Protesters gathered in support of Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier accused of releasing 700,000 classified documents, on Tuesday (July 30), as a military judge found the 25-year-old soldier guilty of numerous lesser charges, but not guilty of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.
"I just want him to know that he has a lot of support even though it's hard to imagine a just outcome for today. We still want him to know that he has our support and we appreciate what he did," said Baltimore, Maryland resident Barbara Bridges.
The small gathering held signs reading "No Reason for Treason" and "Whistleblowers Keep Us Honest" to show their support for Manning.
"We're going to find out today if this military court marshall is capable of any justice because it is very clear from the court marshall itself that the army failed to prove that he had any intention of aiding the enemy or that he did aid the enemy in any way so we're hoping and praying that justice will prevail and certainly that charge which carries a life sentence even potentially a death penalty should definitely be dismissed," said Gerry Condon who is a member of the Board of Directors of Veterans for Peace.
Military prosecutors have called Manning a "traitor" for publicly posting information that the U.S. government said could jeopardise national security and intelligence operations.
For supporters of Manning, he is anything but a traitor, instead they call him a hero and a patriot.
"As an American and as a retired officer in the U.S. Mary I am embarrassed that we don't allow facts out. That the only way facts get out is when a leaker like Bradley Manning lets them out," said Arlington, Virginia resident Lornda Vanderzanden.
Brooklyn, New York resident Patrick Conway said Manning did a great service to the country and that actions that he took are necessary in a democracy.
"If people like Bradley can't stand up and tell us what our government is doing when it's wrong, ostensibly wrong then we're in a lot of trouble."
Presented by Adam Justice