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Michael Stipe, Thurston Moore, Against Me!, Tom Morello contribute to compilation benefitting Chelsea Manning: Stream

All proceeds from Hugs For Chelsea go to Manning, who was just released from prison

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    In 2013, former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison for leaking classified information to Wikileaks. However, in the final weeks of his presidency, President Obama commuted Manning’s sentence, and today is her first day of freedom.

    Manning’s arrest, sentencing and subsequent sentence reduction have been the subject of widespread controversy, but many in the artistic community have championed Manning’s plight throughout the ordeal. Now, a number of musicians have joined forces for Hugs For Chelsea, a compilation benefitting Manning’s cost of living as she leaves prison and re-enters society.

    Appearing on the album are Michael StipeThurston Moore, Against Me!, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Ted Leo, Downtown Boys, Priests, Screaming Females, Talib Kweli, Amanda Palmer, Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band, and more. Find the complete tracklist below, along with a stream of the entire comp. You can purchase the 32-track collection for yourself or donate over at Bandcamp.

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    Hugs for Chelsea Tracklist:
    01. Michael Stipe – Hugs for Chelsea PSA
    02. Tom Morello (The Nightwatchman) – Until the End
    03. Thurston Moore – Chelsea’s Kiss
    04. Priests – Nothing Feels Natural
    05. Evan Greer – Never Surrender
    06. Graham Nash + James Raymond – Almost Gone
    07. Against Me! – ProVision L-3 (#Resist Version)
    08. Downtown Boys – Adam and Eve
    09. Amanda Palmer – Bigger on the Inside
    10. Talib Kweli – Every Ghetto pt. 2 (feat. Aloe Blacc, Problem, prod. Nottz)
    11. Anti-Flag – The Ink and the Quill
    12. Taina Asili y La Banda Rebelde – Freedom (feat. Michael Reyes)
    13. Mirah – Radiomind
    14. Screaming Females – I’ll Make You Sorry
    15. Ted Leo – Runes of Abandonment
    16. Kimya Dawson – At the Seams
    17. The Kominas – Not Today
    18. Sammus (feat Jean Grae) – 1080p
    19. Chris Farren – Bamboo Bones (Against Me! cover)
    20. B. Dolan – Which Side Are You On?
    21. Bonfire Madigan
    22. The Chapin Sisters – Sweet Light
    23. Louise Distras – Aileen
    24. bell’s roar – One Shot
    25. Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band – Private First Class
    26. The Shondes – On Your Side
    27. Drones Club – Chelsea Girl
    28. Ryan Harvey – To Keep You Silent (feat. Kareem Samara & Shireen Lilith)
    29. The Max Levine Ensemble – My Valerian
    30. Anne Feeney – Whatever You Say, Say Nothing
    31. Ike Reilly – Bolt Cutter
    32. Tommie Sunshine – Barbarians (feat. Disco Fries & Kassiano)

    Manning first came into the public eye when she was arrested and charged with 22 offenses for providing Wikileaks with hundreds of thousands of classified documents and videos relating to the USA’s conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in early 2010. Manning believed what she’d seen while on duty showed both wars to be illegal, and hoped the leaks would alter public opinion of the conflicts to help end them. Alternately regarded as a traitor and an honorable whistleblower exposing illegal activities by the US military, Manning was immediately a lighting rod for controversy and faced charges that could have resulted in a death sentence.

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    The complexities of the case were further exacerbated by the fact that Chelsea, who was born Bradley Manning, announced the day after sentencing that she had always identified as female and planned to undergo hormone replacement therapy. This revelation only fueled the acrimony of Manning’s detractors on the right — but it also galvanized her supporters on the left who, already incised by the length of Manning’s sentence, became outraged when Manning’s forced isolation in prison lead to multiple suicide attempts.

    Despite calls from Amnesty International, The Guardian and The New York Times for a lesser sentence and a petition with over 100,000 signatures in her favor, there was little hope of a commutation of Manning’s sentence until President Obama, with just two days left in office, declared Manning would be released in just four months.

    Welcome home, Chelsea.

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