Story and video by Ford Fischer
Photos by Alejandro Alvarez

Activists with Codepink: Women for Peace gathered today in front of Alexandria, VA’s “Adult Detention Center” where whistleblower Chelsea Manning is currently being held in contempt for refusing to testify to a secret grand jury against Julian Assange.

Manning could technically be held for the full term of the grand jury, no more than 18 months.

“We think she’s taken an incredibly courage stance, saying ‘no’ to testifying in front of this grand jury,” said Medea Benjamin, leader of Codepink.

“We feel that there is absolutely no reason for her to be called in front of the grand jury.”

Benjamin attempted to lead the group into the jail through the visitation entrance and was stopped.

A Deputy Sheriff told the group Manning is “in a cell by herself” pending “classification” which could take up to 72 hours.

Benjamin asked the Deputy Sheriff whether she could tell Manning about her supporters outside, and she refused, citing policy.

“Could you give her a little uplift?” Benjamin insisted.

“No ma’am,” said the Deputy Sheriff.

“We treat everyone here well,” she claimed, when Codepink expressed their concern.

A second officer withy the jail came out to tell the pro-Manning activists that they “are blocking the gate right here and cars are coming in” and that the activists would have to stand across the street.

No cars went in or out the entire time that the group was there.

“We’ll get more folks the next time, and we’ll try to organize so that we can go inside and visit Chelsea,” Benjamin said before leaving. “We’ll be back.”