Revolution #117, January 27, 2008
Standing Up Against Torture
We received the following correspondence.
Friday, January 11 marked the sixth anniversary of the opening of the Guantánamo Bay torture center, located on the island of Cuba and operated by the U.S. Through a variety of local actions, people around the U.S. and in many countries around the world demanded: “Stop Torture—Shut Down Guantánamo!” At UCLA, a group of us carried out the first waterboarding simulation ever done on that campus. Three students from Cal Arts with acting abilities volunteered to help play the parts of the interrogators and a detainee. The interrogators snatched the detainee from the crowd, hooded him, and forced him to wear an orange jumpsuit. Then they carried out a controlled version of this brutal torture technique.
Students noticed numerous orange ribbons all over Bruin Walk that morning and caught on that this was the color of resistance to torture and other crimes of the Bush regime. Several orange banners reading “Stop Torture”—with a rendering of the Guantánamo detainee image by the British graffiti artist Banksy—hung from campus buildings.
We sell the Revolution newspaper and orange bandanas regularly on that campus, but never have students stopped and turned their heads to this degree. The demonstration, which was taped by a professional videographer, further revealed the basis to get many more people wearing orange and spreading resistance. (The video is on YouTube.com—search for “UCLA” and “waterboarding.”) A gay ex-Air Force officer who saw the flyers on campus the day before was in tears and full of anger at the horrors he knows the U.S. government is carrying out. He told us, “Guantánamo? It’s a concentration camp.”
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