Wearing T-shirts and carrying signs bearing the smiling image of Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, hundreds of people rallied on Sunday outside the base where he is being detained on charges of providing classified data to WikiLeaks.
About 35 people were arrested by police in riot gear after they refused to vacate an intersection in front of the entrance to Marine Corps Base Quantico.
The rally was held along with more than two dozen others around the world to protest Manning’s detention in Quantico’s brig.
Manning is held alone in his cell for all but an hour a day. At night, his clothes are taken and he is given a suicide-proof smock to wear to bed. Manning’s lawyer has repeatedly complained that Manning’s strict confinement conditions are punitive, a charge the military has denied.
The military maintains that Manning’s treatment complies with US law and military regulations, and it has said that some of the conditions are needed to prevent him from harming himself. He faces nearly two dozen charges, including aiding the enemy, a crime that can bring the death penalty or life in prison. Army prosecutors have told Manning’s lawyers that they will not recommend the death penalty.
David House, a friend who has visited Manning about 15 times since September, told the protesters that Manning appreciated their support.
“It’s stuff like this that gives Bradley hope,” House said.
Daniel Ellsberg, a Manning supporter who leaked the so-called Pentagon Papers in 1971, was one of the protesters arrested on Sunday.
Officers handcuffed some protesters and led them away after they refused to leave US Route 1 in front of the base.
Short scuffles ensued as dozens of officers attempted to push the protesters, some of whom were seated on the pavement, away from the intersection. Many sat beneath a yellow banner that read, “Caution: Whistleblower Torture Zone.”
Prince William County police said in a statement late on Sunday that about 35 people were taken into custody and charged with unlawful assembly and careless interference with traffic. One protester was also charged with assault and battery of an officer.
The heavy police presence at the rally included officers from six agencies, mounted officers and tactical vehicles.
Several leaders of the rally wanted to lay flowers at an Iwo Jima memorial at the base’s entrance, but were kept about 12m away by police who had set up barriers.
Colonel Thomas Johnson, a spokesman for the Marine Corps Combat Development Command at Quantico, said access to the memorial was denied because protest activity is not permitted on base grounds.
“We’re pleased that people were able to express their first amendment rights in a manner that did not infringe upon base property,” Johnson said.
Manning, a former intelligence analyst and self-styled “hactivist,” is accused of leaking a raft of Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, more than 250,000 confidential US Department of State cables and a military video of an attack on unarmed men in Iraq.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
A Malaysian student whose cellphone was stolen while he was sleeping has tracked down the culprit: a monkey who took photo and video selfies with the device before abandoning it. Zackrydz Rodzi, 20, on Wednesday said that his mobile phone was missing from his bedroom when he woke up on Saturday. He found the phone’s casing under his bed, but there was no sign of robbery in his house in Johor state. JUNGLE When his father saw a monkey the next day, he searched in the jungle behind his house. Using his brother’s cellphone to call his own device, he found it covered