October 16 2013 marked the one year anniversary of Theresa May's statement to the House of Commons confirming that the UK would not be extraditing Gary McKinnon on charges of hacking to the United States as "a decision to extradite would be incompatible with McKinnon's human rights." One year later and the woman who led that campaign for ten years - Janis Sharp, Gary McKinnon's mother - is sat in front of me smiling a very broad smile. "It's relief, just relief."
Male-to-female transgender people may be seeking the most rugged, stereotypically male profession or job they can ﬁnd. Driven by these psychological impulses, transgender people not only become career military ofﬁcers, but experts report that they also frequently request the toughest most dangerous missions they can ﬁnd, because of this deep need to exaggerate the hyper-masculine gender role...
Our military does not value the service of its transgender members enough to allow them to serve openly. And this causes a great deal of pain to those who having found their careers in the military as they must also hide their true identities while serving - as Chelsea Manning did... US transgender service members may be willing to take a bullet for their country - but the country is not willing to meet their medical needs.
One thing has been made abundantly clear by events over the last week: the real threat to press freedom in Britain stems not from any statutory regulation of the press - against which editors have waged a sustained and indignant campaign over the last year. It stems rather from the application and abuse of existing legislation and norms.
Chelsea Manning should have her crushing 35-year sentence commuted by President Obama to the three-and-a-quarter years she's already spent behind bars awaiting trial and sentence... What purpose is there in further punishing a woman who has, when all's said and done, helped publicise deeply troubling incidents.
Manning has been sentenced to 35 years jail for releasing to WikiLeaks classified documents that exposed US war crimes, lies and cover-ups, while the people who committed these criminal acts have never been prosecuted. What kind of justice system jails the person who reveals a crime, while allowing the crime perpetrators to walk away scot-free?
Different kinds of activism call for different kinds of strategies. Our motivations for stepping back from our routine to act upon the world we live in vary. For some, it is the disappointment with how things are that triggers a desire for change. For others activism comes as an act of solidarity for a fight already started.