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DISPATCH: Break The Chains - Close Down Guantánamo
Posted on January 10, 2007 by Anita Roddick

Activists worldwide from many organisations, including Amnesty International, will be joining together in solidarity with Guantanamo detainees and their families on the 5th anniversary of the US detention centre on the 11th January – demanding once more, and louder than ever, that the US government close Guantanamo.

In the UK, campaigners fighting for the closure of Guantanamo and the release of its prisoners, including family members of British residents still held at Guantanamo are marking the fifth anniversary on the 11th of January 2007 with a protest outside the Hiatts factory in Birmingham, that supplied two hundred years ago to the slave trade, and today supplies chains to notorious American prison at Guantanamo and other similar centres of torture and human rights abuse.

Human rights lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, comedian and activist, Mark Thomas, members of the Birmingham Guantánamo campaign, Reprieve, and Amnesty International UK will be amongst the protestors.

Folk band Seize The Day will perform their satirical song Do the Shackle Shuffle at Club X-Ray and Happy Birthday.

Protesters will be dressed in orange Guantánamo jump suits, ready-shackled, and will dance - or shuffle - as the band performs.

Speakers will include Clara Gutteridge (Reprieve), AbuBakr Deghayes (brother of Omar Deghayes), Sandy Mitchell (tortured in Saudi Arabia in Hiatt shackles), Dr David Nicholl (Birmingham physician and human rights activist who has spoken out regarding Guantanamo medical abuses) Alliya Stennet (Respect Candidate for Birmingham Council) & Councillor Tahir Ali

Assembly point for the protest - Junction of Rocky Lane and Baltimore Road 1.30pm 11th January 2007. You should check the National Guantanamo Coalition website for final plans for the day.

To find out what other protests are being held around the world, check out this listing on the Amnesty International website.

Topic : Human_rights
Posted By : Anita Roddick
Posted On : January 10, 2007



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Re : Break The Chains - Close Down Guantánamo
By Martyn Talisman on January 29, 2007

An Australian citizen David Hicks has been held captive in Guantanamo Bay for over 5 years now, without trial.

The Australian Government has abandoned him, I believe because his release would mean he returned to Australia and would tell all about what he experienced there. It would be a devastating blow to our relations with the USA.
Most Australians are more troubled by David's continued incarcaration than by his supposed crimes against the USA.
The latest polls indicate 47% of Australians now consider this issue as 'vote changing' for them. The tide is turning and our Government is being forced, very reluctantly to seek a trial. I know they do not want him returned and the outcome for him does not look very good. Heresay, and evidence obtained by torture (sorry, the term is no co-ercian) will be admissible as evidence against him. His US based laywer has warned that because of the new laws just passed, he will not have access to material to dispute all of the evidence used to charge and convict David.

I cannot believe how quickly western governments have used September 11 to curtail basic human rights for their own citizens and those with differing political views. These are dangerous times for all of us and we should be vigilant to ensure opportunists like Bush & Howard do not continue to use our fears for their own political and personal gain.

Personally I am beyond anger about the issue of the continued detaining of David Hicks. It saddens me beyond belief that a Government has turned him into a whipping boy for their own personal gain. It is made worse by the fact that he is just one, alone, kept in solitary confinement, a lone representative from a country at the bottom of the world, held captive as an offering to the USA as proof that we will use cruelty against our own to pledge loyalty to Bush.

Any help to bring this to the attention of the world media would be greatly appreciated. It is a book, a novel, a movie. It is a wake-up call to all of us.


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