April 26th Vigil for Hunger Strikers at Guantanamo

img_9950Photo by Ted Majdos , Click Here to view more photos

Members of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Witness Against Torture, Pax Christi and TASSC held a noontime hour-long vigil at the White House calling for justice for the Guantanamo hunger strikers, an end to torture and indefinite detention and for the closing of GITMO. After Art gave some opening remarks (see below), Helen read the April 14 NY Times op-ed piece, “Gitmo Is Killing Me,”  by hunger striker Samir Najial Hasan Moqbel. Then Col. Morris Davis, former chief military prosecutor of the GITMO Military Commissions from 2005-2007, and  Tara T.C. Morrow, representing the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), both offered compelling statements about why Guantanamo must be closed.  (See T.C.’s Statement below) T.C. also offered a prayer that will be used during Torture Awareness Month in June- the prayer is on the NRCAT web site. This was followed by Amber reading the names of Yemeni prisoners who have been cleared for release–after each prisoners name was read we said together: “We Remember You.” Also Mary Harding from TASSC offered remarks as did Gizachew Emiru, the new TASSC executive director. The vigil concluded with Pat reading a prayer written by Sr. Dianna Ortiz, Jesus, Our Tortured Brother Today” and a closing circle.

We continue to pray and act in hope that justice will soon come for the prisoners.

Sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker and Witness Against Torture
(For more info about the campaign to Close Guantanamo and Torture and indefinite Detention see www.witnesstorture.org.)
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Published in: on April 18, 2013 at 12:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Vigil to Support Guantanamo Hunger Strikers

April 11th, 2013   12pm @ the White House

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Over 30 people gathered at Noon on Thursday in front of the White House on behalf of the Guantanamo prisoners on a hunger strike. I think we were able to make a strong and visually powerful statement to the powers that be and to numerous people who stopped to take notice of our witness. Below is the program we offered.

Thanks to all who participated in the White House witness and for all those who acted around the country to demand justice for the hunger strikers, the closing of Guantanamo and an end to the crime of indefinite detention.
The struggle continues!!!
Program Opening: Purpose of Action–Malachy Kilbride
Speaker: Pat Davis, Representing TASSC International
Reading About Guantanamo Hunger Strike Taken from Statement by Clive Stafford Smith’s Phone Conversation With Prisoner and Hunger-Striker, Shaker Aamer: Marie Dennis and Art Laffin  (Excellent Chronology of the Hunger Strike)
Reading: 55 Names of Guantanamo Prisoners Cleared for Release (Helen Schietinger)
Speaker: Pratap Chatterjee from Amnesty International
Reading: Statement of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights citing Guantanamo as a “Clear Breach of International Law,” and Calling for the Prison to be Closed. (Deb VanPoolen)
Reading: Poem from Guantanamo prisoner Usama Abu Kabir, “Is It True.” (Frank Cordaro)
Reading: “Jesus, Our Tortured Brother Today,” written by Sr. Dianna Ortiz (MJ Park)
Closing Circle

   Links for further reading

From Guantánamo, Shaker Aamer Tells His Lawyer Disturbing Truths About the Hunger Strike: Andy Worthington

Déjà vu: Defense Officials Downplay Growing Guantanamo Hunger Strike With Bush-Era Talking Points: Jason Leopold, Truthout

The Guantanamo Effect: Miriam Ghani

Deprived of justice, the Guantanamo detainees’ last resort is to hunger strike: Jonathan Hafetz, The Guardian

Get serious about closing Guantanamo: Tom Wilner, Washington Post

Published in: on April 9, 2013 at 1:13 am  Comments (1)