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42 Arrested Protesting Obama's Broken Promise to Close Guantanamo

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StarfarerBill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-21-10 08:38 PM
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42 Arrested Protesting Obama's Broken Promise to Close Guantanamo
By Witness Against Torture

Washington, DC: In a dramatic protest, 42 activists with Witness Against Torture were arrested this afternoon at the U.S. Capitol. The protest comes on the eve of the since-voided deadline President Obama had set for closing the prison camp at Guantanamo.

Those arrested on the Capitol steps held banners reading "Broken Promises, Broken Laws, Broken Lives." Inside the Capitol, 14 activists performed a "memorial service" for the three men whose deaths at Guantanamo in 2006 were initially reported as suicides and callously described as "acts of asymmetrical warfare" by military officials. New reports provide strong evidence that the men may have been tortured to death at a CIA secret prison in Guantanamo.

The ceremony brought the names of the men -- Salah Ahmed Al-Salami, Mani Shaman Al-Utaybi and Yasser Talal Al-Zahrani-- into the Capitol Rotunda, where deceased presidents have lay in state. "We perform this ceremony to recognize the humanity of those whose lives have been broken by our government's policies of torture and indefinite detention," says Jerica Arents of Chicago, Illinois, one of those arrested in the Capitol.

Witness Against Torture has called for an immediate, independent investigation of the deaths, as it has called for the criminal investigation of all those who allegedly designed, executed, and carried out torture policies.

Most of the 42 arrested at the Capitol did not carry identification, taking instead the names of men at Guantanamo through arrest and processing. "Taking the name of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif is a necessary and real way of bringing his story to Congress," says Joshua Brollier, a co-coordinator with Voices for Creative Nonviolence in Chicago, Illinois. "Adnan was tortured and continues to be held after eight years without charge or trial. It boggles the mind and breaks the heart. It's time for Congress and the Obama administration to make and fulfill a plan for his release." Brollier and others from Voices will continue in Washington through February 2, participating in the Peaceable Assembly Campaign to pressure Obama administration and Congress to explore alternatives to U.S. militarism.

The actions at the Capitol followed a march of "Guantanamo prisoners" dressed in orange jumpsuits and black hoods that began at the White House and stopped at the Supreme Court before going to Capitol grounds, home to the U.S. Congress. "Congress has played a horrible role in refusing to check the power of the president and in supporting torture," commented Matt Daloisio of New York City, a Witness Against Torture organizer. "But it was important to pass by all of the government institutions that have failed to uphold justice and protect the rule of law."

More:
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/145328/42_arrested_protesting_obama%27s_broken_promise_to_close_guantanamo/
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-21-10 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. They should have been picketing Congress, who denied Obama the funding
to close Guatanamo. :eyes:

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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-21-10 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Do you have a link to a story on that?
Also, did you see my post about a list of Obama's accomplishments - I think it was you who kept a list. Do you have one. It would be nice to have the list and a link if possible to rebut a RWER.

Thanks!
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StarfarerBill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-21-10 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Read the post: they did picket at the Capitol; that's where the protesters were arrested.
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Earth_First Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-21-10 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. Most of these folks have been fasting since January 11
There are several DU'ers who were fasting along with them.

Thank you! Good luck, be healthy and safe!
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