Four supporters of accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower PFC Bradley Manning appeared today before a judge in Manassas, Virginia, to face charges stemming from their arrests in March outside of a Marine military brig in Quantico, Virginia. These supporters were arrested along with many others who are outraged at the abusive confinement conditions to which PFC Manning was subjected during the eight months he was held at the Quantico Pre-Trial Confinement Facility. They were detained after military officials reneged on their offer to allow flowers to be placed at an Iwo Jima Memorial located at the entrance to the base.
Among those arrested attempting to lay flowers were veterans and family members of veterans, including Daniel Ellsberg, the “Pentagon Papers” whistle-blower. Instead of accepting their charges and paying fines, these four supporters pleaded not-guilty and chose to assert their First Amendment rights inside the courtroom.