Activists fast to demand Obama close Gitmo

From Witness Against Torture, Jan. 8:

WASHINGTON – On Sunday, January 11 – the seven-year anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantanamo – more than 200 human rights advocates will join 60 people who are beginning a nine-day fast to encourage President-Elect Barack Obama to keep his promise to shut down Guantánamo and end torture in his first days of office.

At DuPont Circle Park at 12:45 PM in Washington, DC, leading human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Constitutional Rights and September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, will call for an end to the Bush policies, justice for the detainees, and accountability for possible US crimes. 150 demonstrators wearing orange jumpsuits and hoods will have a prisoner procession to dramatize the plight of the detainees still at Guantánamo.

“I am fasting,” says Malachy Kilbride of the Washington Peace Center, “to symbolically join the prisoners, who are starved for justice.”

“Obama’s statements,” explains Matthew Daloisio of Witness Against Torture, “bring hope that Guantánamo will close. But parts of the military and the Congress are already working to prevent Obama’s plans.”

“We need justice, not more politics of fear,” adds Valerie Lucznikowska of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. “This is the promise Obama represents, and we will hold his administration to it.”

The fast will be broken on January 20, when anti-torture activists will join the inauguration-day crowd. The event is part of Witness Against Torture‚s 100 Days Campaign to Close Guantanamo and End Torture. Participants include the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, the Torture Abolition Survivors Support Coalition, War Resisters League, and the American Friends Service Committee.

See our last posts on Obama and Guatánamo and the torture scandal.