Posted by CODEPINK Staff
By: Daria Lindsey
Last Saturday, CODEPINK together with other Human Rights Organizations such as Witness Against Torture and Amnesty International gathered in front of the White House to mark the shameful 12th year of operation of the Guantanamo Bay Prison facility in Cuba. Although President Obama signed an executive order to close the prison facility in January, 2009, the facility remains in operation, currently holding 155 detainees with 76 of them cleared for release. Protesters joined together with signs displaying messages such as “United States Close Guantanamo Bay” (written in Arabic), “End Indefinite Detention: Charge or Release!”, “Investigate & Prosecute U.S Torture”, and many more with the goal of giving voice to the prisoners who have had their voices silenced, delivering the overall message to President Obama to close Guantanamo Bay. The protest started at the White House and proceeded with a march to the National Museum of American History.
The protest had a great turnout, with an estimated 100 - 150 people attending at our D.C location alone. Despite the weather, the atmosphere was amazing as people were friendly, compassionate, and all shared this unified sense of dedication to the cause of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners, among other human rights violations. After the march protesters proceeded inside of the museum to gather in front of “The Price of Freedom” exhibition where protesters recited in unison that even when the facility is closed, it will go down in our history, we will not forget. After this exhibition was shut down, protesters moved to the lobby to continue.
What resonated with me the most was that the weather did not discourage people from coming out, what an experience it was to watch advocates for the closing of Guantanamo Bay stand under an umbrella, soaking wet from the downpour of rain, continue to give speeches on behalf of the prisoners without the slightest hint of discouragement. Everyone who surrounded me maintained an upbeat attitude. This being one of my first protests, I look forward to attending many more.
Check out some of the pictures from the CODEPINK action on our Flickr Page!
Check out this video, too!
Daria Lindsey is an intern in the CODEPINK D.C office.