'Free Bradley Manning' protester disrupts Obama remarks

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Pte Manning, in a handout photoImage source, AP
Image caption,
Pte Manning's release has become a cause celebre for some on the US left

A protester calling for the release of a US soldier accused of leaking secret government documents has disrupted a talk by US President Barack Obama.

At a campaign fundraising event in San Francisco on Thursday, a woman stood up during the president's remarks.

Over Mr Obama's objections, she sang a song denouncing US soldier Bradley Manning's continued detention.

Pte Manning is accused of leaking 720,000 secret military and diplomatic documents later published by Wikileaks.

Before she sang the woman stripped off her suit jacket to reveal a black T-shirt reading "Free Bradley Manning".

In her song, the woman noted she and others at her table had contributed to Mr Obama's 2012 election campaign - seats at the breakfast event cost up to $35,800 (£21,604).

And she assured the president she would vote for him in 2012, singing: "Look at the Republicans, what else can we do?"

According to the AFP news agency, the song described Pte Manning as "alone in a six by 12 cell" for "23 hours a day" and ended with "this kind of thing ain't right/ We paid our dues, where's our change?"

The singer and fellow protesters distributed signs that read "Free Bradley Manning" and bore his picture.

Mr Obama was visibly displeased, witnesses said. The singer was escorted from the room and two others left of their own accord.

This week, the US defence department announced it was moving Pte Manning from a prison at a Marine Corps base in Virginia to a newly built detention centre at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.