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International Politics

Chelsea Manning is free. Now what?

Transcyberian Party Berlin will help raise money for the whistleblower's legal fund, June 16 at c-base Berlin, featuring workshops and DJs

Chelsea Manning by Inez and Vinoodh for The New York Times

Jun. 13, 2017 – After seven years in prison, Chelsea Manning walked free on May 17 (coincidentally also the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia), thanks to a pardon from President Obama. The infamous leaker – a hero or a traitor, depending on whom you ask – is enjoying a new surge of media presence, but her struggles aren't over. "Chelsea currently owes upwards of 100,000 USD in legal bills, a figure that doesn’t yet include remaining appeal work," says Marie Gutbub, one of the organizers of Transcyberian Party Berlin. "The Courage Foundation, an international whistleblower-support network, has been raising funds and awareness for Chelsea in Europe and the United States. This year, as Chelsea becomes settled in her new life, they want to remove the burden of funding her legal appeal."

The Transcyberian Party is the convergence of queer, nerd and club culture. Originally started in France, it's now being imported to Berlin, this Friday at c-base. Offering workshops on privacy and data, DJs and a performance, the inaugural Berlin edition will also collect funds for Courage. Gutbub continues on the importance of the appeal to Chelsea personally: "If her conviction isn’t overturned, her dishonourable discharge will stay on her record forever. She stands to lose the medical benefits she depends on in order to continue her transition." Furthermore, there are much wider implications. "Chelsea's military appeal is our only hope of challenging the draconian Espionage Act and improving the situation for the whistleblowers that President Trump will prosecute in the future. It's also our best chance of enabling Edward Snowden to come home."

The workshops start at 18:00 and touch on various subjects such as email encryption, facial recognition technology and pocket litter (your private data than can be collected from paper trails). Later at 23:00, the Wide Scope Collective offers and "experiemental silence performance", and at midnight, DJs from the Various Vegetables crew will take over. Entry is free, but donations to the Courage Foundation are very welcome.

Joey Hansom

Transcyberian Party Berlin
Jun. 16 at c-base
18:00 workshops
23:00 Wide Scope Collective 
24:00 DJs Eutechnik, 
Vertical67 and Kinskop



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