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Manning supporters rally at Quantico gate

March 20, 2011 12:00 am

By Amy Flowers Umble
Twice this weekend, police put plastic riot cuffs on Daniel Ellsberg’s hands.

The man who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971 was arrested Saturday in Washington and again Sunday in Quantico.

Ellsberg was one of about 35 protesters taken into custody for refusing to leave U.S. 1 in front of the main gate of the Marine Corps base.

Hundreds rallied in support of Pfc. Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks.

Manning has been in the Quantico brig since May, awaiting a court martial. Supporters said the 23-year-old Manning is confined to his cell for 23 hours each day. He is given a tear-proof smock to wear to bed, but until recently was required to sleep naked.

To decry these conditions, some protesters donned prison garb and carried signs saying “I am Bradley Manning.” Many wore masks with Manning’s boyish face and shy smile.

They kept their clothes on this time. But at earlier rallies, protesters stripped to their underwear as a visual protest of Manning’s treatment.

The rally began with a spate of speakers. Then the protesters marched to the intersection of U.S. 1 and Joplin Road. There police placed a barricade to keep the rally off the street.

The protest closed U.S. 1 for about four hours for the rally. Even some distance from Quantico, motorists on U.S. 1 encountered significant delays during and immediately after the rally.

--For more on the protest, see Monday's Free Lance-Star

Copyright 2014 The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company.