Protesters at UC Berkeley were joined overnight Wednesday by former Defense Department official Daniel Ellsberg.
The 80-year-old Ellsberg is credited with leaking the so-called Pentagon Papers to The New York Times in 1969, which revealed that the government had lied about the progress of the Vietnam war, among other things.
“I’ll be staying here tonight,” the former whistleblower told filmmaker John Hamilton. “I’ve never seen a group process like the general assembly tonight. They actually were voting here, thousands of people. It was an inspiring sight. I wouldn’t have thought it could happen.”
“This Occupy movement is an invention,” he continued. “Actually it came right from Egypt and from Tunisia. And actually, an inspiring thought to me is that the man who is accused of putting out the State Department cables to WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, who is sitting in Leavenworth right now, one of his cables was a major inspiration the uprising in Tunisia. So, one person speaking out can make a major difference.”
Ellsberg added: “Frankly, it’s been a while since I felt as much hope as I feel tonight. … The young people are recreating the youth movement of the 60s. And the youth movement changed the country.”
Ellsberg has been arrested at least 83 times over the years for civil disobedience. He said he was prepared to be arrested again.
Watch this video from John Hamilton, uploaded Nov. 16, 2011.