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From the Desk of Debra Sweet, The World Can't Wait

Phone conference: What can we do this week to Close Guantanamo?

Monday May 13
10 EDT / 7 PDT

Organizers, interested people, experts and not... Join in as we discuss developments in the Guantanamo hunger strike, and plans for May 17-19 international actions.

Sign up for dial-in info

300 donors – out of 300 million living in the United States – needed NOW to donate and fund the Close Guantanamo message in The New York Times this week.



Fundraising progressSix days after World Can't Wait was seized with the plan to offer a vehicle for people to express their support for the Guantanamo prisoners hunger strike, and the demand to stop torturing them, 600 of you have signed on, and more than 200 have donated to make it happen. View latest signatures and add your name to the statement we're placing in The New York Times as a paid ad — with your help — very soon.

We are glad to be joined over this weekend by Marjorie Cohn, Junot Diaz, Daniel Ellsberg, Jodie Evans, Glenn Greenwald, Erica Jong, Mark Ruffalo and an attorney who represents eleven current prisoners, Carlos Warner, who says,

“We are not engaged in a legal battle. We are engaged in battle for our morals and virtues as a nation. This drive, and others like it, are our only hope to end the atrocity that is Guantanamo.”

Guantanamo attorney Marc Falkoff says,

“...More than half of the current prisoners have been cleared for release by every executive agency concerned with national security -- including the Departments of Justice, Defense, State, and Homeland Security, as well as the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Director of National Intelligence. Those men, at the very least, should finally be returned home to their families...”

Dennis Loo writes:

“This is not just another moment of a terrible injustice that we must act against in order to fight for a different outcome than would otherwise come about. This is the kind of a moment when various strands come together. A breakthrough is possible because someone or a group of people have taken a heroic stand and have thrown down the gauntlet to others and said, “Will you join us? Will you hear our call? Will you rise to the occasion? Will you save us (and thereby save yourselves)?”

This is what the majority of prisoners at Guantanamo have done by embarking on their hunger strike, now approaching on Friday, May 17th, 100 days.

Shall we seize this moment? Shall we show the world, as the prisoners are doing, that we know right from wrong and are willing to stand up for what's right with our names, our words, our voices, our money, and our bodies, and declare: Here we stand, we dare do no other.”

Marjorie Cohn, law professor, and former President of the National Lawyers Guild sharply challenged any complacency about what this hunger strike means. 

“More than 100 of the 166 detainees at Guantanamo are starving themselves to death. Twenty-three of them are being force-fed. ‘They strap you to a chair, tie up your wrists, your legs, your forehead and tightly around the waist,’ Fayiz Al-Kandari told his lawyer, Lt. Col. Barry Wingard. Al-Kandari, a Kuwaiti held at Guantanamo for 11 years, has never been charged with a crime.

‘The tube makes his eyes water excessively and blood begins to trickle from the nose. Once the tube passes his throat the gag reflex kicks in. Warm liquid is poured into the body for 45 minutes to two hours. He feels like his body is going to convulse and often vomits,’ Wingard added.”

The prisoners have no way out, as all legal remedies have been blocked by the Obama administration and the US courts.  Please join the crowd signing and funding this message so that it can appear as quickly as possibly in The New York Times, helping to create a political situation where Obama has to begin meeting these demands.

Exciting plans for Washington, DC and New York City for International Days of Action to support the Hunger Strikers

New York City:  Friday May 17 5-7 pm at Times Square we will join to sing a new anthem by the Peace Poets:
“Our brothers on a hunger hunger strike. Can't let them let them let them die.  If we do then we lose our dignity.  America stand up and sing with me....”

Listen to/download song now!

Washington, DC: Friday May 17 and every Friday.  Gather in front of White House 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm 

More locations: Chicago, London, Boston...

Bay Area Protests Against Guantanamo, John Yoo and Eric Holder

Protesting Yoo

Much respect to the San Francisco Chapter of World Can't Wait for pulling out people to protest torture professor John Yoo's presence on the faculty, and Eric Holder's speech at graduation for University of California Boalt Hall Law School.

Protesting Gitmo on BART

And to innovative activists who rode BART Saturday in orange jumpsuits. Read more.

Debra Sweet, The World Can't Wait

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