Update (March 15, 2020)
The fund to pay Chelsea Manning’s court fines raised $267,000–enough to pay the fines and associated fiscal fees–and is now closed. A few hours ago, another fund was created to help with Chelsea’s living expenses. While it has reached its goal of $30,000, it is still open and accepting donations:
Original article (March 14, 2020)
These certainly feel like dark times, however, Chelsea Manning’s release from prison yesterday was a ray of sunshine for many of us. With only person-to-person outreach, and people proactively asking, “How can I help Chelsea?”, our community has stepped up to raise nearly all of Chelsea’s fines. We’re at $255,000 of the $265,000 goal, in just 24 hours!
Chelsea legal team just shared, “Needless to say we are relieved and ask that you respect her privacy while she gets on her feet.”
Chelsea “is exhausted from this ordeal, and can really use your help repaying these fines,” shares Chelsea’s friend, and GoFundMe campaign organizer Kelly Wright. “Thank you so much helping Chelsea and spreading the word!”
On Thursday, March 12, Judge Anthony Trenga ordered her release from confinement, not due to any change of heart on his part, but because the second WikiLeaks grand jury to which she had been subpoenaed, and before which she had again refused to testify before, had concluded.
Judge Trenga kept in place fines totaling $256,000–the GoFundMe campaign is trying to raise $265,000 in order to pay for that platform’s fees.
If Chelsea had been kept jailed for another six months, as we were expecting, the fines would have kept accumulating at $1,000 every day.
On Wednesday, March 11, facing another six months in prison and anticipated fines of nearly a half million dollars upon her release, Chelsea attempted to take her own life.
It is possible that prosecutors could convene a third grand jury and again subpoena Chelsea, however, there is no current indication of that happening. If that were to occur, Chelsea would face a maximum six more months in jail, as she has now been jailed for 12 of the maximum 18 months allowed for grand jury resistance.
Explaining to Judge Trenga why she was compelled to resist:
“I object to this grand jury … as an effort to frighten journalists and publishers, who serve a crucial public good. I have had these values since I was a child, and I’ve had years of confinement to reflect on them. For much of that time, I depended for survival on my values, my decisions, and my conscience. I will not abandon them now.”