December 30, 2011
January 11, 2012 is a profoundly depressing anniversary — marking ten years since the Bush administration established its "war on terror" prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and decided that those who ended up in US custody would not be screened to ascertain whether or not they were combatants, and would be sent to Guantánamo to be held without rights.
To mark this bleak occasion, Andy Worthington, investigative journalist, author of The Guantánamo Files and co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo," is visiting the US for 12 days, with the support of The World Can’t Wait and the Center for Constitutional Rights, taking part in events in New York, Washington DC., San Francisco and Chicago.
171 of the 779 prisoners held at Guantánamo throughout its long, dark history are still held, three years after Barack Obama became President and promised to close it within a year, even though 89 of them have been cleared for release. The President’s vacillations, and lack of courage, as well as the unprincipled obstructions of cynical or cowardly lawmakers, and of paranoid right-wing judges have ensured that no one has left Guantanamo alive in the last year and to guarantee that the prison will remain open — and these 171 men will be held forever — without concerted action by these with the determination to bring to an end the toxic legacy of the Bush administration.
These events are listed below, and are free unless otherwise indicated. For further information, or to book Andy for TV or radio appearances, please contact Debra Sweet, National Director, the World Can’t Wait, or contact Andy Worthington.
Thursday January 5, 7.30 – 9 pm: Building a Movement to Close Guantánamo and End All Unjust Detentions. Panel discussion with Pardiss Kebriaei and Leili Kashani of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and other speakers including Andy Worthington.
The Brecht Forum, 451 West Street (West Side Highway) between Bank & Bethune Streets, New York, NY 10014.
This event is organized by the Center for Constitutional Rights, and co-sponsored by The Brecht Forum, Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR), and the Pakistan Solidarity Network. The evening will seek to "situate GTMO as a deeply important but single piece of a larger unjust US detention system," and "to deepen and broaden alliances to finally close Guantánamo and build a movement against all unjust US detentions," and speakers include Pardiss Kebriaei and Leili Kashani of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Faisal Hashmi of the Muslim Justice Initiative, Laura Whitehorn, former political prisoner and senior editor at POZ Magazine, Silky Shah, Field Director at Detention Watch Network and co-producer of Asia Pacific Forum, Anna Brown of Witness Against Torture, and Guantánamo expert Andy Worthington, who will be flying in from London at the start of a 12-day visit.
For further information, and to register for this event, see the Brecht Forum website. Admission is on a sliding scale: $6/$10/$15. Also see the CCR website, and the Facebook page.
Saturday January 7, 4 – 6 pm: Ten Years of Guantánamo, Ten Years of Injustice. A Conversation with Andy Worthington.
Revolution Books, 146 West 26th Street (between 6th & 7th Ave.), New York, NY 10001.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo, Andy Worthington (and possibly another guest tba) will be discussing the continuing injustice of Guantánamo, and strategies for campaigning for the prison’s closure. Andy Worthington has been at the forefront of the campaign to close Guantánamo for six years, since he first began researching the stories of the prisoners for his book The Guantánamo Files, and he will be discussing his research, writing and campaigning, and, in particular, his work in 2011 as a media partner with WikiLeaks for the release of classified military files relating to the Guantánamo prisoners, and his ongoing 70-part, million-word series, "The Complete Guantánamo Files."
For further information, see the Revolution Books website.
Sunday January 8, 4 – 7 pm: Dance and Discussion to Shut Down Guantánamo, with Andy Worthington and American Creative Dance.
3-D Laboratories, 29 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10010.
In a fundraising event for The World Can’t Wait, Andy Worthington discusses Guantánamo and his work for the last six years, including his relationship with The World Can’t Wait, and the artists of American Creative Dance, under the direction of Nancy Vining Van Ness, show some of the prisoners’ stories through poetry, theatre, music and dance. Hosted by Gbenga Akkinagbe, Sharon Pavlovich and Sunsara Taylor.
Suggested Contribution: $50. Donations can be made tax-deductible to support The World Can’t Wait’s educational work to end torture and shut down Guantánamo.
For further information, please contact Debra Sweet, National Director, The World Can’t Wait. Also see The World Can’t Wait’s event page here.
Tuesday January 10, 12.15 – 1.45 pm: "Ten Years of Guantánamo: Will It Ever Close?" Panel discussion with Col. Morris Davis, Tom Wilner and Andy Worthington, plus special guest tbc.
New America Foundation, 1899 L Street, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20036.
This high-profile event, hosted by the New America Foundation, features Col. Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor for the Military Commissions at Guantánamo, who resigned in 2007, in protest at the planned use of evidence obtained through the use of torture, and is now the executive director of the Crimes of War Project, Tom Wilner, Counsel of Record for the Guantánamo prisoners in their cases before the Supreme Court in 2004 and 2008, and freelance investigative journalist and Guantánamo expert Andy Worthington.
For further information, please contact Andrew Lebovich at the New America Foundation.
Tuesday January 10, 5.30 – 7.30 pm: Screening of "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo" plus Q&A with Andy Worthington, Tom Wilner, Mari Newman and Darold Killmer.
Busboys and Poets, The Cullen Room, 5th & K (1025 5th Street, NW), Washington, D.C.
For the 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo, director Polly Nash has produced a new one-hour edit of the documentary film, "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo" (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington), featuring new commentary by Tom Wilner. For this special screening, Tom Wilner and Andy Worthington are joined by Mari Newman and Darold Killmer, attorneys for five Yemeni prisoners still held at Guantánamo.
This event is organized by The World Can’t Wait.
For further information, please contact Debra Sweet, National Director, The World Can’t Wait. Also see the Busboys and Poets website, and see the map here.
Wednesday January 11, 12 – 2 pm: 10 Years Too Many: National Day of Action Against Guantánamo, Washington, D.C.
To mark this bleak anniversary, dozens of campaigning groups — including the Center for Constitutional Rights, Witness Against Torture, Amnesty International USA, The World Can’t Wait, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Physicians for Human Rights and September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows — will rally at the White House at 12 noon, where speakers will demand the closure of Guantánamo, and an end to indefinite detention and unfair trials. After the rally at the White House, a human chain will be created stretching from the White House to the Capitol. For further information, see Andy Worthington’s page, and the pages of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Witness Against Torture, Amnesty International USA and The World Can’t Wait.
Friday January 13, 12 noon – 2 pm: Ten Years of Guantánamo: A Discussion with Andy Worthington and Jason Leopold.
UC Hastings Law School, Louis B. Mayer Lounge (auditorium), 198 McAllister St., San Francisco, CA, 94102.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo, Andy Worthington will be paying a flying visit to the Bay Area to take part in a freewheeling interview at UC Hastings Law School in San Francisco with Jason Leopold, lead Investigative reporter at Truthout, discussing Guantánamo, the Bush administration’s torture program, the victims of torture, including Abu Zubaydah, and the failures of the Obama administration to close Guantánamo or to hold anyone accountable for the Bush administration’s crimes.
For further information, please contact Curt Wechsler or Stephanie Tang of The World Can’t Wait, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, and see the map here.
Saturday January 14, 1 – 4 pm: Screening of "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo" plus Q&A with Andy Worthington, Candace Gorman, Gary A. Isaac, Andy Moss and Debra Sweet.
Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 25 E. Pearson Street, Chicago, IL 60611, Room 1040 (Ceremonial Courtroom on the 10th floor).
For his first ever visit to Chicago, Andy Worthington will attend a screening of the documentary film, "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo" (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington), and a Q&A sessions afterwards, with Guantánamo attorneys Candace Gorman, Gary A. Isaac and Andy Moss, and Debra Sweet, National Director, The World Can’t Wait.
This event is organized by Chicago World Can’t Wait, with the support of Amnesty International, Midwest Antiwar Mobilization, National Lawyer’s Guild (Loyola Law), National Lawyers Guild, Chicago Chapter, Public Interest Law Society and the Muslim Law Student Association.
For further information, please contact Jay Becker of Chicago World Can’t Wait. Also see the Chicago World Can’t Wait website, and the Facebook page.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and YouTube). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in June 2011, "The Complete Guantánamo Files," a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo" (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.