20 January 2015

Annual "Close Guantanamo" Events in Washington, D.C.

On 11 January 2015, Amnesty International, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Witness Against Torture, Veterans for Peace, and several other organizations sponsored the 13th annual "Close Guantanamo" events in Washington, D.C.

Barb, the group organizer for Amnesty International 342, as well as one of the group's members, Kara, attended this year's event. Barb wrote a blog post about her experience and gave permission for it to be reproduced here:

Just One of the Usual Suspects

This past week has been so hectic that my Megabus journey to D.C. seems like ages ago. Before too many more day pass, just want to record my trip to our nation's capital to celebrate   protest the 13th anniversary of the arrival of the first detainees at Guantánamo Bay. Despite the recent release of about a dozen prisoners, 127 still remain, most of them held for over a decade without criminal charge. WAIT! JUST IN: make that 122, as 5 more Yemenis were transferred out this week. 

There was a great deal of focus on Shaker Aamar, the last remaining UK resident detainee, who remains in Gitmo although twice cleared for release.

I've been doing this twice a year for the last five years or so. It's gotten so that I know many of my fellow human rights activists by name: Jeremy, Matt, Beth. I'm proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with them.

Heard Andy Worthington speak passionately about the moral imperative of closing Gitmo and the disgraceful, outrageous facts revealed by the Senate's recent report on CIA torture. Other speakers included Debra Sweet of The World Can't Wait, Rev Ron Stief of National Religious Campaign Against Torture, and Noor Mir from Amnesty International.

Witness Against Torture has created a video collection of the speakers' remarks here. [Included on this list is a video of Noor Mir's comments.I can only echo what they say and add my heartfelt wish that this be the LAST Close Gitmo rally!

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