Worldwide Protests Demand:
Close Guantanamo NOW

May 26, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Hundreds participated in the May 23 Global Day of Action to Close Guantanamo and End Indefinite Detention around the world
Above: Munich, Germany credit:
Below: Times Square, NY credit:

To mark the May 23 Global Day of Action to Close Guantánamo NOW and End Indefinite Detention, before dawn in Erie, PA, a banner saying “Close Guantánamo” was dropped over a highway. In Mexico City, several young people in orange jumpsuits stood outside the U.S. Embassy with a sign saying “No Mas Guantánamo.” In London and Washington, groups gathered in front of government buildings displaying photographs of the 154 men still held by the U.S. in Guantánamo, almost all without charges, for as long as 12 years. Groups gathered in front of county courthouses in Bozeman, Montana, and Tiffin, Ohio, as part of actions in 46 cities.

A dozen students from York College in Queens, NY, came to protest at Times Square in Manhattan with more than 100 others after seeing a film about Guantánamo in their international studies class. They, like a majority of students approached on another city campus, either did not know that the U.S. set up the Guantánamo prison in 2002 where more than 700 men have been held without charge and tortured, or thought it had been closed by Obama. The York College students, most not born in the U.S., said it meant a lot to them to hear, at the protest, the words of the prisoners and different kinds of people saying torture and mass incarceration are wrong.

“We were a small group but we had a big impact,” reported protesters from World Can’t Wait who talked to groups of soldiers on Waikiki Beach in Oahu, Hawaii. In Chicago, 50 people involved in the protest found that more people were stopping, photographing, and taking fliers than in previous years.

One year ago, Obama responded to the prisoners’ collective hunger strike in protest of their detention by saying that he would take steps to close the prison. But since then he has released just 12 prisoners. All of the 57 Yemeni prisoners, cleared to leave years ago, are still held. Abu Wa’el Dhiab, a prisoner who sued the government to stop the painful torture of force-feeding him during his long-term hunger strike, won a temporary respite—but on May 23, a federal judge allowed the military to resume forcing a feeding tube into his stomach. Dhiab, who has been “cleared” for release since 2009, is one of six Guantanamo prisoners the president of Uruguay has offered to give residency immediately, but the U.S. government has taken no action.

In an ominous action, the U.S. Senate just voted to authorize Obama to move all the 154 prisoners at Guantánamo to prisons in the U.S. This would allow Obama the claim that he has “closed” Guantánamo, while creating a terrible precedent of holding prisoners indefinitely and without charge within the U.S. (while possibly trying those few they have charged in sham military commission trials). Some of the prisoners’ attorneys say that disappearing the Guantánamo prisoners into the hellhole of mass incarceration here would make it even harder to get them freed.

All of this makes the demand to close Guantánamo and release the detainees now more urgent. More coverage of this struggle is at


Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.