Worldwide demonstrations mark the sixth anniversary of Guantánamo detentions
Led by Amnesty International, hundreds of activists rallied on a soggy National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 11 to mark the sixth anniversary of the first arrival of detainees at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The Mall rally was just one of hundreds of demonstrations across the globe, all part of AI's Denounce Torture Campaign. In New York City, approximately 150 activists rallied in Foley Square in a driving thunderstorm that turned umbrellas inside out and caused placards to bleed their messages. Other demonstrations took place the same day in Boston, Seattle, Columbia, S.C., St. Louis, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, Corvallis, Ore., and Waikiki. Worldwide, activists rallied in more than 30 countries, including the Philippines, Sweden, Paraguay, Bahrain, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Israel.
"Guantánamo Bay continues to be the shameful icon of President Bush's disregard for basic human dignity and the rule of law in the so-called war on terror," Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA's executive director, told the Mall demonstrators. "By assaulting core values that this country holds so dear, the president demeans and undermines one of his major objectives-democracy."
"I was really moved at the dedication of the people who came to the rally, especially because it was rainy and cold," said activist Erin Neff, who rallied on the Mall. "If we could keep up the passion and dedication, I believe Guantánamo Bay will be shut down."