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Protesters arrested at Quantico as rally for alleged WikiLeaks source turns tense
Ellsberg, who was branded as a traitor for releasing the Pentagon Papers and was later widely embraced by those who opposed the war in Vietnam, said he has supported Manning since his arrest.
"I identify with him more than anyone else I've seen in the last 40 years," Ellsberg said. When he released the Pentagon Papers, he said, "I was willing to go to prison and give my life and be executed."
Jules Orkin, 72, drove from Bergenfield, N.J., to support Manning. He sat on the edge of Jefferson Davis Highway in prisonlike orange garb and with a black bag over his head to demonstrate his belief that Manning is suffering a form of torture.
"I think he served a higher honor to expose things we're doing wrong," said Orkin, who described himself as an Army veteran.
Lisa Cantoni, 43, of Woodbridge said the protests were a disgrace. "We are Americans, and he's supposed to be on our side," she said of Manning. "He should be punished. He should not be freed. . . . That's preposterous."
As demonstrators marched from a muddy staging area, passengers in a car gestured out the window and shouted, "Traitors!" But far more drivers sounded their horns in support.
A police officer shouted directions to the marchers like a broadway director: "Okay, move to your right. . . . Now people with flowers, move this way. . . . Members of the media, you should step to your left."
The instructions infuriated the demonstrators.
One protester started the "Free Bradley Manning" chant, and soon the 400 protesters roared back. When Wright, Ellsberg and the other demonstrators sat sown, police lost control and declared the protest unlawful.
The demonstrators were becoming more emboldened when an announcement that their transportation was about to depart quieted much of the protest.
"The buses back to Union Station will leave for Washington in 20 minutes," said a voice over a megaphone. "They'll start boarding in five minutes."