[pjw] Photos posted! Re: REPORT BACK/FACTS: Guantanamo, 17 years later

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Thu Jan 17 19:50:29 EST 2019

Hello again PJW supporters

We have now posted stills taken by Joe Anybody of last Friday's event, you 
can see them here:


On that page we also added a link to Joe Anybody's video, which is about 
15 minutes long (and includes some passers by using a very not nice 
word, so you have been warned).


OK, thanks again to everyone who helped out and of course to Joe 

dan h
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

On Sat, 12 Jan 2019, Peace and Justice Works wrote:

> Hello PJW supporters
> Last night at the "Close Guantanamo-- Still America's Shame" action, the 
> 12-foot-tall Tower of Peace was visible to thousands of Portlanders driving 
> past Pioneer Square for 90+ minutes during rush hour.* Over 15 people 
> participated in the rally/march and handed out roughly 150 fact sheets. About 
> half the crowd wore orange jumpsuits to remind people of the dehumanization 
> imposed on the inmates by the United States. Many passers-by in cars honked 
> their horns and gave thumbs up, and pedestrians thanked us for being there. 
> Several grassroots media folks including PSU students and the famous Joe 
> Anybody came by to document the event. (We hope to post some stills in the 
> coming days.)
> Below is the text from the fact sheet we handed out, which as noted yesterday 
> can also be seen at:
> http://www.pjw.info/Guantanamo17ylfacts.pdf
> Feel free to share widely, particularly if you have connections to any of the 
> national organizations who held vigil in Washington, DC yesterday.
> Thanks to all locally who helped, especially Amnesty International Group 48, 
> Portland Peaceful Response Coalition for hosting us, and the PJW members who 
> came.
> Hope to see folks Monday at the Iraq Affinity Group meeting.
> dan handelman
> peace and justice works iraq affinity group
> *- though many now say rush hour is all day in Portland any more.
> --------
> Still Americas' Shame
> (January 11, 2019)
> January 11 marks exactly 17 years since the U.S. opened its notorious 
> detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Although at one point roughly 770 
> prisoners were held, just 40 people remain in indefinite detention in this 
> legal no-man's land (Public Radio International, 12/11/18). Twenty-six 
> --nearly two thirds--are considered "forever prisoners"  which means most 
> have life sentences without having faced trial (Washington Post, 12/21/17). 
> Three of the 40 have been cleared for release, but President Donald Trump 
> refuses to allow it (closeguantanamo.org/Prisoners). Only four have been 
> successfully convicted of crimes, while nine prisoners have died 
> (Reprieve.org, 8/19/18). Many have been exposed to harsh conditions that have 
> been described as torture, including the force feeding of hunger strikers. 
> Many of these techniques were confirmed in the 2014 Senate report on 
> post-9/11 CIA "interrogations."
> As President-Elect, Trump pledged to "load [Guantanamo] up with bad dudes." 
> In November 2017, he suggested the man who killed eight people by driving 
> into them with his truck in New York should be put there as an "enemy 
> combatant" even though he wasn't captured on a field of battle (BBC, 
> 11/1/17).
> Reprieve notes: "The vast majority of detainees in Guantanamo (86%) were not 
> captured by US forces. Instead the Government filled the prison with people 
> they bought for bounties. The US flew planes over parts of Afghanistan and 
> Pakistan offering $5,000 for any 'suspicious person.' This amounted to 
> approximately seven years' average salary for most people in the area, 
> encouraging them to turn over innocent men in exchange for a life-changing 
> amount of money. Since then, it has turned out they got it wrong most of the 
> time. It didn't even take long for those in charge to see their mistake-- as 
> early as 2002, Guantanamo's operational commander complained that he was 
> being sent too many 'Mickey Mouse' detainees."
> An art show at John Jay College in New York featuring paintings and other art 
> by detainees at Guantanamo made headlines in 2017. Many of the paintings were 
> based around the ocean, despite many of the prisoners never having seen the 
> ocean. When a hurricane came in 2014, the guards temporarily took down tarps 
> that had been blocking their views (New York Times, 9/15/17). Once the 
> paintings became internationally recognized, the US declared no more art 
> would be shared, and the detainees no longer legally owned them (NY Times, 
> 11/27/17).
> Guantanamo has been referred to as "the most expensive prison on earth," with 
> the Miami Herald reporting in 2011 that it then cost $800,000 per year per 
> inmate, climbing to an estimated $11 million per person in 2018. "This means 
> that it costs $29,000 per prisoner per night to keep Guantanamo open - far 
> more than any federal prison" (Reprieve.org). Overall, the cumulative costs 
> from 2002 to today are well over $3 billion.
> Amnesty International (AI), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and 
> others continue to call for the prison to be shut down, with CCR noting in 
> 2014 that the (supposed) end of combat operations in Afghanistan "should 
> guide the closing of the prison and bring a swift end to years of indefinite 
> detention without charge or trial."
> Today (Jan. 11, 2019) in Washington DC, AI, CCR, Code Pink, Witness Against 
> Torture and others had a mid-day rally. Rally promotional materials say the 
> goals are: "to close Guantanamo, and call for a stop to cruelty, fear, 
> racism, islamophobia and lies."
> Continuing to hold people in an off-shore prison without prosecution is an 
> unacceptable violation of human rights, which is inspiring people to take 
> action against the United States in acts of so-called "terrorism." It is 
> making us less safe, not more secure. If we want to "make America great 
> again," it is far past time to shut Guantanamo prison down.
> This fact sheet prepared by Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group
> 503-236-3065.
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