Bay Area honors Bradley Manning and human rights struggles; vet present

June 16, 2011
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Jeff Paterson described the persecution of Bradley Manning by the military and the distortions of his case by the Obama adminstration and the media. Photo Richard Bermack

The 75th Bay Area reunion, held in Berkeley, California, on Memorial Day, was graced with a surprise guest. Looking spry and mobile at age 95, Delmer Berg, one of the five surviving veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, took the floor. The Columbia, California, resident advised the audience to keep up the good fight and to be wary of what the mainstream media says about current affairs.

After a long ovation, the theater became quiet as the names of the recently deceased were read. Included on the list were two stalwarts of the Bay Area, Nate Thornton and Hank Rubin.

Vet Delmar Berg with ALBA director Marina Garde. Photo by Jeannette Ferrary.

The program focused on the parallels between the internationalism of the Lincoln Brigade and the obligation to respond to human rights issues today. Peter Carroll, acting as MC, explained that the local vets had been in the forefront of humanitarian aid campaigns for the Soler Children’s Hospital in Havana, for ambulances and wheelchairs in Nicaragua, and for medical aid to anti-apartheid groups in South Africa. This tradition reinforces the newly created ALBA-Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism. A 15-minute clip of the New York ceremonies, including Judge Baltasar Garzon’s acceptance of the first ALBA-Puffin Award, drew spontaneous applause.

Jeff Paterson, head of the Oakland-based group Courage to Resist, discussed the case of Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of releasing government documents in the Wikileaks case. Among those documents is evidence that the U.S. government tried to influence Spanish judges in dealing with cases of torture at the Guantanamo base in Cuba and to have Judge Garzón removed from the case. Manning is accused of aiding the enemy when, in fact, like the information released by Daniel Ellsberg, the information Manning is accused of releasing reveals to the American public the atrocites that are being committed in their name. For more on the case, go to www.bradleymanning.org and www.couragetoresist.org.

Bruce Barthol at the Bay Area event. Photo by Richard Bermack.

The day climaxed with an enthusiastic program of Spanish Civil War songs, performed by Randy Craig, Tony Marcus, Barrett Nelson, Heather Bridger, and director Bruce Barthol. Richard Bermack organized the slide show that accompanied the performance, including his photographic portraits of the vets.

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One Response to “ Bay Area honors Bradley Manning and human rights struggles; vet present ”

  1. Ernst Berg on May 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Way to go Dad!

    All of his life he has sounded the warnings!

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