|START DATE:||Thursday June 20|
|TIME:||7:00 PM - 9:00 PM|
|Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists' Hall |
1924 Cedar (@Bonita), Berkeley http://www.bfuu.org
|This documentary features four stories of men who are clear examples of whistleblowers that most Americans would think deserve protection when exposing government corruption, misconduct or wrongdoing. However, officials chose to protect the National Security State and retaliate against each of these men for speaking out. |
These incidents do not just involve government employees or contracted employees being targeted for telling the truth but also journalists, who step up to help whistleblowers tell the truth, and face scenarios where their sources are pursued as if they engaged in criminal acts.
Sponsored by the BFUU Social Justice Ctee as part of our Conscientious Projector Series for the 99%
Suggested donation $5-$10. No one turned away.
The word "Guantanamo" came to mean torture & injustice. One of Obama's first acts as president in 2008 was an order to close Guantanamo within one year, leading most people to think the terrible violation of peoples' rights by indefinite detention without trial is over. But it isn't.
166 men remain imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, most having never been charged with a crime.
Guantanamo hunger strikers are determined to free themselves from America's death camp -- one way or another. Lives are on the line.Prisoner lawyers describe worsening conditions, religious provocation, and the crushing reality of 11 years of indefinite detention. Forced feeding employed to keep the prisoners alive, to save face for the government, is itself a form of torture condemned by the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
Guantanamo: how will WE be judged?
Our government has done it's best to hide the torture practiced at the experimental prison camp of Guantanamo, and forestall any attempts at accountability for the perpetrators and enablers of those crimes. But thanks to the courageous actions of the prisoners held there we now know more details of continuing brutality and excuses of ignorance about what is transpiring, short of deliberate head-turning, are no longer plausible.
The U.S. engaged in torture and it is up to us to demand closure of the death camp and repudiation of the lawlessness exhibited there. The hunger strike by the Guantánamo prisoners is their cry to the world, which we must hear and support. Right now, today -- our voices and our actions can make a difference.
Don't let Obama get away with murder by attrition
There are moments in history that require a truly heroic transformation of consciousness. The prisoners' hunger strike represents a ghastly humanitarian crisis; but also presents an opportunity to raise the volume of resistance.
Anti-torture activists know that it will take a massive demonstration of support to stop the suffering and to save the lives of those who have not yet crossed the threshold beyond recovery (the body starts shutting down after 40 days of starvation; some of these men have denied food since early February).
As it stands now, the only way out of their hell-on-earth is in a coffin.
The Guantanamo hunger strikers are literally starving for your attention
Murder by neglect... is this the end of the line? Will Americans accept this version of history? Or will we step up to the task at hand and close down Guantanamo once and for all? When ignore -ance = death, silence is not an option.
"It's going to take the American people to demand Guantanamo Bay prison facilitiesbe closed... Until the issue catches the public's attention, there is little hope forimprovement -- former prison official Ret. Col. Morris Davis
Our April 11th rally at the Federal Building identified the systemic nature of the torture being carried out in our names, sanctioned by illegal and immoral policies adopted by the Obama regime.
The April 18th Call to Action (San Francisco City Hall photo, right) was part of a week-long drive to initiate public protests in every corner of this country to demand closure of the Guantanamo death camp and repudiation of the lawlessness exhibited there.
In this NY Times Op-Ed page you hear the cry from one hunger striking prisoner - describing the despair of the prisoners, the torture of force-feedings. There seems to be no limit to the levels of the U.S. government's assault on the human rights of these "detainees".
Dozens of anti-war activists rallied with hundreds of disgruntled environmentalists in the streets around the cordoned-off home of Ann and Gordon Getty Wednesday, where the President was visiting with loyal benefactors. Just months into Obama's second term in office, the administration is facing growing opposition to domestic political repression, mass incarceration, surveillance, and government action speeding climate destruction. The World Can't Wait recognizes the potential for disaffection from business-as-usual to grow, and translate into concrete acts of resistance to the crimes of this government.
The month of April presents opportunity for protest on two particular fronts:
Public debate surrounding the 'legality' and morality of drone attacks on civilians in the Middle East and Africa has prompted a national campaign to stop production of these robotic killing machines and to confront Presidential claims of unilateral authority to kill at whim. Visit www.KnowDrones.com to find what you should know about war drones and what you can do.
Second, step up to the responsibility to support the Guantanamo hunger strikers. We cannot stand by while these men endure murder by attrition. After 11 years of hell-on-earth in the U.S. experimental death camp, prisoners have resigned themselves to getting out - one way or the other. We must not let that be by coffin. Check back here soon for local events on April 11: National Day of Action.
The world can't wait - Close Guantanamo Now
The rally drew a crowd of more than 100, including tourists in town for this evening's Chinese New Year Parade. Speakers at today's rally included Jeff Patterson of Courage to Resist, Rainey Reitman and Michael Thurman of the Bradley Manning Support Network, Art Persyko of the 99% Coalition, Mary Ann Thomas of World Can't Wait and Denny Riley of Veterans for Peace, among others.
"Two and a half years ago we made a promise to Bradley and his family that we would pay his entire legal bill for any legal team that he chose," Gulf war resister Jeff Patterson told the crowd. "More than 16,500 people have donated to Bradley's defense and we have raised almost $1 million for him. We have been sitting behind Bradley for each hearing and he knows about our support for him. Knowing this is the fight of his life, he looks hopeful because he knows he has millions of people around the world, like you, that support him. He couldn't face that without you to have his back. We will keep fighting until Bradley Manning is free."
Rainey Reitman, co-founder of the Bradley Manning Support Network, said, "One of the tactics that the United States government is using to deal with the 'Bradley Manning' problem is pushing his trial off again, and again, and again in hopes the American public won't notice. Our fundraising keeps Bradley's family from having to mortgage their home to pay his legal expenses. I am so impressed that after two and a half years we are still able to energize and engage people to show up at events like this and continue to donate to make sure we have enough funding to cover Brad's legal costs. It has been a very difficult and frustrating legal battle. We've had a few wins; we've had a few losses. We need public awareness now, not just for Bradley Manning, but for every whistleblower that comes in the future - post Bradley Manning - that exposes war crimes."
"It is dangerous when people are quiet or paralyzed, cowed and complicit as the crimes go on and on," World Can't Wait's Mary Ann Thomas told the crowd. "You can usually tell something about a society by the kind of military force it wields. Look at the kinds of weapons created and used by the U.S. - poison gas in World War I, nukes in World War II, napalm against the Vietnamese people, white phosphorus in the Gulf war. These technologies are so heinous that millions of people removed their support from U.S. belligerence. And now we have killer drones - the Reaper, the Predator - murder by drone is a strategy and it is made in America."
As Manning's supporters are not only in the Bay Area, solidarity rallies for him were held in 70 cities around the world. Photo messages from his supporters both here and abroad were displayed in the plaza. These messages were part of an online "photo petition" on the Web site www.iambradleymanning.org.
Also, on display in the plaza was a 1/5 scale replica of a MQ-9 Reaper drone provided by knowdrones.com, which provides drone replicas and educational materials to support citizen action to achieve an international ban on weaponized drones and surveillance drones - war drones.
Manning's trial is scheduled to begin on June 3, 2013, three years after he was arrested. For the first 10 months of his incarceration, Manning was tortured and held in solitary confinement, amid international outrage among human rights supporters and military resisters and veterans.
On February 26, Manning's attorney, David Coombs, will submit a motion to dismiss the case for lack of a speedy trial. In the motion, Coombs states: "PFC Manning's statutory and constitutional speedy trial rights have been trampled upon with impunity...by violating the 5th and 6th Constitutional Amendments, Rule for Court Martial 707, and Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 10." Manning was required to be arraigned within 120 days but prosecutors took over 600 days. Coombs also showed substantial periods of inactivity and needless delay by the prosecutors. Judge Denise Lind could dismiss the charges with prejudice, if she determines the government intentionally delayed the trial. This ruling would allow Manning to be released, but she could also dismiss without prejudice, which would allow the government to retry the case.
The Bradley Manning Support Network and Courage to Resist initiated the rally. For more information, visit <www.bradleymanning.org/>
"Although they will argue that it's being used for, you know, basically good policing, we're afraid that it's going to be used to surveil protesters, dissents, you know, people that are against police brutality" -- Anne Weills, National Lawyers Guild
Voting for Obama was no guarantee of protection from 'the lesser of two evils'...
"there's no one at this table who could be exempt from some informed official, who we've now learned has the power to defend--to condemn us to death -- Daniel Ellsberg
Tuesday, February 12, SF City Hall. Photo by Bill Carpenter
c/o Nadia Kayyali, Bill of Rights Defense Committee:
activists gathered on the steps of San Francisco's city hall to oppose the indefinite military detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and to support the introduction of a resolution by Supervisor and President of the Board David Chiu. The resolution of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will uphold due process and articulate San Francisco's opposition of the NDAA...
The date of the resolution's introduction was timed to fall in advance of February 19th, the 71st anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066. This order, signed by President Franklin Roosevelt, authorized the military to intern over 120,000 Japanese-Americans without any trial or due process. Japanese-americans in particular have raised their voices against the growing encroachment on civil liberties presented by the never-ending war on terror.
In addition to a massive outpouring of grief, the suicide of Reddit co-founder, programmer, and Internet activist Aaron Swartz has prompted a great deal of anger among members of the online and tech communities who knew him best. Swartz was awaiting trial for using MIT's wireless network to download 4.8 million academic documents from JSTOR (he had legal access to the online library as Harvard researcher at the time) with the apparent intention of distributing them for free. Many seem to believe that the strain of the case, which the Swartz family called "the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach," pushed the already depressed 26-year-old over the edge...
At noon on Sunday about two dozen protesters gathered at either end of the Golden Gate Bridge, some wearing orange jumpsuits to evoke images of Guantanamo Bay prisoners, to mark the eleventh anniversary of the notorious American prison camp.
Recently returned from a peace delegation into war-torn areas of Pakistan, Code Pink member Toby Blomé added: "Obama promised to close Guantánamo in his first year. Yet he just signed the National Defense Authorization Act which adds even further restrictions on the ability to obtain transfers for Guantánamo prisoners! Secret Black sites and extraordinary rendition continue. SHAME!".