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Ear to the Ground

Steer Clear of Manning Protests in Iceland

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Posted on Aug 24, 2013
savebradley (CC BY 2.0)

A laminated picture of the WikiLeaks whistle-blower.

As though there weren’t already enough paranoid and unfounded warnings coming from American officials, the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik sent out a cautionary message Thursday regarding Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning supporters. The emergency notice advised Americans to be wary of traveling to Iceland, or worse, walking by the embassy downtown, for fear of the protesters. The alert, according to The Daily Dot, read:

“We urge U.S. citizens to avoid the immediate area if possible, and to exercise caution near any demonstrations that may occur,” the embassy wrote on its official website. Warning that the protest was organized “by the Bradley Manning support network in Iceland,” it also emailed the same notice to Americans who’d registered plans to travel there.

Indeed, activists planned a Reykjavik protest for her; on Facebook, about 150 pledged to show.

What perilous danger American citizens could have faced in Iceland, a country where the U.S. State Department has declared “the threat of political violence is minimal,” is yet unknown. So, on the slight chance of harm during demonstrations in favor of the WikiLeaks whistle-blower who was unjustly sentenced to 35 years in prison, it’s probably best not to set foot in Iceland. After all, political activism is contagious, and the effects of it spreading farther could be dire to the U.S. government.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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