We are in the process of recovering from a powerful day on January 11th, looking towards the breaking of our fast, and planning for the future. We continue to experience the power of community in a profound way. On January 11, we gathered with our WAT family and coalition partners, we brought the presence of the men imprisoned at Guantanamo into our midst, and in a beautiful, synergistic way, we were able to open our circle to join with a whole museum full of tourists, security guards, and park police. Continue reading
Saturday, January 11, 2014: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jeremy Varon, 732-979-3119, firstname.lastname@example.org
Frida Berrigan, 860-389-8566, email@example.com
Vowing to “Make Guantanamo History,” human rights advocates from around the country marked the beginning of the thirteenth year of torture and indefinite detention at the prison camp with a dramatic protest at the National Museum of American History. 150 activists occupied the atrium of the crowded museum for more than two hours, speaking out against torture and calling for Guantanamo to close. Continue reading
Press Advisory – For Immediate Release, January 10, 2014
Press Contacts: Matt Daloisio, firstname.lastname@example.org, 201-264-4424
Jeremy Varon, Jvaron@aol.com, 732-979-3119
Make Guantanamo History: Activists Fast & Rally in Washington, D.C. to Close the Torture Prison
WASHINGTON, D.C. — January 11 marks the beginning of the thirteenth year of the operation of the US detention detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Activists from throughout the country have gathered in Washington, D.C. this week to engage in street theatre, demonstrations, fasting, and direct action to demand that Guantanamo be closed immediately. Continue reading
This has been a day full of emotion — “day 5 of a fast is often my crying day,” shared one long-time faster in our morning reflection. (He then spoke about the nine men who have died while imprisoned in Guantanamo, moving many in the circle to tears.) Our emotion is not unaccompanied by resolve. Continue reading
It began as a relaxing day. After a very moving morning reflection, we did some leisurely planning, caught up with friends, wrote letters to detainees, and had our pulse and blood pressure graciously checked by Helen and Ellen to make sure our bodies are handling the fast okay. Some of us caught a much-needed nap.
Then in the afternoon, we went into high gear! We performed our street theater piece at four locations spread across the city, all of them new to us. Throughout the day, our throng of traveling orange jumpsuits filled metro cars, sidewalks, buses, and public spaces. When we all piled in the free van to the Kennedy Center together, we filled so much of the vehicle that a casual observer would have thought that WAT had chartered a private van to go and enjoy a concert together. And enjoy a concert we did! We actually caught a performance by the WPAS Men and Women of the Gospel Choir before performing our own last round of street theater. Continue reading
Joy, gratitude, and greetings to you! We’ve had a full day of reflections, meetings, rehearsals, and street theater that we hope you will enjoy reading about.
Morale is good here, and we continue to expand as new people arrive in DC to witness with us. Many of us were invigorated today by getting out into the streets and engaging with the public. It’s exciting to feel the energy building. Continue reading
We have been fasting in solidarity with the Guantanamo detainees for 36 hours now. The group has gotten a handle on what victuals it wants to have on-hand. This morning, the sustenance team gathered feedback and requests and procured a round of juice, vegetable and nut drinks, as well as honey, salt, cayenne and a few other items. Continue reading
January 11, 2014 marks the twelfth anniversary of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, the eighth anniversary of Witness Against Torture’s January 11 presence in D.C., and our sixth liquids fast. Continue reading
The military says it will no longer report the number of prisoners on hunger strike, according to a report in the Miami Herald. A spokesman for the facility said the military “will not further their protests by reporting the numbers to the public.”
Eighty-six of the remaining prisoners — more than half — were designated three years ago for transfer to another country, provided that security concerns could be satisfied. Yet the transfer plan was left adrift in the face of political combat. Even if the new defense bill spurs progress in reducing the detainee population, the delivery of credible justice for those at the Guantánamo prison camp is far from complete.
(from NYTimes Editorial – Dec. 28, 2013) Continue reading
Guantánamo, The Aamer Appeal, and the Passion of Andrés Thomas Conteris
by Jeremy Varon
They are artists of torture,
They are artists of pain and fatigue,
They are artists of insults and humiliation.
Where is the world to save us from torture?
Where is the world to save us from the fire and sadness?
Where is the world to save the hunger strikers?
-Adnan Latif (found dead in his cell, Sept. 8, 2012) Continue reading