Saturday, May 18, 2013

Occupy State and Jackson

Federal Plaza in Chicago has always been a place for public protest and public discourse. Last year, the Occupy movement reclaimed State and Jackson and the plaza at Michigan and Congress as places that citizens can come together and talk about what needs to change.

The hunger strike that is now in its 101st day at Guantanamo has precipitated a new occupation -- gatherings at State and Jackson where people publicize the continued abuses of the U.S. government, and determine ways to organize for change.

Chicago protests as Guantanamo hunger strike passes Day 100.
Yesterday, a rally and march in the Loop publicized the 100th day of the hunger strike. It was one of dozens of solidarity protests occurring around the country and around the world.

Protests will continue at State and Jackson every Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Many people have been working for a very long time to end the atrocities at Guantanamo -- some of them were speakers at the rally yesterday. For many of these people, the failure of the U.S. government to close Guantanamo, free the dozens of men they've already declared blameless, and make reparations is mystifying. At times, it feels like there is nothing more we can do.

What have the hunger strikers taught us? First, that the atrocities of the U.S. government just don't stop. Second, that everyone -- even those most oppressed -- has means at their disposal to resist.

So . . . see you at State and Jackson. The U.S. government can be counted on to continue supplying the atrocities. It's up to us to bring the noise.

Related posts

Can there be any doubt that Obama and his administration, who think it is their right to wage war in secret, kill anyone they want to, and destroy whole societies, took their cues from Kissinger and Nixon and their "Imperial (and criminal) Presidency"?

(See No Statute of Limitations for War Crimes (Henry Kissinger in Chicago))

Some of us wear orange jumpsuit and black hoods, while others talk with people on the street. As each day passes the more urgent the situation for the men still remaining becomes. The only way to ensure the health and safety of these men and end the Hunger Strike is that the 86 cleared for release be released and the rest be charged and given a fair trial. It is on us to keep the hunger strike and the humanity of these men in the public eye.

(See Chicago Coalition to Shut Down Guantanamo: "Weekly Vigils to Shut Down Guantanamo" )

Chicago was the site of major protests against U.S. detention practices in Guantanamo, as well as in Bagram, other prisons throughout Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the world, on and around January 11, 2012. We called for an end to indefinite detention, unfair trials, and torture.

(See Chicago Protests Guantanamo Detention)