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Tue Apr 9 2013 (Updated 08/09/13)Guantanamo Bay Detainee Solidarity Protest Blocks Market Street
Tue Apr 9 2013 (Updated 08/09/13)SF Vigil in Solidarity with Guantanamo Hunger Strikers Culminates with Civil Disobedience
A vigil was held in San Francisco on April 7 in solidarity with the 130 detainees out of 166 in the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility that are on hunger strike, who have been refusing food as a protest against their brutal detention conditions. A number of detainees are being force fed, in which they are shackled to metal chairs and a feeding tube is forced down their esophagus through the nostrils. The detainees have not been charged with any crimes and are being held indefinitely, most of them over ten years.
About 50 demonstrators, many from the Muslim community, were joined by passersby as a small contingent of activists dressed in orange prison jumpsuits and black hoods decided to occupy the middle of Market Street in an act of civil disobedience to raise awareness of the hunger striking detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The demonstrators in prison garb wore black hoods over there heads and knelt down on the ground, while Hijab wearing Muslim women joined them, prompting others to swell into the street to protect the mock detainees from arrest. As the demonstration began to march down Market Street, police gathered and charged at the demonstrators, pushing protesters and threatening to attack them with batons while demanding the march move out of the street. One woman was targeted by a snatch and grab tactic, and was brutally brought to the ground and arrested. Crowds gathered and passersby joined in the chant, "Let her go! Let her go!" as she was whisked away in a police cruiser.
Solidarity protests have been spreading. Demonstrations have been held in Kuwait, Yemen, New York and Washington DC, and more were organized across the U.S. for a day of action on April 11, including in San Francisco and Oakland.
Read More | Support the Guantanamo Hunger Strikers in SF, April 11 | See also: Corrected Billboard Supports U.S. Military at Guantanamo Bay (April 24)