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Court-martialled whistle-blower to visit Wellington

American activist, politician, former US Army soldier and court-martialled whistle-blower Chelsea Manning will visit New Zealand for the first time later this year.

Chelsea Manning. Photo by Tim Henning

Chelsea Manning will not have to worry about political campaigning when she visits Wellington and Auckland in September. The aspiring politician lost her Senate bid yesterday after being beaten to the Democratic nomination in Maryland.

The whistle-blower and convict turned activist was one of seven long-shot challengers easily beaten by popular and well-funded incumbent Senator Ben Cardin.

She described her Senate bid as part of a “growing political insurrection” with a campaign platform that included abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, closing prisons, freeing inmates and eliminating national borders.

Manning became one of the most significant whistle-blowers of our time when deployed to Iraq in 2009 as a U.S. Army intelligence analyst while living as an openly gay man.

Her assistance in leaking almost 750,000 military and diplomatic documents resulted in a court-martial, being found guilty of espionage and theft and a sentence of 35 years in prison.

An advocate for transparency of the United States government, Manning had her sentence reduced by President Barack Obama in May 2017.

At the time of the leak, she described the data as “one of the most significant documents of our time, removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric warfare.”

Since her imprisonment, Manning has received numerous awards for her role in the leaks, and has become a rallying figure for both whistle-blower and transgender activism.

She was acclaimed by the Foreign Press as one of 2017’s Global Thinkers “for forcing the United States to question who is a traitor and who is a hero.”

Think Inc. & Loop present An Evening With Chelsea Manning at the Embassy Theatre on Sunday 10 September.

Tickets are available now from Eventfinda.

More information here.