Al Jazeera reported that conditions at Guantanamo Bay have deteriorated in the past year, under Obama's watch:
“Within days of Obama's inauguration and subsequent announcement that he would close Guantanamo, prisoners say authorities introduced new regulations and revoked previous privileges at the prison.
“ ‘They took away group recreation for prisoners in segregation, which was the only time we saw anyone,’ Mohammed el Gharani, a Guantanamo detainee remembers. ‘They took away the books we had from the library. They even sprayed pepper spray into my cell while I was sleeping, so I'd wake up unable to breathe.’ “
Gharani says he was beaten so badly by guards that he is still suffering pain today.
The NY Times recently reported on the widespread fear of the coming deployment of tens of thousands more troops to Afghanistan among the Afghan people. I hear the words of Zoya from the Revolutionary Association of Afghan Women, echo in my mind: “Afghanistan is a ‘free country’...a free country for rapists, opium runners, warlords and foreign troops."
She spoke bitterly of the Taliban years, but said that Hamid Karzai's government has notorious warlord ministers he pardoned for notorious rapes, and that people hate the US occupation and Karzai so much they are going back to support the Taliban.
These are just some of the most glaring examples of the crimes being carried out in our names that we must still resist and stop.
I'm looking forward to meeting with people from around the country at World Can't Wait's national meeting this weekend. We are determined to go forward and mobilize people on the basis of principle to oppose, resist, and stop the crimes of our government, the fascist re-making of the U.S., and to do all this with creativity, daring and confidence that we can succeed.
In the past year, under different political conditions than when World Can't Wait was founded to drive out the Bush Regime, we have done some amazing things with limited resources and a national network of volunteers:
challenged the broader anti-war movement to stand up against the "good war" Obama is escalating: Afghanistan
stayed visible, in the streets, resisting and protesting in cities from Hawaii to New York and many between
organized the We Are Not Your Soldiers tour, bringing the true story of what the military is like as told by veterans themselves to high school students around the country
broke into national media with our protests of John Yoo (the torture lawyer now teaching at UC Berkeley), protests shutting down the Army Experience Center, on the anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan in front of the White House, and while sucessfully defending the heroic Dr. Carhart in Omaha, Nebraska from violently anti-choice groups
Stop the Occupations of Iraq & Afghanistan. No Escalation!
Part of the "Eyes Wide Open" exhibit was set up in Washington Square Park Sunday, and in Times Square Monday by World Can't Wait and Military Families Speak Out. Thousands of people stopped to see the boots, representing almost 1000 US military killed in Afghanistan, and the circle of shoes memorializing uncounted thousands of Afghani civilians killed in the occupation.
We expect President Obama will announce troop excalations in Afghanistan sometime next week. There are protests planned the day of the announcement. But don't wait! We had hundreds of conversations in the last two days with students, tourists, veterans who stopped to say they don't know why the US is really in Afghanistan, or that they oppose the esclation.
The Stories of Guantanamo from Andy Worthington
Andy showed his new film Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo in New York, Washington, Virginia, and the Bay Area, and did two book talks. Excerpts from the film were shown Friday on Democracy Now.
One of the moving parts of the film is from former detainee Omar Deghayes, released after years at Guantanamo. "The last time I saw my son was when they abducted us in Lahore, and he was six month years old, I think. Very young. Now he's seven years old. I haven't seen him since. I think it is the biggest loss I can, the biggest loss I have lost in Guantánamo, really. Not my eye, not my broken finger, not my broken ribs, not my broken nose, not the humiliation, not the sexual abuse, not all that transport and things. All these are bad enough, but the worst, I think, thing that can-that did happen, I lost there, is not the eye; it's those years of seeing Suleiman growing up."
Converge on Fort Benning, Georgia November 20-22, 2009
Sunday November 15: Hundreds of people protested at Hancock Field, a base of the New York Air National Guard in upstate NY. Recently the Pentagon announced that un-manned drones would be controlled from Hancock.
World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.