Thursday, January 10, 2008

International Day of Action to Shut Down GITMO

This press release just in from the Fairbanks Coalition for Peace and Justice:
Friday January 11, 2008
Farthest North Candle Light Vigil
Cushman Street Bridge
4:30 – 5:30 pm

People around the world will act together to demand an end to torture and the indefinite, illegal, and immoral detention of men and boys at U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Actions will be taken in more than 40 cities around the world, with Fairbanks being the Farthest North. The Fairbanks event is sponsored by the UAFairbanks Coalition for Peace and Justice, the Alaska Peace Center, No Nukes North, and the UAF Chapter of Amnesty International.

Six years after the first hooded, shackled men were brought to the U.S. prison at Guantánamo, not a single prisoner has been convicted of a charge of terrorism. Many have been released because no evidence was found against them. Yet nearly 300 men remain in indefinite detention without hope of release. Today, thousands will stand up on behalf of the victims of the war on terrorism and for law and justice.

In Washington, DC, Witness Against Torture joins Amnesty USA, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, and other advocates at a rally on The National Mall. They will then march to the Supreme Court wearing orange jumpsuits and black hoods, symbolically bringing Guantanamo's detainees to the high court.

At the Supreme Court, advocates will formally appeal to the nine Justices to affirm in Al Odah v. United States and Boumediene v. Bush what all the rest of the world knows: that torture and the suspension of Habeas Corpus are not only immoral and unconstitutional, but are war crimes for which U.S. officials must be held accountable. Creatively, we will also make the torture and immorality of Guantánamo visible while asserting the humanity of the men imprisoned there. Outside the Court, human rights advocates will read testimonies and names of prisoners, perform street theater, and hand out information.

With these actions throughout the world, people of conscience and justice call on the U.S. government to:
• Repeal the Military Commissions Act and restore Habeas Corpus
• Charge and try or release all detainees,
• Clearly and unequivocally forbid torture and all other forms of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, by the military, the CIA, prison guards, civilian contractors, or anyone else,
• Pay reparations to current and former detainees and their families for violations of their human rights, and
• Shut down Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and all other U.S. prisons overseas, including secret CIA detention facilities.

The International Day of Action launches a concerted campaign to Shut Down Guantánamo. For more information on the International Day of Action, please visit

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