From the Archive
Daily Update – Day 4 of the Fast for Justice
Muhammed Rahim al-Afghani is the last prisoner to have arrived at Guantanamo – in March of 2008, after nearly seven months in secret CIA detention. Writing to his attorney, he quotes Camus:
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence becomes an act of rebellion.” He then wrote, “I AM HERE.”
From ‘Inside Gitmo: America’s Shame’ – Rolling Stone
A moment of Reflection
Our community in DC continues to grow, both in numbers and creativity (and also hunger). As we entered Day 4 of the fast, our morning reflection focused on recognizing and remembering the men detained in Guantanamo. We began the day by reading the names of the men in a call & response style. Added to those, we spoke the names of those who could not join us here in DC on our fast, but are still present with us in spirit. The reflection was an important grounding in the reality that our movement is much larger than just those gathered in the circle right now.
Union Station & The American Psychological Association
Our actions today were inspired and led by the words of Mohammed Al-Hamiri, held captive in Guantanamo for 14 years.
We incorporated Al-Hamiri’s words into a street theatre piece, which we brought to Union Station & to the American Psychological Association (APA).
As some of our community read Al-Hamiri’s words, we staged one person in an orange jumpsuit and black hood – surrounded by a ‘cage’ made up of four people, representing the Pentagon, the Military, a psychologist, and a Congressperson. The tableau also incorporated representations of the sun, the moon and stars – which visually represented Al-Hamiri words expressing his feeling that even “the sun abandoned him.”
After processing to and performing at Union Station and the APA, we processed back to First Trinity Church to gather and continue planning.
The Coming Days…
As we move past the mid-point of our time together in DC, there are some events to highlight in the coming days. If you are in (or around) DC, please join us.
Saturday, January 9th: 7-9pm @ First Trinity Lutheran Church (309 E. St. NW)
This panel will examine the physical confinement and conditions under which the Muslim body has been held in the War on terror. Further, the discussion will focus on the ways in which Muslims have been criminalized by virtue of their religious and racialized identity and subjected to a separate system of justice. Using specific examples, panelists will speak both to prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, and Communication Management Units, two prisons that are notorious for their treatment of Muslim prisoners. Underscoring all of these issues, the panel will also interrogate the degree to which state violence has become law.
Major Raashid Williams, Counsel of Ammar Al-Baluchi;
Abdul Ali (Avon Twitty), Current leader of Dar At-Tawhid Masjid and Former Communication Management Unit prisoner
Dr. Maha Hilal, Executive Director, National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms
Moderator: Darakshan Raja, Program Manager and Helga Herz Organizing Fellow
Sunday, January 10th: 5pm @ The Impact Hub (419 7th Street NW, 3rd Floor)
The Peace Poets will perform. Witness Against Torture and CODEPINK will discuss their most recent trip to Guantanamo bay, Cuba. The Center of Constitutional Rights share the stories of the men they represent in Guantanamo.