Shut Down Guantánamo! US Independence Day demo
July 04, 2012 12:00Tagged as: anti-militarism guantanamo repression
Wednesday, July 4, 2012, 12-2pm (please note change of date)
US Embassy, 24 Grosvenor Square
London. W1A 2LQ
(Nearest tube: Bond Street / Marble Arch)
London Guantánamo Campaign holds a regular monthly demonstration calling for the closure of the US internment camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba and similar facilities, and freedom / due process for British residents Shaker Aamer and Ahmed Belbacha - both reportedly cleared for release since 2007, but still languishing in Guantanamo - as well as for the other 167 inmates who remain under indefinite detention, in many cases - including Shaker and Ahmed - for over ten years.
Our next demo will take place on Wednesday 4 July (US Independence Day) at 12-2pm outside the US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, Mayfair W1A 1AE (nearest tube: Bond Street / Marble Arch)
Tel: 07809 757 176
Other current actions:
- Add your name to this e-petition to the British government calling for the return of Shaker Aamer to the UK: http://freeshaker.com
(n.b. this replaces the previous identical version with a shorter deadline, which attracted nearly 9000 signatures - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29410 )
- Write to your MP and ask them to sign EDM 2955 on Shaker Aamer, tabled by John McDonnell MP.
Over a decade since the arrival of the first twenty inmates at Guantánamo Bay, the campaign to close the extra-legal US military internment and torture camp is far from over.
In February 2007, the London Guantánamo Campaign began a regular presence outside the US embassy in Mayfair, calling for the return of the eight British residents then still being held indefinitely at the US naval base on an occupied corner of Cuba, and for the closure of this legal black hole. Six of the men have since been released, all but one of them to the UK.
Five years on, Guantanamo is still open and two British residents remain there: Shaker Aamer and Ahmed Belbacha. Over that period, we have held weekly - for the first year and a half - and then monthly demonstrations, which continue to this day. These have included special actions, such as 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 ten years since the invasion of Afghanistan.
Situation at Guantanamo:
602 of the original 779 inmates have since been released or transferred to other countries, and there have been eight deaths in custody. 169 'detainees' remain, of which 87 have been cleared for release or transfer but are stuck in limbo following the passage of legislation in Congress that effectively blocks their transfer to the US mainland or elsewhere.
Two of the cleared prisoners have links to the UK: permanent British resident Shaker Aamer - who has a British wife and four children living in Battersea, south London - is now well into his eleventh year of incarceration without charge or trial, his mental and physical health deteriorating by the day; whilst Algerian national Ahmed Belbacha, who resided in Britain as an asylum seeker between 1999 and 2001 and who is also into his eleventh year of internment, fears for his life if returned to his native Algeria and awaits the offer of a home in a safe third country. To date, successive British government have failed to secure Shaker's release and return to his family in south London; and have failed Ahmed by stubbornly and coldly refusing to lift a finger to help him, despite ongoing campaigns on behalf of the two men. Both men have reportedly been cleared for release since 2007.
See this January 2012 infographic from the American Civil Liberties Union for more key stats about Guantanamo: http://www.aclu.org/national-security/guantanamo-numbers
Contact email: london.gtmo [at] gmail.com