July 2013 Archives

Hands off Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, Free Bradley Manning

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Thanks to Army PFC Bradley Manning and press coverage of the court martial trial he has endured, we've witnessed the great lengths President Obama will go to silence the truth about U.S.-sanctioned murder across the globe.

Yesterday a crowd gathered at Powell/Market plaza to respond to the military verdict handed down earlier earlier in the day, rallying public support for reduced or suspended sentencing (Bradley is facing 130 years in prison if prosecutors get their way). New friends joined the Bradley Manning support network for a march around Union Square, taking it to the streets and disrupting cable car service for a brief period. Tourists and shoppers joined in chants of "Hey Bradley, we got your back!" and "Whistleblowing is not a crime... Bradley Manning is a Hero." 

That same day, European Parliamentarians called on President Obama to free Manning:

"As Members of the European Parliament, who were elected to represent our constituents throughout Europe, we are writing to express our concerns about the ongoing persecution of Bradley Manning, the young U.S. soldier who released classified information revealing evidence of human rights abuses and apparent war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan... Army prosecutors closed their arguments in the case without having provided any real evidence that Bradley Manning aided the enemy."

It takes courage to expose the crimes of our government. The stakes, life imprisonment or death, couldn't be higher. Stand in support of those who have taken the leap. 

More photos here.


click here for video of New York action and a statement from World Can't Wait Director Debra Sweet

In 2002, the Bush regime set up a primitive prison camp at a U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Over six years they held 776 men there without charges, using what they called "enhanced interrogation" and the rest of the world calls "torture." Bush called these men "the worst of the worst," though most had been turned in for $5,000 cash bounties the U.S. paid, and had no connection to attacks on the U.S. An international outcry brought about the release of more than 500 of the prisoners.


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.


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It takes courage to expose the crimes of our government. The stakes, life imprisonment or death, couldn't be higher. Stand in support of those who have taken the leap. 

Through an act of tremendous courage and self-sacrifice, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed the most massive government spying in history into the communications and activities of billions of people on the planet. We can expect President Obama to go to great lengths to silence the truth about actions that utilize de facto torture, that run roughshod over the rule of law and due process, and that rain down terror and murder on peoples and nations.

Loyal agent of executive overreach Dianne Feinstein wasted no time in vilifying Snowden, accusing him of "treason." The Senator who voted in favor of the Iraq War in 2002 continues to support the Patriot Act. Returning from a recent tour of Guantanamo she thanked the personnel at the prison camp for their "dedicated service in detaining 166 individuals in a safe and respectful way."

We stood outside Feinstein's office in solidarity with the Guantanamo hunger strikers, well into their fifth month of resistance to indefinite abuse. We were there to demand the end of persecution of Bradley Manning. And we were there to thank Edward Snowden for following his conscience.

 History calls on us to express outrage at the gross violation of fundamental rights visited on political prisoners and whistleblowers alike.

Charge or release the prisoners at Guantanamo. 
Free Bradley Manning. 
Hands off Edward Snowden.

Protesters rally in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin trial in Times Square in New York, July 14, 2013. (Reuters / Keith Bedford)

Times Square in New York, July 14, 2013.  Reuters / Keith Bedford


From the policies of the U.S. government to the acts of a brutal vigilante, callous disregard for human life is a crime.

Prosecutors in Sanford, Florida expected to meet the 'depraved indifference' legal standard to find defendant George Zimmerman guilty of second-degree murder of a 17 year old black youth minding his own business.

Assistant state attorney John Guy charged that Zimmerman didn't shoot Trayvon out of self-defense. Nor did he fire because he had to...

"He shot Trayvon for the worst of all reasons: because he wanted to."

The practices of our government in its 'War On Terror' have a common element - the degradation of our souls, of all that it means to be 'human'. Indefinite detention - being jailed without criminal charges, legal cases cooked up against people who've been kidnapped, the total destruction of any level of due process for the accused, all of this combined with torture, constitutes crime against humanity.  

This is the wealthiest country in the world and it calls itself the home of freedom and democracy. Yet somehow America has more people behind bars than any other country in the world.  And looking at the people in the prison system, their numbers are very disproportionately Black and Brown. 

Racial profiling is how Trayvon Martin was marked for death. Racial profiling encouraged a racist wanna-be cop to assault and then murder Trayvon Martin, for the crime of being young, Black, and walking while wearing a hoodie. 

Racial profiling is how hundreds of thousands of people have been entered into the system such as through encounters like 'Stop and Frisk' - setting people up for encounters with the police that criminalize young people.

The so-called justice system in this country produces nothing but injustice. We have to ask why and we have to demand answers. And as we do this, we have to act to change a terribly unjust situation. The world can't wait.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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