Anti-Torture Events in DC and NY Tomorrow
Tomorrow, Monday June 26th, is the UN International Day in Support of Victims and Survivors of Torture. June is Torture Awareness Month, and I have written a couple of posts about this topic as a member of the Bloggers Against Torture campaign. Whether you are a blogger or not, there is a lot each of us can do to make a positive impact and put pressure on our governments to stop using this inhumane policy against prisoners.
For those of you in the Washington D.C. metro area, an organization called the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition is holding a 24-hour vigil to commemorate the victims of torture and raise awareness about this important cause. The events will take place in Lafayette Park across the White House from 7am on Monday to 7am on Tuesday (see directions below) . There is a full day program with various activities and events taking place, including:
- There will be a Mock Prison Cell on site during the 24-Hour Vigil to symbolize the ongoing practice of torture today. Each hour a different volunteer will sit in the cell and represent a specific individual—someone who is disappeared or detained, who has been tortured, or is at risk of being tortured today.Other events in DC and New York (source):
- Friends of TASSC will demonstrate their solidarity with survivors by a non-violent protest against torture during the Vigil in which they will risk arrest.
- Be a “ Walking Billboard .” And see the sites of Washington ! Spend a few hours walking through downtown Washington with a sign raising awareness about torture. Walking is good for you and human rights, too! (Full schedule in pdf)
Washington, DC 9:00 to 5:00pm Lobby Day Against Extraordinary Rendition follows teach-in and lobby training June 25. Capitol Hill. Contact Mary Jo at Amnesty International to coordinate lobby visits.
Washington, DC 5:00 to 6:30pm Vigil at the Vice President's House, Sponsored by the Washington Region Religious Campaign Against Torture. Email WRRCAT.
New York City 10:30am to 1:00pm Solemn procession and demonstration to shut down Guantanamo. Witness Against Torture Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 47th St. and 1st Ave.
New York City 6:30 to 8:30pm Movie screening: "Gitmo: The New Rules of War" Followed by a panel with Mark Kennis, Amnesty International, and Ramzi Kassem, counsel for Guantanamo detainees. $10 admission to benefit torture victims. Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive New York, Room 10T. For more information call 212-87-6854.
Washington, DC 12:00 to 1:30pm (EDT) Capitol Hill Panel Discussion on Guantanamo: "Should the U.S. Shut Down Gitmo?" Speakers include former Guantanamo Bay Muslim Chaplain James Yee. Room 2226, Rayburn House Office Building. Council on American-Islamic Relations.
If you live in the area, please make an effort to stop by even if only for a few minutes. We cannot sit back and watch scandals like Abu Ghraib take place and taint the image of our country. We should not allow our government to send suspects to foreign governments to be tortured and stripped of every basic human right they possess.
Lafayette Park is located directly north of the White House on H Street between 15th and 17th Streets, NW. The easiest way to get there is using Metro; Farragut West on the Blue and Orange lines is the closest station to the site of the events. Here is a map of the area; the red star is the Farragut West station.