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|Close Guantanamo NOW!|
|Date||Monday January 11|
|Time||1:30 PM - 4:00 PM|
|Import this event into your personal calendar.|
|Gather @ 1:30 at Market and Montgomery (north corner plaza). Mobile street action will move through downtown SF, ending at SF City Hall @ 4:00 pm.|
|Organizer/Author||World Can't Wait|
|sf [at] worldcantwait.net|
|Address||2940-16th St, Rm200-6, San Francisco CA 94103|
Walk with us on Monday, January 11, the 14th anniversary of the torture chamber prison at Guantanamo. YOU ARE INVITED. A group of people in orange jumpsuits representing the Guantanamo prisoners will walk thru busy downtown San Francisco. People walking alongside them will explain our message with words and flyers to those we meet. This is about bearing witness AND engaging many more people to challenge and change what they think about this horrible crime of torture and indefinite detention.
As this illegal, immoral prison enters its 15th year, with 107 men still behind its bars, protests demanding CLOSE GUANTANAMO NOW! will hit the streets in D.C., Miami, New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco. World Can't Wait is joining together with other movements and organizations to make these actions happen (for more details see our national website) and we urgently welcome you to join us.
Under two U.S. presidents/commanders-in-chief -- and now about to be handed over to a third -- what has been going on at Guantanamo is an insult to humanity. And although what 774 prisoners have experienced there is no secret (indefinite detention, brutal torture, and the total trashing of due process and any semblance of legality), Guantanamo is not supposed to be a topic of conversation in polite society generally, or in the current discourse about the 2016 presidential elections in particular. But that just means that it's on us, the impolite activists, journalists and writers, human rights and legal fighters, to speak up. It is on us who reject the thundering silence of complicity, to keep exposing the facts and demanding an end to the torture which is a war crime, and a crime against humanity.
Think about this: we ("the "impolite" above) have been shouting for years. But it was the prisoners themselves, through their heroic and collective hunger strike, who two years ago forced Obama to break his silence, acknowledge that Guantanamo is illegitimate (and make more promises, which have stayed broken -- but that's on him and not the fault of the prisoners!) But whatever Obama meant when he spoke back then -- today, the situation is what it is. And as you probably are already clear about it yourself: the claim that "Congressional opposition is blocking Obama's ability to close Guantanamo" is not true. Legally this President has the authority as commander-in-chief and under the law including the NDAA, to close the prison.
But whether the powerful abide by law or not, there is still a more fundamental question of right and wrong. The Guantanamo prisoners have for years done all they could to put their plight before the world. Now, who will stand with them, who will ensure their voices are not silenced?
And there's more to the need for January's actions than just marking the anniversary. Current events have led to a situation where "protecting America against terrorism" has taken new wind into its sails. The "keeping Americans safe" mythology being spun to legitimize and to suck people into supporting every new Big Brother measure that intensifies political surveillance and repression -- and makes Muslims, immigrants, and others unworthy of rights and respect -- is an ugly, fraudulent and dangerous sinkhole. If no one challenges this atmosphere, where will it all go?
If your organization can endorse the action that's welcome (please reply to this email to affirm the endorsement). But what we most want and need is for many groups to send two or more people to take part in the action (walk with us). PLEASE RSVP.
You are welcome to publicize this action, to bring your own flyers for handout and your own signs, and to issue your own press releases. In any of that, please acknowledge the three (3) action sponsors: World Can't Wait, CODEPINK, and School of the Americas Watch SF Chapter. (List in formation)