PROTEST! Guantanamo Hunger Strike DAY 57: April 3, 2013
April 1, 2013
The World Can't Wait
At least 130 of the 166 prisoners confined at Guantanamo have been on a hunger strike for eight weeks. Many have lost 20-30 pounds. They are being denied clean drinking water and their lawyers have been prevented from seeing them. 52 days into the strike, bodily functions are shutting down and are rapidly reaching a point where recovery is impossible. On April 3, as these prisoners face starvation, President Obama will visit San Francisco for a fund-raising dinner at a millionaire's mansion.
Guantánamo Hunger Strike DAY 57:
Obama Speaks in SF, April 3, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO (March 30, 2013) -- This week, Obama comes to the Bay Area for big-time Democratic Party fundraising.
April is a month of urgent, nationwide efforts to raise the strength and voice of the movement against America's murderous drone warfare. How many more villages will be terrorized and bombed by these remote control killing machines, how many more civilians will die, during Obama's 48 hours in sunny California?
And the hunger striking prisoners at Guantánamo -- now known to number at least 130 men out of the 166 still entombed there -- are well into their eighth week without food. Many have lost 20-30 pounds and cannot stand up. They are being denied clean drinking water. All flights to Guantánamo have been shut down, so their lawyers cannot see them.
In San Francisco, the President and his donors will dine at $32,500 a plate, while the prisoners are losing consciousness, coughing up blood, and many are being shackled for nasal-tube force-feedings, as the authorities try to break this hunger strike. World Can't Wait and other anti-war groups will be outside the Obama fundraiser.
Look for us, and join us -- bearing witness and speaking out, with our drone replica overhead and plenty of signs and pictures to carry.
Look for us, and join us -- in rows of people wearing the jumpsuits and hoods so that no one can say the Guantánamo prisoners are forgotten. We will have jumpsuits and hoods for those who wish to participate in making this important statement.
PROTEST ACTION: Wednesday April 3 at 4:00 PM
2870 Broadway at Baker, San Francisco, 94115
(at the residence of Gordon & Ann Getty)
NOTE: the area will be crowded, as CREDO has a 5:00 Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline rally in the same location. So come as early as you can, and gather at the drone replica. The mansion area will probably be cordoned off by the police, so KEEP THIS PHONE NUMBER WITH YOU -- 415-864-5153 -- so you can call to find the protest.
Why Come to this Protest?
It isn't Bush who's signing off on the weekly kill lists, and ordering the drones out to massacre civilians. It is Obama. It isn't Bush who says the American President can order the assassination of anyone on earth without any legal constraints -- it is Obama.
And it isn't Bush who promised to close Guantánamo -- it is Obama who presides over a $170 million construction project to render this permanent prison more permanent. It isn't Bush who can decide that 166 men including the 86 long ago cleared for release must still be there, still waiting -- now, perhaps, waiting for death as the only way America will ever let them leave this "living hell." It is Obama.
Crimes are crimes, no matter who commits them.
So when Obama comes to town this week, join others to raise this message:
NO to the killer drones,
NO to torture,
SHUT DOWN Guantánamo, and
STOP these wars -- NOW!
On Friday, a World Can't Wait crew traveled around San Francisco all afternoon to support the hunger striking Guantánamo prisoners. We were at Grace Cathedral (huge, elite, Episcopalian) and Mission Dolores (historic, Mission District, Catholic) before Good Friday services, leafleting and talking as people going into church stopped to read our banner and signs.
We also leafleted and called out to the community as we walked toward Mission Dolores, after an hour's vigil at a busy commute-time BART stop.
At every stop, we found a huge percentage of people had known nothing about the hunger strike before seeing us. A middle-aged homeless immigrant guy helped us set up our displays, and when we marched, he walked point for us holding high a "SHUT DOWN GUANTANAMO!" sign.
A young hospital nurse listening to our bullhorn broke down weeping at what he heard (and after some impassioned conversation he left with flyers to spread to his friends and co-workers).
All kinds of people who stopped to talk were horrified and outraged hearing about the condition of the prisoners on this, Day 52 of the hunger strike.