Jill McLaughlin

World Can’t Wait at the LGBT National Equality March

By Jill McLaughlin
 
The World Can’t Wait was part of the historic march on D.C. demanding full equality for LGBT people. The march was organized and mobilized by a new generation of LGBT people galvanized by their outrage at the passing of Proposition 8 in California on the night of Obama’s election. While some gay leaders advocated patience and waiting for the next election cycles to repeal Proposition 8, these young people were not willing to “wait and see” if Obama would be their ally and be the one to grant them their rights. Thus, this march was organized from coast to coast. Tens of thousands of people marched.
 

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Oh America, So Much to Answer For

By Jill McLaughlin, World Can't Wait Steering Committee Member

I woke Tuesday morning having had seven hours of sleep the night before. I was happy I turned in early the night before. There was a reason why I had done so, but I had forgotten why. I got my shoes and jacket and got my dog on the leash for the early morning walk. As we walked along something was fighting to make its way into my consciousness, but I couldn't think of what it might be. It was making me anxious. I ran into a neighbor whom I barely know. We said our hellos and my dog greeted him and as he pet her he informed her he was on his way to vote. Voootttee. That was it. Vote. Election. Obama. McCain. Election Day.

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Into the Black: Torture and Real People

By Jill McLaughlin
 
Out of the blue and into the black
They give you this, but you pay for that
And once you're gone, you can never come back
When you're out of the blue and into the black
- Neil Young, Out of the Blue
 
This past Monday, February 23, the man whose case has extensively been written about the last few weeks was freed from Guantanamo. He was returned to Britain after almost seven long years of the most harrowing experience that neither you nor I could ever dream of, or make up for that matter. And according to this man, in a statement made through his lawyers upon his return to Britain, he himself could have never dreamt this until he was taken out of the blue in Pakistan.
 
This man, Binyam Mohammed, is known as one of the detainees behind the infamous lawsuit against Jeppesen Dataplan. Jeppesen is a subsidiary of Boeing that has used its planes in extraordinary rendition of alleged terrorists to other countries. In Binyam’s case he was first taken to Morocco where he was tortured and then taken to Guantanamo where he was again tortured and detained until his release this past Monday. In a recent ruling in California the case against Jeppesen was stalled again as it was in 2008 when the Bush Regime claimed that the evidence against Jeppesen could not be revealed because they were "state secrets." In this latest round the Justice Department under Obama claimed the same thing.
 
But I do not want to talk long about the details of lawsuits or rulings around rendition, detention, and torture. I want to talk about you, me, and people like Binyam. As I read Binyam’s statement this last Monday I let myself feel that feeling that I have felt at times during my last two years of activism and organizing.
 

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The Faces of Tortured Innocents and Facing the Crimes of Our Government

 

By Jill McLaughlin
 
There is much frenzy and acrimony in the media not seen in the last several years over the torture issue. This was unleashed when the memos authored by the Bush Regime lawyers were recently released to the public. The lengths that these authors went to make “legal” and justify the unthinkable has the media in a whirl. And it doesn’t look like the whirling is going to stop soon. The Pentagon is reportedly going to release more photos of torture. Torture has entered into the national debate. Was it torture that these lawyers were selling? Should these lawyers, Yoo, Bybee, Haynes, Addington be held accountable? And what about prosecutions for Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld? These are the questions swirling about. Of course some of us have known all along that those at the top were responsible for the war crime of torture and have we have been demanding accountability.
 
In all the talk of the talking heads there is one thing missing. And that is the victims of this torture. The media has thus far failed to give name, face, or voice to those who suffered unjustly under detention and torture. People who did nothing wrong, but found themselves ensnared in the so called “war on terror”. There are many. And when Obama talks about no prosecutions and the need to be “looking forward” there is no mention of these people and the indescribable pain that they and their families have endured.
 

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Into the Uncharted: Conscience and Consciousness in a Time of Illegitimate Occupations and Torture - A Call to Resistance

 By Jill McLaughlin

 As a child I would always wonder what it be would be like to see a monster rising out of the waters of Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. My head was filled with stories about the Loch Ness Monster and sea monsters that ships encountered on the open waters of the worlds seas.
 
I could see myself wide eyed, heart pounding, sucking in my breath in a gigantic gasp and frozen. I remember also seeing ancient maps in books which would show the land masses discovered and mapped by explorers. In the areas of open waters there would be an image of a sea dragon with the words “here there be monsters”. There was no evidence that there were actually monsters in those parts, but it was more a matter that those waters had not yet been explored.
 
Both memories serve to remind me of where America is at right now. On the one hand with the release of the torture memos, you have people who are almost frozen and gasping with outrage and shock. They don’t know what to do about the fact there is going to be no prosecutions for those responsible. Then on other hand you have people (and some of the same people) who are unaware that the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are no where near over and that Afghanistan is not the “good war” where we catch the bad guys and liberate those poor women.

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Obama Won’t, But We Can Prosecute War Criminals

By Jill McLaughlin

 Some nameless, faceless source has said that there will be no prosecutions for the authors of torture. This source, who I imagine lurking in the dark, has said that the report out of the Department of  Justice will not call for prosecutions.
 
I am not surprised. As an aside, I'm always surprised how angry I feel when I hear news like this. You see as an activist with World Can't Wait, I can say that over the last 3 years WCW has brought the truth about U.S. torture and those responsible. We have not only spoken the truth about these crimes against humanity, but we have told the people what we ought to do to bring justice. And we never told people “turn to the system”.
 
We knew that turning to this system for justice was not going to work. The system operates for and serves the empire and the ruling class of the empire. It does not operate for and serve you or me. And anyone outside the empire, like the people of Iraq and Afghanistan and so many around the world, well the ruling class of the empire sees them as less than human.  And the leaders of this empire, not unlike the Nazi leadership in Germany, have pounded into the minds of the American people, that these others are the source of all our troubles. They pounded it in so much that now they believe it is O.K. to excuse and look past the crimes of the previous administration.

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About

World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.