Chelsea Manning Announces Run for US Senate

Source: The Guardian

Imprisoned leaker and activist confirms plan to run as a Democrat in Maryland with video hashtagged #WeGotThis, saying: ‘We need someone willing to fight’

After seven years in military prison for carrying out one of the largest leaks in US history and coming out as a transgender woman, Chelsea Manning is embarking on the next stage in her epic journey: running for a seat in the US Senate.

The former US army private, who was held in military lockup for far longer than any other official leaker in modern times, has declared in a federal filing her intention to run in this year’s Democratic primaries for a Maryland Senate seat. Now 30, she confirmed she was entering the race in a video posted on Twitter on Sunday under her now established internet trademark #WeGotThis.

“We live in trying times. Times of fear, of suppression, of hate,” Manning said in the video dressed in black and holding a red rose. Over grainy shots of riot police assailing protesters and of Donald Trump in the Oval Office, she went on: “We don’t need more or better leaders, we need someone willing to fight.”

Manning also tweeted a link for campaign donations.

The audacious decision to stand for one of the most exalted political positions in the country less than eight months after she was released from Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas underlines how rapidly Manning has taken to civilian life. Though it has not all been plain sailing – she was turned back from the Canadian border in September, having been refused entry – she has embraced her new role as an LGBTQ and progressive celebrity.

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