Shut Guantánamo - candlelight vigilTagged as: bay campaign guantanamo london solidarity
Braving sub-zero temperatures on Friday evening in the capital, around two dozen human rights activists joined the London Guantánamo Campaign (LGC) outside the US Embassy in Mayfair, London, for a candlelight vigil to mark the fifth anniversary of the campaign's regular "Shut Down Guantánamo!" demonstrations outside the Embassy. Performances were also given by Actors for Human Rights and poet Sergio Amigo
Braving sub-zero temperatures on Friday evening in the capital, around two dozen human rights activists joined the London Guantánamo Campaign (LGC) outside the US Embassy in Mayfair, London, for a candlelight vigil to mark the fifth anniversary of the campaign's regular "Shut Down Guantánamo!" demonstrations outside the Embassy.
The LGC has held a regular protest outside the US Embassy in London, first on a weekly basis, until August 2008 and on a monthly basis since then, ever since February 2007 (report of the first ever demo: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/02/362319.html). The purpose of the protest is simple enough: shut down Guantánamo Bay and other similar prisons, return the British residents to the UK and ensure justice for the remaining prisoners, of whom there are currently 171. During that time, 6 of the 8 remaining British residents held prisoner there have been released. Only Shaker Aamer, a Saudi national with a British family in south London http://www.reprieve.org.uk/cases/shakeraamer/ and Ahmed Belbacha, an Algerian national who once resided in Bournemouth http://www.reprieve.org.uk/cases/ahmedbelbacha/ remain, both without charge or trial for over a decade.
In that period, activists have been joined by other groups, including local Amnesty International and Stop The War groups as well as visitors to the capital. The regular demonstration has included special actions held in solidarity with accused Wikileaks whistleblower Private Bradley Manning and other US prisoners, with Canadian child soldier Omar Khadr during his military tribunal, and to mark the tenth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan.
To mark the fifth anniversary, activists were joined by performances by actor and poet Sergio Amigo reading poems by Guantánamo prisoners http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCDC81P5i58&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL and actor Naoufal Ousellam from Actors for Human Rights (www.iceandfire.co.uk) provided a reading of the Binyam Mohamed verbatim passage from The Rendition Monologues http://iceandfire.co.uk/outreach/scripts/rendition-monologues
Binyam Mohamed, a British resident from Ethiopia, returned to the UK in February 2009 after a seven year nightmare. Prior to his release, the London Guantánamo Campaign held a large campaign calling for his return, including a six day continuous vigil outside the US Embassy in London and a 30th "birthday party" for Binyam opposite Downing Street: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/07/404536.html?c=on#c200488
171 prisoners remain at Guantánamo Bay after 10 years, many without charge or trial. The campaign to close Guantánamo Bay and end its regime of torture and arbitrary detention without trial will continue. Please join the LGC at the next monthly demonstration on Thursday 1st March 2012 at 12-1pm outside the US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, W1A 1AE and then 1.15-2.15pm outside Speaker's Corner, Hyde Park, opposite Marble Arch.
Other actions coming up:
11th February: Guantánamo Chain Gang: Free Shaker Aamer (to mark Shaker's 10th year in Guantánamo): ASSEMBLE 12 NOON outside NORTHCOTE RD BAPTIST CHURCH, NORTHCOTE RD, LONDON SW11 6DB - organised by the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign
Walking slowly in chains through the streets of Battersea and Clapham Junction to a rally at the Battersea Islamic Culture and Education Centre, Falcon Road, SW11 2PF
14th February: Guantánamo Chain Gang at the US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, W1A, 2pm - organised by the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign
On Tuesday 14 February, Shaker will have been in Guantanamo for 10 years. Please join us at the US Embassy, London, to hand in cards and petitions for President Obama.
Banners, drums and noise welcome.
More details: ssac.contact[at]gmail.com www.saveshaker.org
More media on the 3 February vigil:
London Guantánamo Campaign
Contact email: london.gtmo [at] gmail.com