The US embassy in London will face protests on Sunday 20 March over the fate of a soldier accused of passing confidential information to Wikileaks.
Bradley Manning, aged 23, has been described as a “prisoner of conscience” by human rights activists. The vigil for him will take place in Grosvenor Square at 2pm.
After being held pre-trial for ten months, Manning was informed earlier this month that he faces 22 charges further to the original charge. At least one of them could carry the death penalty.
While the US authorities are being guarded with information about him, he is believed to be held in a 12’ by 6’ cell without windows for 23 hours each day. He is reported to be required to wear leg irons when he leaves his cell for exercise.
Protests have been planned at a number of US embassies across the world this weekend.
In London, the demonstrators will be addressed by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and veteran peace activist Bruce Kent. They will be joined by Ben Griffin, a former member of the UK’s SAS. Griffin now campaigns for the rights of forces personnel and acts as an advisor to Forces Watch.
Daniel Ellsberg, the famed whistleblower behind the Pentagon Papers, has heralded Bradley Manning as a hero.
In a separate development, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is organising a vigil from 2-3pm opposite Downing street on 20 March, "expressing our sympathy with those who may now be affected and call on the government to abandon plans for new nuclear power stations in the UK."