Guantanamo + Silence = Death Camp
by Debra Sweet Does visible resistance against Guantánamo still matter? Jill McLaughlin, member of the World Can't Wait Steering Committee says yes emphically.
At this writing the Guantanamo hunger strike has surpassed 70 days. The situation there is ever more urgent after the Saturday April 13th assault on the hunger strikers. The London Guantanamo Campaignput it like this, “Either by U.S. military force or organ failure through lack of food, this hunger strike is likely to become fatal.” We must remember that we live under a government that has used 9/11 as a justification to illegitimately invade and occupy countries — killing over a million people — to carry out deadly drone attacks consistently in four countries, to round up and indefinitely detain and torture hundreds without charge or trial.
Our government does not have the interest of humanity at heart... its only interest is the advancement of U.S. empire and we must send a clear message to others that American lives are not more important than others and that right now lives are on the line at Guantanamo. Each day in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia children cower in fear of the next U.S. drone attacks. No one in our government hears the men at Guantanamo. No one in our government hears these frightened children.
The prisoners' strike has put the illegitimacy of indefinite detention at GTMO in front of the world. The actions of World Can't Wait and a few other groups in this country are amplifying their voices. We must pump up the volume.
for humanitarian and life-saving relief (click on to read)
On Monday morning, the World Can't Wait Steering Committee released this message:
World Can't Wait strongly condemns the violence perpetrated on the detainees by Guantanamo military personnel on the morning of April 13th. Guards attempted to extract the detainees from the communal cells and place them in solitary amid what the military says were concerns that more detainees were joining the hunger strike in secret by obstructing cameras and blocking the view into the cells with blankets to avoid being force-fed.
The military claims that they fired four less than lethal rounds on the detainees when the detainees attempted to fight back during the extraction. According to a statement released by the White House, the Obama administration was informed in advance about plans for the raid. It is doubtful that this raid could have been carried out without the consent and backing of the commander in chief, Barack Obama.
We want to make it explicitly clear that the hunger strike, a form of protest, that the detainees have been engaged in is morally justifiable in light of their continued detention and the torture they have endured. They have been force-fed with tubes shoved up their noses and into their stomachs and at times deprived of potable drinking water. They have been denied contact with their loved ones and some have been in Guantanamo for over a decade. 166 detainees remain imprisoned, 157 haven't been charged and 86 have been cleared for release.
It is the actions of Obama and his administration, the actions of the military personnel, and the inaction of a passive and silent public that need to be called into question and roundly condemned. There is only one way to ensure the safety and health of the prisoners that the military claims it is concerned about, and that is to release the 157 prisoners held without charge and provide a fair trial for the rest. We stand with the hunger strikers and remain committed to resisting and opposing the crime that is Guantanamo through consistent visible protest and exposure of the crimes of our government.
Will the hunger strikers leave Guantanamo in coffins? The situation is urgent and the lives of the remaining Guantanamo prisoners depend on you.
You can add your name to this statement here. While the force-feedings may mean that this hunger strike will continue longer than the point at which people usually start to die (it was actually few days ago), the government has made it clear they will not take any reasonable action to end this protest. What should we, as people of conscience, DO, as the specter of mass death at this miserable detention camp looms?
Join us in the streets. Write me with your ideas. Organize your own protest, and we will help you publicize it. Connect with other activists and share ideas via Facebook. Tweet about it, using #GitmoFreedomStrike and #SaveGitmoPrisoners. Write to a prisoner (how to send a letter to a Guantanamo detainee).