About 30 arrested at rally for Wikileaks suspect

Wearing T-shirts and carrying signs bearing the smiling image of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, hundreds of people rallied Sunday outside the base where he’s being detained on charges of providing classified data to Wikileaks.

About 30 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.

Daniel Ellsberg, a Manning supporter who leaked the so-called Pentagon Papers in 1971, noted that some of the documents Manning is accused of leaking contain reports that U.S. troops did not intervene to stop the torture of detainees by Iraqi forces. In light of that leak, Manning’s detention is ironic, he said.

Solitary confinement is “a form of torture, and as such, it’s illegal internationally and domestically,” Ellsberg said. “It’s giving lie to President Obama’s promise to end torture. It’s happening right here to an American soldier in an American brig.”

Ellsberg was one of the protesters arrested Sunday. An organizer had a list of 30 people he saw being arrested, a number consistent with what an Associated Press reporter observed at the scene. Short scuffles ensued as dozens of officers attempted to push the protesters, some of whom were seated on the pavement, away from the intersection.

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