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Protest song disrupts Obama speech
Fri, 22 Apr 2011 15:17:40 GMT
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US President Barack Obama speaks at a fundraiser at Sony Pictures Studios on April 21, 2011 in Culver City, California.
President Barack Obama's speech at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee has been disrupted as some of the attendees broke into a protest song.

Supporters of whistleblower Bradley Manning interrupted Obama on Thursday as he was addressing a crowd of about 200 donors at San Francisco's St. Regis Hotel, The Huffington Post reported.

Logan Price, a member of the Fresh Juice Party, apparently initiated the disruption. The woman clad in a white suit stood up as Obama was speaking and said, “Mr. President, we wrote you a song.”

At that time, a table of 10 people, who had paid USD 35,800 each to attend the event, started singing a song in support of Private Bradley Manning, who is accused of handing over state secrets to WikiLeaks website.

The song went on to protest Washington's inhumane treatment of Manning. The group was at last escorted out of the fundraiser by the US Secret Service.

The report comes as Manning is scheduled to be transferred to a new prison.

Speaking at a Pentagon press conference on Tuesday, US Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson said that the US soldier is to be moved imminently to a pre-trial jail in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

"We have assessed this is in Private Manning's best interest to move him at this juncture in the case," Johnson said.

Manning has been held in a maximum-security detention facility at Quantico Marine base in Virginia since last July.

The 23-year-old was transferred to the notorious jail after his arrest in Kuwait on May 2010. Manning's lawyer David Coombs has accused Quantico jailers of mistreating his client.

He says Manning is being abused. He is kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and is made to sleep naked.

US defense officials have so far denied the torture allegations. Manning's detention has been the focus of repeated protests from human rights groups.

Manning faces a military court-martial on charges of leaking 720,000 diplomatic and military documents, including a database of military records from the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The leaks include a video of a 2007 US Apache helicopter attack on the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, which killed a Reuters photojournalist and his driver. These secret files were later published by WikiLeaks.

Under the US military code of justice, Manning could face a possible death sentence or life in prison if found guilty.

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