MAY 23, 2014 – GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION TO CLOSE GUANTÁNAMO

Join people all over the world in the global day of nonviolent action to close Guantanamo.

We will meet in front of Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, CA (Mathilda and Java Streets), from 12-1 pm to remember those still held at Guantanamo, to call for the end of indefinite detention, and to tell Lockheed that torture is immoral.May 23

On May 23rd of last year, President Obama again promised to close the detention facility at Guantánamo.  His pledge came in response to the mass hunger strike by men protesting their indefinite detention and to the renewed, global condemnation of the prison.  One year later, far too little has changed: few detained men have left the prison and hunger strikes and forced feeding continue.

It’s a well-known fact that  contractors supply interrogation services, and contractors have traditionally not been subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  Lockheed Martin has been involved in the interrogation (torture) of prisoners at US facilities in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Lockheed spokesperson Tom Jurkowsky asserts “During our period of performance at Guantanamo, our employees were under the direct authority of” the U.S. Southern Command.  “We had no authority to, nor did we, direct the actions of any military member, active or reserve.” However, prisoners who have been released say otherwise. 

Since Obama’s speech, only 12 men have been released. 154 remain, nearly all of whom have never been charged with a crime.  76 were cleared for release by the US government years ago.  56 men are from Yemen, the largest national group at Guantanamo, but they remain subject to an effective moratorium on their release based on their nationality.  No one from Yemen has been freed since the May speech.

Up to 40 prisoners continue to hunger strike, and many are being subjected to forced feeding — a practice condemned by international human rights organizations, medical associations, and members of the US Congress.   New lawsuits in US courts lay bare the extreme cruelty of the forced feeding at Guantanamo.  To quell the public outcry against the prison, the US military in December 2013 stopped reporting the numbers of hunger strikers.  More recently, it has classified their protest, in Orwellian fashion, as “long term non-religious fasting.”

During his May, 2013 speech, President Obama asked the American people: “Look at the current situation, where we are force-feeding detainees who are being held on a hunger strike . . . Is this who we are?”

Sadly, as we face yet another broken promise, this is what the United States remains — a country that continues to indefinitely detain and brutalize the men at Guantanamo.

Join the Catholic Workers, the Pacific Life Community, and folks from the Dorothy Stang Center of Notre Dame de Namur University for a spirited gathering on Friday, May 23, at noon in front of Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale.

For further reading, check out these articles:

DID YOU KNOW LOCKHEED MARTIN PROVIDED INTERROGATORS TO “EXTRACT” INFORMATION FROM DETAINEES AT GUANTANAMO, AFGHANISTAN, AND IRAQ?   written by Bob Aldridge, on wevigil.org

Meet the New Interrogators: Lockheed Martin Chatterjee Pratap

Witness Against Torture: May 23 Global Action

Call the Redwood City Catholic Worker at 650-366-4415 for more information about the action at Lockheed Martin on May 23.

 

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