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LETTERS—We should campaign until Chelsea Manning is set free

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Issue 2666
Free Chelsea Manning
Chelsea Manning has been imprisoned again (Pic: torbakhooper/Flickr)

Readers should support Chelsea Manning in her refusal to testify to the US Grand Jury.

In 2010 Chelsea Manning was court-martialed for passing on classified army material to WikiLeaks and was given a 35 year sentence. She served seven years—nearly all the first year in solitary confinement, amounting to torture.

But the establishment will not leave her alone. She has been imprisoned again and faces fines of $1000 a day for refusing to testify again.

Chelsea was serving in Iraq when she realised that prisoners of the US army were being handed over for torture at the hands of the Baghdad government. Her whistle blowing was a protest against this treatment.

Contrast this treatment with that of another US citizen who handed over classified information.

Former general David Petraeus went on to become Director of the CIA, in which role he divulged sensitive information about ongoing military and intelligence operations.

Albeit he didn’t do this for the public good but to enhance the career of his lover at the time, it was still illegal.

Is Petraeus facing years of imprisonment and unpayable fines? No. He receives a military pension of £164,000, holds a prestigious fellowship at Harvard Kennedy School and is Chair of KKR Global Institute remunerated at over £800,000. If you want to book him to speak he will charge you up to £120,000

Julian Assange faces extradition and indefinite detention in the US.

Edward Snowden is in de facto exile in Russia for exposing the illegal US bulk surveillance programme.

Tony Blair lied resulting in millions of dead and wounded, creating millions of refugees and ruining countless lives.

Let’s campaign to hold to account the real perpetrators of violence and inhumanity.

Miriam Scharf

East London

Support Bradford NHS fight

I would be grateful if Socialist Worker readers could make a generous donation to the Bradford Unison union health branch’s strike fund.

You may have read about the dispute, which involves Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust trying to create a “wholly-owned subsidiary” to run the estates and facilities department.

It would mean the transfer of 600 staff out of the NHS into a company, effectively stripping them of their terms and conditions.

The NHS works best when we all belong to the same team, which is why union members want to remain directly employed by the NHS.

And that’s why 300 Unison members voted by 71 percent in favour of strikes.

Porters, cleaners, catering, security and others struck from 8 July to 15 July, and are currently on a two-week strike.

This dispute is high profile and has significant bearing on the rest of the NHS as it could deter other trusts from considering similar plans.

The strike fund is there to support the lowest paid NHS frontline staff, on £9 an hour.

A day’s wage is the difference between paying the rent, paying the bills and putting food on the table so please give generously. See details on pages 10&11.

Amandeep Singh

Unison Bradford health branch secretary

Nazi Tommy Robinson—a man of many convictions

Surely Gin Putland’s letter last week was a little hard on the jailed Nazi Tommy Robinson, or “2 percent Tommy” as he’s known after the European elections. After all, he is a man of conviction.

2005—jailed for 12 months for assault.

2010—arrested for public order offence.

2011—convicted for football hooliganism.

2011—jailed for breaching bail.

2011—convicted of assault.

2011—jailed for Swiss rooftop protest.

2013—jailed for travelling on a false passport.

2014—jailed for mortgage fraud.

2014—convicted for public order offences.

2015—recalled to prison.

2017—convicted for contempt of court.

2018—jailed for contempt of court.

2019—sent back to jail for contempt of court.

John Murphy


Campbell leaves a trail of destruction

Alastair Campbell saying that he doesn’t want to be a member of the Labour Party anymore is long overdue.

Tony Blair’s spin doctor doesn’t belong in Labour anymore—and neither do the others who backed the Iraq war.

His “dodgy dossier,” which was used to justify the war, helped kill a million people in Iraq.

And the only place Campbell should be is in the dock, standing trial for war crimes alongside Blair. Jeremy Corbyn should be using the opportunity to expel all the other Blairites.

Why would Corbyn bat an eyelid over a war criminal who is stupid enough to announce that he voted for the Liberal Democrats? I wonder if we’ll see him join the Lib Dems and reunite with fellow Blairite scumbag Chuka Umunna.

Clinton Fraser

West London

Confusion on Corbyn crisis

The article on Jeremy Corbyn and antisemitism (Socialist Worker 31 July) was unnecessarily confusing.

It describes the actions of Labour peers attacking Corbyn without clearly stating their intention is to bring him down.

They have shown no loyalty—their intention is simply to attack Corbyn as the Blairites that they are.

It describes the actions of the Jewish Labour Movement and the Jewish Leadership Council, but there is no explanation of who these organisations are.

Many of their members are not even supporters of Labour. Their views are given more weight in the media than they deserve.

Your conclusion is right, the Labour party must stand up for the Palestinian people if it is to defeat this witch hunt

Tom and Maureen Topley


Thatcher’s bible on sale

A Bible owned by Margaret Thatcher is to be auctioned with a starting price of £10,000.

For that sort of money, the buyer must be expecting a riveting read. Perhaps former NUM miners’ union president Arthur Scargill is starring as the devil.

Eddie Sanders


No to a Tories and the EU

We should oppose any Brexit that would be against workers’ rights.

But we have to be prepared to free ourselves from the European Union’s neoliberal constraints.

Jim Hutchinson


Labour should back Remain

Disillusion with Corbyn will feed into apathy or hostility, causing Labour to lose an election, unless he comes out unambiguously in favour of Remain.

Surely the left can see that Brexit is a far right project.

John Benest

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