Reports on Protest & Resistance

Guantanamo: Dramatic Protests Inside and Out

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.


Close Guantanamo - San Francisco Protest, January 11

This article is excerpted from one that originally appeared on the blog Mibba 

The "close Gitmo" protest that San Francisco did today was very moving. January 11, 2012 is exactly ten years since Guantanamo Bay opened up. Every year on January 11, people across America protest Gitmo in a variety of ways.

In Washington D.C, a group called Witness Against Torture has been fasting in solidarity with Gitmo detainees for ten days now. This group has also has a "caged vigil" going on in front of the White House. A protester who is also fasting has been locked in a cage since this protest began.


Chicago World Can’t Wait Participates In Teach-In To End Indefinite Detention and Torture

From the Chicago Chapter of World Can't Wait

As January 11th, the 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo approaches, the World Can’t Wait participated in a teach-in with various Chicago-based groups that work to end torture and indefinite detention. The teach-in extended all day and covered many topics related to torture and indefinite detention.

World Can't Wait presented a workshop on prosecuting war crimes & provided materials from the War Criminals Watch website. An activist from the Chicago Committee against Political Repression explained the significance of resisting federal grand jury subpoenas that have targeted anti-war & international solidarity activists.  A discussion of the NDAA ensued and why getting out in the streets on Jan 11, when Pres. Obama will be in Chicago, is more important than ever.


Cheers to the Women of Egypt--Down With Military Rule & U.S. Weapons

Photo by Amr Nabil via The Guardian.
See more.

By Samantha Goldman

Cheers to the thousands of women of Egypt who marched through Cairo yesterday demanding the end of military rule in light of their systematic sexual violence against women, including the stripping & beating of a woman in Tahrir square whose assault has gone viral and acted as a catalyst to the demonstration. According to CNN this woman, Aza, suffered a fractured skull and was struck 20 times with batons by the military police officers. The people of Egypt did not fight so courageously to end the Mubarak regime for this! Many women held of pictures of her as she has become a symbol of the anti-woman violence that the Egyptian military represents. See video of the courageous protest here. Their demands and bravery are righteous and are a source of tremendous inspiration to us all.


Chicago Protests Torture on Human Rights Day

From the Chicago Chapter of World Can't Wait

Saturday, December 10, was a big day for people in Chicago's human rights community. It's not every day that a royal visit caps off a day of protest and activism!

December 10 was International Human Rights Day, and the day started with a 1 p.m. program in Federal Plaza (Adams & Dearborn) to detail kidnapping, torture, indefinite detention, and other U.S. outrages against human rights in Guantanamo, Bagram, other Afghanistan detention sites, plus black sites around the world, and also Abu Ghraib. Members of Chicago World Can't Wait were joined by supporters from Voices for Creative Non-Violence, Midwest Antiwar Mobilization, and other organizations.


Mic Check! Exposing Maria Cantwell and the National Defense Authorization Act

By Emma Kaplan 

What a night! I went down to Occupy Seattle at Seattle Central Community College last Friday, and met some folks who were going to protest US Senator Maria Cantwell at the Paramount Theater. They told me that Maria Cantwell voted for the National Defense Authorization Act.  And yes, she is a democrat. The National Defense Authorization Act essentially enables the military to round people up (including American citizens) and hold them indefinitely. 

Some of the organizers said they felt this act is a major attack on civil liberties and further shredding the Constitution.  We decided it was important to wake people to the truth.  We had made signs on the spot that read “Shame on Maria Cantwell”, and “Stop Indefinite Detention Here and All Over the World”.

Hundreds of people were waiting in line to get in to Cantwell’s talk, and our discussions with them generated a lot of controversy.


N.Y. State: 38 Courageous Drone Resisters Convicted

from the Syracuse Peace Council  

On Thursday, December 1, the Hancock 38 drone resisters returned to DeWitt Town Court for the verdict in their case involving a symbolic “die-in” at the main entrance Hancock Air National Guard Base (Mattydale, NY), protesting the piloting and maintenance of the hunter/killer Reaper drones at the Base.

Early in his decision, Judge David Gideon stated, “Many issues were raised that were not heretofore contemplated by this Court on a personal level; for which this Court personally acknowledges a new and different understanding, making the decision now before the Court that much more difficult.”


Marching Against the APEC Summit

Via Revolution:

From November 7 to 13, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) held their Leaders' Summit in Honolulu, Hawai`i. APEC, with 21 member countries, has been historically dominated by the U.S. imperialists. Its role has been to pry open the economies of oppressed countries in the Asia-Pacific region to foreign investment and control, and give imperialist powers and transnational corporations the "right" to take whatever they want. There were various kinds of protest and resistance against the APEC summit. The following is correspondence from a Revolution Books Honolulu staff person.

Saturday, November 12, 4 pm: More than 300 people crowded around a big tent set up by World Can't Wait in Honolulu's Old Stadium Park, where the march to the APEC Leaders' Summit was to begin. Some grabbed paint brushes and hastily painted messages on cardboard. Others held signs along the street, energized by the constant honking of motorists passing by. Many were nervously talking about what might happen when they marched into the heart of Waikiki—or whether a non-permitted march would even be allowed to begin.


Report from Occupied Cal: General Assembly of 10,000

by the Bay Area Revolution Writers Group 

Students first attempted to set up an Occupy encampment at UC Berkeley on November 9—in a Day of Action with protests by 3,000-4,000 people. They were met with a vicious attack. Police struck students with batons and ripped down tents.

The UC Berkeley Chancellor defended the action of the police and declared that no tents would be allowed on campus. In response Occupy Cal called for the General Strike for November 15. [see accompanying article]

By the evening of the General Strike, Sproul Plaza was packed with an estimated 10,000 students and others. Minutes earlier the general assembly of Occupy Cal had voted overwhelmingly to defy the University and re-set up the encampment. The Plaza was jam-packed, with some students standing on the roof of a campus dining facility. Tents were set up in the midst of this massive general assembly—and Occupy Cal was re-established.


The Courage of the California Prisoners and the Responsibility of the People

by the Bay Area Revolution Writers Group

“These attempts to further brutalize my mind and isolate my body have only set my resolve in stone.” —a Pelican Bay Prisoner

Tens of thousands of prisoners in Security Housing Units (SHUs) and Administrative Segregation (Ad-Seg) in this country face the most brutal, inhumane conditions of solitary, long-term confinement and denial of other basic human rights. Twice in the last few months, California prisoners in such horrendous conditions, along with others not in solitary, launched hunger strikes—each lasting three weeks. Over 6,500 prisoners took part in the first wave (July 1-20), nearly 12,000 during the second (September 26-October 13).

These prisoners put their lives on the line and have courageously stood up—despite attempts by the prison authorities to suppress their struggle through lies and repression—to let the world know about the barbaric U.S. prisons and to demand to be treated like human beings. And now, after the second round of the hunger strike has ended, with many prisoners in a physically weakened state, the prison authorities are coming down with a new wave of repression.


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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.