Our History in 3 Minutes
The Long Version
Witness Against Torture formed in 2005 when 25 Americans went to Guantánamo Bay and attempted to visit the detention facility. Once we returned from that journey, we began to organize more broadly to shut down Guantánamo, working with interfaith, human rights and activists’ organizations.
We have planned a series of nonviolent direct actions to expose and decry the administration’s lawlessness, build awareness about torture and indefinite detention amongst Americans and forge human ties with the prisoners at Guantánamo and their families.
In 2007, we began marking January 11th— the date that the first “war on terror” prisoners arrived at Guantánamo Bay in 2002– as a day of national shame, organizing major demonstrations and civil resistance at sites in Washington, DC and around the country. During our demonstrations, we lift up the words of the detainees themselves, bringing them to public spaces they are not permitted to access. We fast when we gather as a means to raise awareness of the hunger strikes of the men detained in Guantanamo, fighting for their right to justice and freedom.
We shut down a Federal Court when the courts refused to allow the men from Guantánamo in.
We held a memorial in the Capitol Rotunda for men who had died at Guantánamo.
We shut down the United States Supreme Court calling for justice for men in Guantánamo.
We have lined the sidewalk in front of the White House hundreds of times, in orange jumpsuits and black hoods.
We took over the Museum of American History imploring “Make Guantánamo History!”