From the Archive
Daily Update – Day 7 of the Fast for Justice
Our community in DC continues to grow as we prepare to mark January 11th, the beginning of Guantanamo’s 15th year. As you read through this update, please watch and share the videos linked – like this one filmed in Union Station — inspired by the words of Mohammed Al-Hamiri, held captive in Guantanamo for 14 years.
We began our day with reflections and discussions about what we’ve been doing here in DC and where we want our work to go. The sense of sense of community and focus remained strong as we entered our final full day of fasting.
Frida Berrigan led the morning reflection, giving a personal and close telling of both the first WAT trip to Guantanamo in 2005 and the most recent trip this past November. Frida focused on the importance and centrality of creating rituals and nurturing community – and spoke of the creation of ritual serving to recognize and hold both beauty & horror. The reflection ended with the community in DC speaking a litany of resistance that was used a few months ago by the community in Cuba.
Action Planning & January 11th
We had some time to debrief our time yesterday with Comfort Oludipe, Darlene Cain, and Marion Gray-Hopkins – mothers from the DC and Baltimore areas whose sons had been killed by police officers. (You can WATCH & SHARE a video of a poem Frank shared at the vigil and LISTEN and HEAR the voice of Comfort Oludipe)
Our discussion focused on improving our connections to the Black Lives Matter community in the Baltimore/DC area. There was a general concern that we, who are mostly white, need to hone in on our own consciousness related to white supremacy and to take responsibility for working with other white people – a crucially important conversation for our community to be engaging.
In the afternoon we continued planning and preparing for January 11th, when we will join among a coalition of human rights activists, torture survivors, Guantánamo attorneys, and members of diverse faith communities to mark the beginning of the 15th year of Guantanamo.
The coalition is calling on the Obama administration in its last, crucial year in office, to close Guantánamo and end indefinite detention. There are demonstrations planned in many cities, including a London gathering outside the US Embassy led by 7 former British men who had been in Guantanamo, and including Shaker Aamer who was freed in October 2015 after being incarcerated for 14 years and ex prisoner Jihad Dhiab (aka Abu Wa’el Dhiab) will demonstrate outside the U.S. Embassy in Uruguay.
Evening Panel – Visions of Home: Close Guantanamo!
This evening, we all walked over to the Impact Hub for a report back about recent Cuba delegations by WAT and Code Pink, an update on Guantanamo from Andy Worthington and Aliya from CCR, and a performance by the Peace Poets.
The evening included this powerful piece – written by Enmanuel Candelario when we were outside the perimeter of the base in November.
Our evening closed with a new song – written by Luke Nephew specifically for our action on January 11 at the White House.
We hear a beautiful sound
It is the breaking of chains
We see a path of hope
We have found the way
Let them go home
Let them go home
Let them go home
Let them go today