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15 Arrested at White House in Anti-Torture Protest

15 Arrested at White House in Anti-Torture Protest

Today a group of 75 people from Witness Against Torture (the group that marched to Guantanamo in December) continued their protest against the U.S. government's practice of torture and indefinite detention with a march from the Supreme Court to the Capitol, the Justice Department and the White House. The vigil ended with the arrest of 15 of the activists in front of the White House.

The procession through downtown D.C. was led by protesters dressed as Guantanamo prisoners and guards. The group marched solemnly, reminding tourists and passersby of the suffering and victimization of those held at Guantanamo and in secret detention facilities throughout the world. The group was joined by Jennifer Harbury, a human rights lawyer, who spoke to the group about the history of U.S. participation in torture. Christine Husby, a lawyer representing prisoners at Guantanamo, gave the group an update on the situation of the Guantanamo hunger strikers. Orlando Tizon, a Filipino torture victim and member of the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition, recited a poem reflecting on Guantanamo and his personal experience with torture.

Witness Against Torture ended its march at the White House, where the group read scripture related to Ash Wednesday and repentance. Individuals then covered the sidewalk of the White House with ashes in the form of crosses. “This is for the children who have lost their hope and childhood while in US custody” proclaimed Mark Coleville while laying the ashes. “These ashes are for the tears of the children and the wives of those in Guantanamo” said Susan Crane. “My ashes represented the hopes of parents in the U.S. that wanted to raise their children in a democracy that protected the human rights of all people,” explained Jackie Allen-Doucot.

Arrested were Susan Crane of the Jonah House, Alice Gerard from the School of the Americas Watch, Eve Tetaz of Washington D.C., Brian Kavanaugh and Jackie Allen-Doucot of the Hartford Catholic Worker, Carmen Trotta, Matt Vogel, Tanya Theriault, Amanda Daloisio and Matt Daloisio of the New York City Catholic Worker, Bill Frankel-Streit of the Little Flower Catholic Worker, Mark Coleville of the New Haven Catholic Worker, Jordan Manuel of Catholic University, Tom Fagely of Malden, MA, and Art Laffin of the D.C. Catholic Worker. The arrestees now face federal charges of demonstrating without a permit. Many in the group are also being processed for travel to Cuba.


Today’s demonstration was marked by anger about the ongoing torture and by joy in the news that the Guantanamo prisoners expressed gratitude for the march and vigil in Cuba and found hope in U.S. citizens standing against their government in defense of human rights.

http://witnesstorture.org/

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