A vigil is being held in North Wales in the United Kingdom today for Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, the imprisoned solder who passed classified documents to WikiLeaks.
Manning was sentenced in August this year to 35 years’ imprisonment, with the possibility of parole after eight years, and was dishonourably discharged from the army.
Today’s vigil is being organised by Wise Up Wales and is being held outside the Racecourse in Wrexham, where a rugby league World Cup match between Wales and the USA is being held.
Campaign website poster
The campaign poster inviting people to remember Chelsea Manning
The Western Telegraph — the weekly paper that serves the very southwest of Wales, where Manning spent her teenage years — reports that “The group is fundraising to help her family with the cost of prison visits to the US. A[n] RLWC2013 [Rugby League World Cup 2013] ball has been signed by WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange in support of Manning.”
Wise Up Wales is asking people to remember Manning — now aged 25 — as they attend the match.
And tomorrow the group is at Bristol Crown Court in England, where a police prosecution over the display of “Free Manning” banners continues.
In 2009, Manning was an intelligence analyst with an army unit in Iraq, and had access to classified databases. In early 2010, as Bradley Manning, he leaked classified information to WikiLeaks and confided this to an online acquaintance who then informed on him. Manning was arrested in May that year.
IndyMedia has details of campaign events and says: “Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) is held in a US military jail at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, serving a 35-year sentence for blowing the whistle on war
Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning as a young child
crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, providing hard evidence about the nature of the wars being fought in our names, the ‘war on terror’ and US interference and intervention around the globe.
“American-born Manning has family in Wales and family connections with Ireland.
“Manning was a teenager attending school in Pembrokeshire [southwest Wales] when the invasion of Iraq began in 2003, was 22 when arrested, was held for over three years without trial and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment condemned by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Amnesty and many others.
“As the Rugby League World Cup gets under way with USA, Wales and Ireland all represented, join us to ‘pack a scrum of solidarity’ with Manning and family.”
Manning was born in Oklahoma, mother Susan being originally from Wales. Bradley and Susan moved to Haverfordwest in West Wales in 2001 after she and her husband divorced.