Posts Tagged ‘Guantánamo Bay’

Good Friday In Guantanamo

March 29, 2013
"I died waiting."

“I died waiting.”

Members of the Catholic Worker and Witness For Torture gathered together at Union Square on this, the most solemn day of the Christian calendar to remind all who passed of the appalling reality of the conditions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba which remains open fours years after President Barack Obama promised to close the prison within a year of his first inauguration.

More than half of the 166 men at Guantanamo have been “Cleared for Release” by U.S. authorities yet linger in the prison wasting away.  For the past six weeks more than 100 of the prisoners have been maintaining a hunger strike so as to bring attention to their plight.  It has not succeeded hence the vigil in Union Square.

It is a situation that should fill every American citizen who believes in the rule of law and some semblance of human dignity with shame and horror.

For more information on what you can do go to http://www.WitnessTorture.org

Carmen Trotta addresses the public.

Guantanamo at Union Square

November 20, 2011

As January 11, 2012 marks the 10th  anniversary of the interrogation center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, members and supporters of Witness Against Torture, an off shoot of the Catholic Worker, staged a noon day protest at Union Square to bring attention to an issue that has been wholly abandoned by both the media and the Obama administration as well as  to recruit people  a to much larger rally in Washington D.C. in January.  Obama, you will remember, campaigned promising to close down Guantanamo and end the torture that has become synonymous with it within one year.  That promise, like so many this man has made, has too been abandoned.

As I write, Guantanamo houses 171 Muslim  men.  The Obama administration has stated publicly that 98 of the men are innocent of any wrongdoing.   Nonetheless, they remain in that hell indefinitely.

To dramatize the situation several Catholic Workers and their supporters donned the infamous orange jump suits and black hoods worn at torture centers around the world and stood silent and immobile for the two-hour demonstration.   Vision is   diminished under such a hood but, as can happen in such circumstances, one’s hearing can became keener.  Hundreds of people walked by and while most gave a glance and kept on walking, many took pictures or  simply stared in silence as if trying to make sense of it.  A few were hostile.  “They should shoot them all, “ said one man, his voice dripping with contempt. “Why aren’t you standing up for me?,  questioned another incoherently.    For a long while a smug 20 something hipster jackass wearing sunglasses and roller  blades weaved his way back and forth in front of us waving a large American flag and saying “God bless America.”  At one point he went up to every hooded protestor asking them inane questions in what must have been an attempt to break their discipline.  It failed.  Finally, he rolled away in silence, returning, I suppose,  to wherever it is that smug  20 something hipster jackass’s  wearing sunglasses and roller  blades carrying  large American flag’s dwell.

But this also happened:  people came up and thanked every person standing there.

The rally in Washington, D.C. hopes to attract more than 2000 people,  representing the individuals  still detained without charge or  fair  trial at both Guantanomo and Bagram and form a human chain from the  White House to the Capital.  There will be buses to D.C. from cities throughout the Eastern US.  If  interested email the following:

security@aiusa.org

jan11@witnesstorture.org

www.amnestryusa.org/jan11

http://www.witnesstorture.org