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More than 50 individuals from activist organizations and their supporters gathered at Horton Plaza on September 19 to demand the release of Army PFC Bradley Manning. The Army intelligence analyst was arrested and jailed for allegedly leaking video of U.S. Apache helicopter pilots killing innocent people in Baghdad, including two Reuters news staffers, and seriously wounding two children.

Self-described “labor organizer and queer activist” Michael Anderson read the resolution demanding the release of Manning. He introduced speakers Loraine Reitman of the Bradley Manning Support Network and Chuck Wynet, representing Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

Reitman reported that $50,000 has been raised for the Manning defense fund. Wynet said, “That young man Brad Manning represents the finest of the soldierly virtues. He saw something that was flat-out wrong. He is a soldier who swore to defend the Constitution. He did what he had to, damn the consequences. He's a hero.”

Other organizations that participated included San Diego Coalition for Peace & Justice, Green Party of San Diego, San Diego Chapter of Veterans for Peace, and San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (SAME).

Manning is being held in the Marine Corps’ brig at Quantico, Virginia. He faces 52 years’ imprisonment for leaking a classified U.S. military combat video.

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sbohac Sept. 20, 2010 @ 10:51 p.m.

Like Daniel Ellsberg, the American public is better off because one person spoke up about a grave wrong that our government was hiding from us. Unlike Ellsberg, Manning is in the military and doesn't have whistle-blower protections. Write your newspaper and to the president and let everyone know that transparency is fundamental to democracy, Manning is being jailed for defending democracy!

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