Guantanamo: Dramatic Protests Inside and Out

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January 11 Images of Protest

by Debra Sweet

January 11th in Washington, we massed in front of all 3 branches of the government reported to represent "freedom and democracy for all."  About 800 of us marched from the White House, past the Department of Justice, and stood in front of the Supreme Court, opposite the Capitol. Amnesty International brought a lot of students.

I was thinking most of the prisoners still in Guantánamo, where no one has been released for more than a year (except in coffins). They began a political protest and some went on hunger strike for 3 days, beginning Tuesday, in solidarity with our actions. Their lawyers brought us the message that they take heart from what we do. Imagine, if you can, what it must be like to have been held for up to 10 years - perhaps being told you can be released - but still sitting there year after year.  See Andy Worthington's article, below.

I was moved by the massing of their attorneys, many holding the names of their clients, at the protest (photo, right). Some of them know each other from the "secure facility" near Washington in which they are forced to do work on the Guantánamo cases. Attorneys Mari Newman, Darold Killmer, and Tom Kilner joined Andy Worthington in speaking to almost 100 people on Tuesday evening after a showing of Andy's film Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo

In front of the Supreme Court, I spoke, as did Andy, Leili Kashani & Vince Warren from the Center for Constitutional Rights, attorneys Tom Kilner & Steve Oleskey, and a remarkable former Guantánamo guard, now conscientious objector named Daniel J. Lakemacher, whose site is See an OccupyDC livestream of the rally here, where you'll catch my speech.

Brandon Neely, another Guantánamo guard who later protested the prison, was profiled by Jason Leopold on "It Was a Sunny Day".

Andy Worthington: Guantánamo Prisoners Stage Peaceful Protest and Hunger Strike on 10th Anniversary of the Opening of the Prison

Ramzi Kassem, a law professor at the City University of New York, and one of the attorneys for Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo, said that his client, who is held in isolation in Camp 5, told him on his last visit that the prisoners would embark on a peaceful protest and hunger strike for three days, from Jan. 10 to 12, to protest about the President’s failure to close Guantánamo as promised.

He explained that the men intended to inform the Officer in Charge ahead of the protest, to let the authorities know why there would be protests, and added that the prisoners were encouraged by the “expression of solidarity” from US citizens planning protests on Jan. 11, the 10th anniversary of the opening of the prison.

Kassem also said that another of his clients, in Camp 6, where most of the prisoners are held, and where, unlike Camp 5, they are allowed to socialize, stated that prisoners throughout the blocks were “extremely encouraged” by reports of the protests in Washington D.C....

Yesterday, we got this from the White House: McClatchy reporter Carol Rosenberg tweeted, "Guantánamo spokeswoman: We won't disclose what captives have written on signs protesting 10th anniversary of prison. No photos, either."

Yesterday was a day of protest across the country. We have photos from Chicago and San Francisco, with more to come from other cities.

New Project:
You can sign up to join this project by Guantánamo lawyers and Andy Worthington to focus attention on the stories of the prisoners there, and on the demand to the Obama administration to close it NOW!


Read Witness Against Torture's report on the ten days of action.

Short video footage from DC protest by Reuters:

Reports and video from the Washington, DC protests:

Democracy Now: Guantánamo Exclusive: Former Chief Prosecutor, Ex-Prisoner Call on Obama to Close Prison

Washington Post photos and report

Miami Herald photos and report

Euronews Video

Youtube of Debra Sweet's speech in DC

Spoken Word and Dance in front of the Supreme Court

Andy Worthington and Others Speak Out in front of the Supreme Court (video)

Dance for Peace article

The Occupied Washington Times: Activists Denounce Ten Years of Gitmo Detentions

Andy Worthington: With Right on Our Side: The Inspiring Guantánamo 10th Anniversary Protest in Washington D.C.

Video: “Guantánamo Forever?” – Jim Moran, Andy Worthington, Morris Davis and Tom Wilner at the New America Foundation, January 10, 2012 (CSPAN Video)

Los Angeles:

Youtube from Los Angeles protest

Another Youtube from Los Angeles protest featuring Michael Rapkin

Hundreds protest on 10th anniversary of Guantanamo prison (LA Times)

Protestan contra tortura en Guantánamo (La Opinión)


Chicago World Can't Wait: Chicago Protests 10 Years of Guantanamo, Indefinite Detention and Torture!

San Francisco:

Youtube from San Francisco protest

ABC video from San Francisco

Indymedia video from San Francisco

KPFA Report January 11, 2012

Close Guantánamo: End Ten Years of Injustice
Watch the event with Andy Worthington and Jason Leopold


10 Years Too Many, National Day Of Action Against Guantanamo

Thanks to for compiling this list of reports and coverage of the tenth anniversary of Guantánamo:

01/09 / Vincent Warren / New York Times / Congress Should Close Guantánamo
01/09 / Associated Press / NY lawsuit: Public release of Guantanamo detainee video could alter anti-terrorism debate
01/10 / Amy Goodman / Democracy Now! / NDAA: Obama Signs Law Restricting Transfer of Guantánamo Prisoners and Expands Indefinite Detention
01/10 / Huffington Post / Guantanamo Closure Hopes Fade As Prison Turns 10
01/10 / Amy Davidson / The New Yorker / Guantánamo at Ten: The Two Towers
01/10 / Philippe Sands / Huffington Post / Torture in Guantánamo: Mohammed Al Qahtani
01/10 / Dina Temple-Raston / NPR / Guantanamo At 10: U.S. Weighs Future Of Detainees
01/10 / Trudy Bond, Roy Eidelson, Brad Olson and Stephen Soldz / CounterPunch / Psychologists’ Collusion in Ongoing Illegal Detentions
01/10 / Times Online (Sri Lanka) / Freed from Guantanamo, Uighur makes pizzas in Tirana
01/10 / Penny Wright / Australian Broadcasting Company / Guantanamo 10 years on
01/10 / Mary Fitzgerald / Guardian (U.K.) / Too many victims of the war on terror remain imprisoned across the world
01/10 / Todd E. Pierce / National Law Journal / The Guantánamo facility at 10: an assault on our constitutional government 01/10 / Jeff Black / MSNBC / 'Tortured' Guantanamo Bay prisoner seeks release of secret videos
01/11 / Agence France Presse / Hundreds rally in U.S. against Guantanamo
01/11 / Cullen Murphy, Todd S. Purdum, David Rose and Philippe Sands / Vanity Fair / Guantánamo: An Oral History
01/11 / Kelly Daschle / Associated Press / Video: Ten years of Guantanamo: Closure hopes fade
01/11 / Associated Press / Clinton appears to acknowledge talks about transferring Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo
01/11 / Peter Finn / Washington Post / Guantanamo Bay lawyers to halt written communication
01/11 / Meredith Buel / Voice of America / Guantanamo’s 10th Anniversary Marked by Protests
01/11 / Louise Specht / San Francisco Chronicle / Ten years later, Guantanamo still harms us all
01/11 / Laura Harding / Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) / Ex-Gitmo detainee recalls custody ordeal
01/11 / Ben Fox / Associated Press / Fight escalates over legal mail at Guantánamo
01/11 / Carol Rosenberg / Miami Herald / Guantánamo Bay prison camps turn 10
01/11 / Ashley Fantz / CNN / Freed detainee: 'Gitmo will never close'01/11 / Baher Azmy / The Progressive / 10 years later, Guantanamo represents Obama’s failed promise
01/11 / Jason Leopold / TruthOut / "It Was a Sunny Day": Interview with Brandon Neely, former Guantanamo Bay guard
01/11 / Larry Neumeister / Associated Press / NY judge drops Binladen Group as 9/11 defendant
01/11 / Joseph Margulies / Los Angeles Times / Detained by fear at Gitmo
01/11 / Emily Seagrave Kennedy / Los Angeles Times / Hundreds protest on 10th anniversary of Guantanamo prison
01/11 / Andy Worthington / “Close Guantánamo” Campaign and Website Launches: Retired Military Personnel, Lawyers Call for the Closure of Guantánamo After 10 Years
01/11 / La Opinion / Protestan contra tortura en Guantánamo
01/11 / KPFA Evening News
01/12 / Michael Ratner / Guardian (U.K.) / Guantánamo at 10: The Defeat of Liberty by Fear
01/12 / Mark Engler / Dissent / Guantanamo Has Got to Go: Protesting Ten Years of Indefinite Detention
01/12 / Jamie Reese / Jurist / Guantanamo chief defense counsel refuses to allow review of attorney letters
01/12 / Mike Brownfield / The Foundry (Heritage Foundation) / Morning Bell: Guantanamo Ten Years Later
01/12 / Curt Goering, Amnesty International / Huffington Post / Anniversary of Shame
01/12 / The Mirror (U.K.) / Ex Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed claims 'complicity at highest levels'
01/12 / Jeremy Herb / The Hill / Obama promise to close Guantánamo prison unfulfilled
01/12 / Ed Pilkington / Guardian (U.K.) / The faces of Guantánamo
01/12 / Carol Rose / Boston Globe / Mitt Romney and the shame of Guantanamo
01/12 / Carol Rosenberg / Miami Herald / Opponents start Guantánamo prison’s second decade with jumpsuit protests
01/12 / Michael McAuliff / Huffington Post / Guantanamo Bay 10th Anniversary: Obama's Detention Law Could Fill Prison Obama Tried To Close
01/12 / Morris Davis and Rev. Richard Killmer / New York Daily News / A decade of Gitmo, a decade of shame
01/12 / Emily Seagrave Kennedy / McClatchy Newspapers / Hundreds protest on 10th anniversary of Guantanamo prison
01/12 / Andy Worthington interviewed on KBOO
01/13 / David Dishneau / Associated Press / Army officer recommends trial in WikiLeaks case
01/13 / Donna Lorraine Barlett / / Guantánamo, Our Gulag
01/13 / Karen J. Greenberg / Washington Post / Imagining a world without Guantanamo
01/13 / Telegraph (UK) / Moazzam Begg: 'Torture crimes must be investigated'
01/13 / Jeff Davis / Postmedia News (Canada) / Canada opposes Afghan demand for control of prison
01/13 / Richard Norton-Taylor and agencies / Guardian (U.K.) / Torture prosecutions against MI5 and MI6 unlikely to be pursued
01/13 / Charles Davis / Inter Press Service / A Decade in the Purgatory Called Guantanamo
01/13 / Benjamin Wittes / Washington Post / How the next 10 years of Guantanamo should look
01/13 / Roqayah Chamseddine / Mondoweiss / Video: Surviving Guantánamo
01/13 / Joe Wolverton, II / New American / Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility Marks Decade of Operation
01/13 / Carol Rosenberg / McClatchy Newspapers / Spanish judge reopens Guantanamo torture probe
01/13 / J. Wells Dixon / TruthOut / Live From Guantánamo
01/13 / Rebecca DiLeonard / Jurist / UK intelligence agents will not face trial for alleged torture involvement
01/13 / Jennifer Rowland / Foreign Policy / The LWOT: Gitmo observes 10-year anniversary
01/14 / Brett Brownell / MSNBC / Exclusive: Lakhdar Boumediene, Former Guantanamo Detainee
01/14 / Catherine Herridge / Fox News / Lawyer in 9/11 trial cries foul over correspondence rule, death penalty decision looms 01/14 / Editorial / Tampa Bay Times (Florida) / At Guantanamo, 10 years of shameful treatment
01/14 / Andy Worthington / With Right on Our Side: The Inspiring Guantánamo 10th Anniversary Protest in Washington D.C.
01/14 / Andy Worthington / Video: “Guantánamo Forever?” – Jim Moran, Andy Worthington, Morris Davis and Tom Wilner at the New America Foundation, January 10, 2012
01/14 / Carol Rosenberg / Miami Herald / Spanish judge reopens U.S. torture probe
01/14 / Catherine Herridge / Fox News / Lawyer in 9/11 trials cries foul over correspondence rule as death penalty decision looms
01/15 / Vincent Warren / Amsterdam News (New York) / Why Guantanamo matters to the U.S.
01/15 / Leaann Shelton / Chicago Sun Times / Chicago lawyers call on Obama to close Guantanamo
01/15 / Steve Vladeck / Lawfare / DOJ Files Amicus Brief in Fourth Circuit Contractor Torture Cases
01/15 / Common Dreams Staff / Common Dreams / Wikileaks: Did Chain of Command Fail Bradley Manning?
01/15 / Paul Vallely / The Independent (UK) / Who Did Give the Green Light to Torture?
01/16 / Chris Hedges / Truthdig / Why I’m Suing Barack Obama
01/16 / Carol Rosenberg / Miami Herald / Military lawyers blast Guantánamo mail search as violating rights, ethic
01/16 / Agence France Presse / Algeria sentences Guantanamo detainee to prison
01/16 / Josh Gerstein / Politico / DoD: Transcript of public Guantanamo hearing 'top secret'
01/17 / Editorial / Berthoud Recorder (Colorado) / The Shame of Guantanamo
01/17 / Norma Akamatsu / Daily Hampshire Gazette (Massachusetts, Subscription) / 10 years and counting
01/17 / Allen S. Keller and Yang-Yang Zhou / New York Times / Letter: Traumatized Detainees
01/17 / Etienne Fontaine / Agence France Presse / French judge seeks Guantanamo access over 'torture'

Demanding Justice at Guantánamo and Around the World from Center for Constitutional Rights on Vimeo.


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.