May 16, 2014
Local Media Contact: Megan Harrington, Amnesty International USA Group 48, 206-398-9838
Amnesty International USA Group 48, Veterans For Peace, and CloseGitmo.net hold ‘May 23 Global Day of Action To Close Guantanamo and End Indefinite Detention’
Exactly one year after President Obama recommitted to close down the detention facility, multiple local social justice groups will protest the lack of progress on detainee transfers
PORTLAND, OR—On Friday, May 23, one year after President Obama once again promised to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in a speech at National Defense University, local chapters of Amnesty International (USA Group 48), Veterans For Peace, and CloseGitmo.net will host a rally at noon at Director Park in downtown Portland.
This rally is part of a Global Day of Action organized by Witness Against Torture, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Amnesty International and other groups.
Groups are calling on President Obama to transfer the dozens of cleared detainees and make good on his commitment to close the detention facility this year.
The President’s pledge last May came amidst a mass hunger strike by men protesting their indefinite detention. Since then only a handful of detainees have been transferred despite Congress’ decision to ease restrictions on such transfers.
There are no excuses for further delay. The President has the authority to transfer cleared detainees and it’s time to use it. Groups are also calling on President Obama to release the full Senate report on CIA torture and ensure that the CIA does not have the final say about what information is made public.
“The existence and continued use of the ‘gulag’ of Guantanamo is grotesque,” said S. Brian Willson, member of the Portland chapter of Veterans for Peace. “The fact that Americans tolerate the long imprisonment and torture of other human beings without due process means we need to take a serious look at the level of apathy in our culture.”
Activists will wear orange jumpsuits representing detainees at colorful demonstrations in over 25 cities, including Portland.
WHERE: Director Park, 815 SW Park Ave, downtown Portland, OR.
• Events will also be held in Washington, DC, New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, London and over 20 other cities. For a full list & contact info, visit: http://www.witnesstorture.org/events/
WHEN: 12pm, Friday, May 23, 2014
WHO: Members of the public and activists from multiple local social justice groups
WHAT: Global Day of Action Against Guantanamo
To participate, the public can attend a rally, sign a petition, call elected officials and tweet President Obama.