Thursday, May 16, 2013

NY Times Guantanamo Ad / World Can't Wait

Since February, prisoners at Guantanamo have been on hunger strike.  World Can't Wait has been pondering hard on what more we can do to create a political situation where Obama has to back down, release at least a few of the men at Guantanamo, and be forced into closing the prison. All of our frequent protests, petitions, call-ins, editorials and op-eds are part of what's needed.

The major missing ingredient in this moment, though, is the collective voices of artists, intellectuals, politicians, religious and cultural figures who are respected and beloved for being voices of conscience, speaking as one to demand that the torture of Guantanamo be ended. *It's time and past time, as we reach 100 days of the prisoners' hunger strike*, that we provide a way for them to speak out together, and for that message to be seen.

Dennis Loo of Cal Poly Pomona has drafted a message planned as a full page ad in /The New York Times/ which could serve as such a vehicle. 

It has been signed by over 900 people in the past week, including John Cusack, Wallace Shawn, Junot Diaz, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Eve Ensler, Dave Eggers, Glenn Greenwald, Paul Haggis, Bianca Jagger, Ariel Dorfman, Erica Jong, Michael Moore, Ron Kovic, Tom Morello, Mark Ruffalo, Nancy Kricorian, James Schamus, Joyce & Max Kozloff, Carl Dix, Oliver Stone, Cindy Sheehan, and Cornel West, joined by attorneys for the Guantanamo prisoners, law professors, clergy and academics.

Because we can only afford an "advocacy" rate at /The Times/, at $52,030, which runs on a stand-by basis, it's urgent that we submit the ad as soon as possible.  The prisoners' hunger strike is the dynamic factor making any change possible in the administration's action to release them.

The message powerfully challenges us to look at Guantanamo as "part of larger, alarming developments" including the NDAA, targeted killing by executive order, and the prosecution of whistleblowers, "most flagrantly in the torture, slander and draconian legal charges against Bradley Manning."

It says, "It is up to people to stand up for principle and morality when their institutions and public officials refuse to do so. The fates of those who are maimed or killed by our government's policies are inextricably intertwined with our own: we must listen and respond to their cry for justice. We must demand their release now, before they lose their lives as well."

We hope you will sign on, and help fund this project so that we can go to print very quickly.




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