From the Archive
Join us from home or in DC
We’ll be gathering tomorrow in DC for Witness Against Torture’s week-long Fast for Justice. If you can’t join us in person, we invite you to join us from home, fasting with us in solidarity with the men in Guantanamo or taking action in other ways. We welcome you to join a conference call with us on Monday evening.
This year, we will also be fasting in solidarity with the Kings Bay Plowshares 7(KBP7), our friends who are currently awaiting trial for their dramatic anti-nuclear weapon action at the Kings Bay nuclear submarine base in Georgia last April. Many of them have been deeply involved with our WAT community.
In November’s KBP7 evidentiary hearings on their Religious Freedom Restoration Act motion, defendants presented testimony that can provide us with insights for WAT’s resistance to the prison at Guantanamo.
Martha Hennessy opened the Nov. 19th hearing by recounting that her mother and her grandmother Dorothy Day taught her to pay attention to others’ suffering and to practice loving kindness. The KBP7’s concern for the death of billions in a large-scale nuclear conflagration is firmly rooted in their concern for the dignity of each person they meet in daily life. Similarly, we in WAT carry in our hearts and proclaim in the public square the personal stories of men who have been tortured and imprisoned without charge or trial at Guantanamo. Holding fast to the human dignity of each person unites our two causes to resist violence on every scale.
Carmen Trotta told the court that the possession of nuclear weapons freezes nations in hatred. We must let go, he said, to become a cohesive community. Likewise, we in WAT recognize that we can never achieve true security for the family of nations while our own nation clings to torture chambers and offshore prisons.
KBP7 members Mark Colville, Liz McAlister, Patrick O’Neill, Clare Grady, and Steve Kelly addressed the idolatry of nuclear weapons and the false sense of security these idols are meant to provide. This idolatry of things hugely powerful has a flip side: the dehumanization of the utterly powerless. The US attempts to make demons out of the 40 men still detained at Guantanamo, stoking citizens’ fear and then satisfying that fear with lawless brutality against these men.
We fast to keep their humanity in front of our own eyes and the eyes of our nation. Let us fast–and act–together this week in the search for a solidarity that transforms.
We invite you to join our fast next week wherever you are and in whatever way you choose. Let us know of your intentions by writing us at email@example.com.
We will hold a conference call with those who are fasting or taking action in solidarity with us on Monday evening at 8:00 pm.
WAT’s 2019 statement marking 17 years of Guantanamo
CLOSE GUANTANAMO — Rule of Law, Not Rule of Trump
Stop Cruelty, Fear, Islamophobia, Racism, and Lies
On January 11, human rights activists and attorneys will gather at the White House in Washington, D.C. to mark another tragic year since the opening in 2002 of the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo, where forty prisoners remain. The demonstrators will call for the closure of the prison camp.
(Please check back periodically for latest updates.)
Sunday, January 6 to Sunday, January 13, 2019
First Trinity Lutheran Church Hostel
501 4th Street NW (entrance on 4th St)
Washington DC 20001 (4th and E Sts NW)
(Judiciary Square Metro)
WAT’s 2019 Fast for Justice
We invite you to gather with us in community in Washington, DC, January 6th to 13th for Witness Against Torture’s 2019 Fast for Justice.
Please join us as we mark Torture Awareness month with a vigil and teach-in, described below. For our full newsletter, please click here.
On Speaking Truth to Power
June 21, 2018
By Helen Schietinger
Rights Groups Tell Donald Trump to Close the Prison, Say “Not One Day More!”
May 7, 2018
Prosecution not Nomination: #OpposeHaspel
It was with heavy hearts that we, as members of Witness Against Torture, listened to Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday evening. We heard him attempt to stoke fear in his listeners with wave after wave of references to terrorists and criminals. He began by linking terror to “illegal immigrants,” border walls, “chain migration,” and visa lotteries, before moving on to ISIS, Al Qaida, rogue regimes, unlawful enemy combatants and more.