'Shut Down Guantanamo' International Day Of Action
No More Torture, No More Indefinite Detention: Shut Down Guantanamo International Day Of Action - Fri., Jan. 11
Washington, DC - Tomorrow (Fri., Jan. 11), human rights advocates will engage in a dramatic action to demand an end to six years of torture and abuse at Guantánamo and justice for those detained indefinitely in direct violation of U.S. and international law.
January 11, 2008 marks six years of detention without hope of release for nearly 300 men at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo. "We declare this day as an International Day of Action to Shut Down Guantánamo," says Sheila Stumph of Boston, Massachusetts, a member of Witness Against Torture, which called today's action. "We stand with thousands more from Paris, France, to Ware, Massachusetts, who act on behalf of victims of the war on terrorism and for law and justice.
Human rights advocates will march on the Supreme Court at 12 noon wearing orange jumpsuits and black hoods, representing each of the men still detained at Guantánamo. "Our procession will be solemn and silent," says Michael McGuire of Baltimore, "almost as though we are haunting the three pillars of American government - Executive, Legislature, Judiciary - with the crime of torture and abuse they are responsible for."
At the Supreme Court, advocates will formally appeal to the nine Justices to affirm in Al Odah v. United States and Boumediene v. Bush what all the rest of the world knows: that torture and the suspension of Habeas Corpus are not only immoral and unconstitutional, but are war crimes for which U.S. officials must be held accountable. Outside the Court, advocates will read testimonies and names of prisoners, perform street theater, and hand out information.
With these actions, people of conscience and justice call on the U.S. government to: * Repeal the Military Commissions Act and restore Habeas Corpus; * Charge and try or release all detainees; * Clearly and unequivocally forbid torture and all other forms of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, by the military, the CIA, prison guards, civilian contractors, or anyone else; * Pay reparations to current and former detainees and their families for violations of their human rights; and * Shut down Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and all secret CIA detention facilities.
Last year on January 11, 500 people processed from the Supreme Court to the U.S. Federal District Court in Washington, DC; there, nearly 90 people entered the court to bring the names and testimonies of Guantánamo prisoners to the Court's attention. Many were arrested without identification, taking only the names of men at Guantánamo to ensure that these names are heard by the criminal justice system.
About Witness Against Torture
Tomorrow's action is the latest by Witness Against Torture, which came into being in December 2005 when a group of 24 friends walked to Guantánamo to visit the prisoners - an action following the nonviolent tradition of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker. Upon returning to the U.S., they continued the work with public education and community outreach, networking and resource sharing, and acts of nonviolent civil resistance to draw attention to the plight of prisoners in Guantánamo and victims of the war on terrorism everywhere.
The International Day of Action launches a concerted campaign to Shut Down Guantánamo. For more information, please visit www.witnesstorture.org.