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New York City:
 
Taking Torture To the Times: Resisters Speak Out Against Child Torture, Demand War Crimes Prosecutions of Bush Regime
 
Resisters with World Can’t Wait gathered in front of the New York Times building Monday March 30, to denounce U.S. torture of children and demand prosecution of the Bush Regime for war crimes.
 
Holding a banner reading, “The U.S. Government Tortured Children: Prosecute the Bush Regime Now!” and kneeling in orange jumpsuits and black hoods to symbolize those tortured by our government, the group created a dramatic visual for nearly 90 minutes in front of the offices of the nation’s largest newspaper.
 
The action was called in response to a new book by professor Michael Haas, “George W. Bush War Criminal? The Bush Administration’s Liability For 269 War Crimes.” A particular focus was placed on the book’s exposure of our government’s kidnapping, indefinite detention, and torture of thousands of children in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo. As Haas details, children in detention were raped, forced to run carrying heavy buckets (and beaten when they stopped), held in solitary confinement, and denied contact with their parents for years at a time. And this only touches on the abuse these children suffered at the hands of our government.
 
The unbelievable depths of cruelty and sadism exposed in Haas’ book represents a particularly egregious concentration of the fascist direction World Can’t Wait has been resisting for the past several years. That, coupled with the fact that all this is happening in our names, made it a moral necessity to speak out and resist.
 
World Can’t Wait gave out roughly 300 flyers in front of the Times building, both to pedestrians walking by and to people exiting the building—at least several of whom, presumably, were part of the Times’ newsroom staff. Since observing people in orange jumpsuits and black hoods kneeling in front of their office—and demanding prosecutions of a U.S. administration— is not exactly something the Times staff sees every day, it seems reasonable to assume the action will generate at least some buzz and conversation when those people next return to work.
 
In addition, the Times (whom we notified of the action in advance in an effort to get media coverage) had clearly taken note of this action before it even started: a dozen cops were there as World Can’t Wait arrived, with a barricade ready. Several stayed throughout the demonstration.
 
The reactions of people walking by were, in some ways a microcosm of how people in society much more broadly are reacting to the crimes of their government: Some people took flyers or stopped to engage the protestors. Others walked by and pretended not to notice what was happening.   Still others—including some who exited the Times building—made a point of walking as far away as possible from the “detainees” and those handing out flyers, in order to avoid the whole scene.
 
One thing that was indisputably accomplished by this action is that, by taking a public, visible stand condemning torture and demanding prosecutions, everyone who saw this demonstration was forced to confront the crimes committed in their name and to make a conscious choice: to either engage, or ignore, this reality.
 
To those in New York who didn’t make it on Monday: You missed a good and important demonstration. We hope to see you at future actions!
 
San Francisco:
 
March 30, 2009. In response to President Obama's Mar. 27th announcement of an escalation of the war in Afghanistan, an EMERGENCY ACTION took place today at noon in front of the San Francisco Federal Reserve at 101 Market St. Participating organizations included CodePink, Cindy Sheehan, War and Law League (WALL), and World Can't Wait.
 
 
March 30, 2009. In response to President Obama's Mar. 27th announcement of an escalation of the war in Afghanistan, an EMERGENCY ACTION took place today at noon in front of the San Francisco Federal Reserve at 101 Market St. Participating organizations included CodePink, Cindy Sheehan, War and Law League (WALL), and World Can't Wait.
 
President Obama has announced the worst possible path he could have taken in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has been the downfall of many Empires. Our Empire is already crumbling economically and militarily, and Obama's plan will only hasten the Empire's demise. The Empire collapsing is one thing, but not on the innocent people in Afghanistan or on our troops and their families.
 
About 2 dozen demonstrators displayed banners at the busy intersection of Market and Main Sts., drew small crowds with the bullhorn, passed out literature, and engaged interested onlookers in conversation. The banners protested the escalation of the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, decried the notion of Obama's "good war," and called for the complete withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
 
A large police presence remained mostly out of view down a side street.
 

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