A group of entrepreneurial activists have stepped up in Oakland to support the soldier who leaked tons of classified documents on the internet.
They're calling themselves "Courage to Resist," and they're selling merchandise with the face of Pfc. Bradley Manning in order to raise money for his defense fund. So far, they've raised $100,000, though it's unclear exactly who will get the money.
But that task may prove difficult. Manning indicated that he leaked top-secret footage of the US Army killing reporters, but there's no proof that he's responsible for the memos that made their way to Wikileaks. The website deliberately obscures the sources of leaks, so even the administrators do not know the source of the State Department cables.
The Army has carefully restricted Manning's access to the outside world. One recent report by a reporter who visited him indicated that he'd suffered mistreatment in captivity, forbidden from exercising and forced to lie nearly nude under an abrasive sheet.
This isn't the first time the Courage to Resist has taken on the Army. The organization routinely fund raises for conscientious objectors: people who join the Army but refuse to fight.