunate circumstances doesn’t mean there isn’t light in Ryan’s life. He has persevered, with his compassion, kindness, and conscience intact.

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Order drops protection for families of deployed military

keep families togetherFrom Nathan Fletcher’s op-ed published in the San Diego Union-Tribune. February 24, 2017

In 2013, the Department of Homeland Security, at the request of the Defense Department, issue a policy memorandum aimed at preventing the deportation of spouses, parents and children of active-duty service members through a program called “Parole in Place.” Put simply, the program allowed immigration authorities to give the immediate family of military service members a temporary reprieve from enforcement actions based on their immigration status. It specifically barred those with criminal convictions from these protections. … [the new Executive Order] casually dispenses with exercises of executive discretion based on a “specified class or category of aliens.” The administration either did not know or did not care that one of these specified classes included military families. Read the op-ed at the San Diego UT

Chelsea Manning news and updates

Chelsea ManningIt’s still hard to believe that we won Chelsea’s (upcoming) freedom. Chelsea remains imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, until May 17th. While she doesn’t have Internet, she remains in touch with supporters via phone—she usually takes time to hear about her Twitter account (@xychelsea), and dictate new posts.

Chelsea’s attorney Chase Strangio has created the official Chelsea Manning Welcome Home Fund to support Chelsea in the months after her release from prison. The fund has raised over $100,000! Please consider making a contribution.

The final fiscal report of the Chelsea Manning Support Network is now available here [PDF].

In wake of the Chelsea Manning Support Network coming to an end, leading organizer Rainey Reitman shared, “Looking back on 6 year of fighting for Chelsea Manning.” The former domain now forwards to Continue reading

Chelsea Manning Support Network comes to an end

Courage to Resist is proud to have served as fiscal manager for the Chelsea Manning Defense Fund for nearly seven years. Those funds provided Chelsea a legal defense team at trial, funded most of her appeals, supported hundreds of events worldwide, and was immensely important to winning Chelsea’s freedom.

A message from the Chelsea Manning Support Network Steering Committee, originally titled “Chelsea Manning Support Network coming to an end”

December 1, 2016

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing the Chelsea Manning Support Network to an end. We will be transferring the domain to representatives of Chelsea Manning on February 1, 2017, and a new website that will launch early in 2017.

We want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the many thousands of supporters worldwide who joined together to support this campaign, going all the way back to the days following Chelsea’s arrest in Iraq, June 2010. With your help, we were able to successfully cover 100% of Chelsea Manning’s legal fees throughout her court martial (nearly $400,000) and mount a huge publicity campaign to raise awareness about her situation. We are also deeply proud to have contributed toward the ongoing legal fees associated with Chelsea’s appeal (over $400,000). Continue reading

President Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning’s Sentence!

Chelsea Manning Support Network
January 17, 2017

President Obama has commuted all but four months of the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former US Army Intelligence Analyst serving 35-years for releasing classified information. Chelsea’s attorney Nancy Hollander, who spoke with President Obama’s counsel earlier today, confirms that “Chelsea will walk out of Fort Leavenworth a free woman in four months, on May 17th.”

The Chelsea Manning Support Network applauds this decision by outgoing President Barack Obama, and extends our heartfelt gratitude. A commutation can not be reversed by a future president.

“Today’s fantastic news goes a long way to making amends for the brutal treatment Chelsea was illegally subjected to while awaiting trial at the Quantico Marine Brig. It’s tragic that Chelsea had to spend 7-years imprisoned for releasing documents that should never have been classified in the first place, and were clearly in the public interest,” stated Courage to Resist Project Director and Chelsea Manning Support Network co-founder Jeff Paterson. “All of us who worked on Chelsea’s behalf are overjoyed.” Continue reading

Remembering the soldier who stopped the My Lai Massacre

my lai photoDemocracy Now!. December 19, 2016

U.S. military veteran Larry Colburn died on Tuesday of liver cancer at his home in Georgia at the age of 67. He was best known for intervening to stop the 1968 , during the Vietnam War. Colburn was part of a three-person helicopter crew that confronted fellow U.S. soldiers who were slaughtering hundreds of innocent Vietnamese villages. Colburn was 18 years old when he agreed to stand alongside his crew members, Hugh Thompson and Glenn Andreotta. The three threatened to fire on U.S. troops if they continued the massacre.
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Support Chelsea Manning’s petition to reduce sentence

wh-petitionSign the petition in support of Chelsea’s request today!

The New York Times
November 14, 2016

Chelsea Manning, who confessed to disclosing archives of secret diplomatic and military documents to WikiLeaks in 2010 and has been incarcerated longer than any other convicted leaker in American history, has formally petitioned President Obama to reduce the remainder of her 35-year sentence to the more than six years she has already served. Read full NYT article here.

Also: Chelsea tried committing suicide a second time in October
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Troops told to give back thousands in war surge bonuses

fairNPR. October 23, 2016

In most cases, when an employer pays a signing bonus to attract new workers, that payment is understood to be essentially unrecoverable. But the Pentagon has a different understanding — and it’s ordering the California National Guard to claw back thousands of dollars paid to soldiers who re-enlisted to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And in many cases, an employer would also have a tough time arguing that decade-old lapses in its own oversight should trigger wage garnishments and tax liens against its workers. But again, this is the U.S. military … That’s the gist of a report by the Los Angeles Times, which says nearly 10,000 soldiers are now scrambling to pay back signing bonuses [and student loan repayments] that helped the Pentagon cope with the task of using an all-volunteer service to fight two prolonged international conflicts. Read more at the LA Times

Ryan Johnson imprisoned for avoiding Iraq decade ago

johnsonsCourage to Resist. October 10, 2016

Please help support Ryan and Jennifer Johnson during this challenging time by making a tax-deductible donation to their support fund, hosted by Courage to Resist. Doing so will enable Jennifer to make trips to visit Ryan in prison, give Ryan access to phone cards, help Jennifer with medical expenses, and offset some of the couple’s lost income over the next ten months.

US Army soldier Ryan Johnson was convicted of refusing to deploy to the Iraq War, and remaining away from the military for 4,175 days (nearly 11½ years). After surrendering himself to the US Army three months ago, Ryan pled guilty to AWOL and Missing Movement before a “Special Courts Martial” at Fort Irwin, California, on September 26, 2016. Continue reading

Chelsea Manning again thrown in solitary

Chelsea ManningBy the Chelsea Manning Support Network and Fight for the Future. October 10, 2016

After years of inhumane treatment, and having been held in conditions that the UN considers to be torture, Chelsea Manning, the Guardian columnist and whistle-blower who has been in prison for years serving a 35-year sentence for exposing some of the US government’s worst abuses, attempted to take her own life July 5, 2016.

After a 5-day hunger strike last month, the US Army finally agreed to provide her with gender reassignment surgery and the health care that she needs.

Chelsea’s hunger strike is a historic victory for human rights. However, on September 3, a prison disciplinary board decided to punish Chelsea with 14 days of solitary confinement (with 7 days suspended) for charges related to her suicide attempt, and possession of an unmarked book in her cell.

A few days ago, all contact with Chelsea went silent, included previously scheduled calls with support network folks, as well as members of her legal team. We are left to assume that her solitary sentence began without warning. Continue reading