Is it ever morally justified to risk one’s life for justice? Or to prevent someone from doing that? One year ago this month, courageous and desperate men imprisoned at Guantanamo began a hunger strike. Their action has again focused world attention on their plight and revealed the intransigence of the Obama administration on Guantanamo. On February 27, the Chicago Coalition to Shut Down Guantanamo* hosts an evening to examine how the detainees have put their bodies on the line to defeat their unjust imprisonment without charges or trial, and how forced feeding is used to block their last form of protest – denying themselves nourishment.
“Hunger: Guantanamo Detainees and Their Resistance”
What: Film screening and discussion (free, donations accepted)
When: 7 pm, Thursday, Feb. 27
Where: Grace Place, 637 S. Dearborn, Chicago (near Red and Blue El lines)
We will screen the award-winning film, Doctors of the Dark Side, that explores the critical role of physicians and psychologists in crafting and implementing programs of detainee torture at Guantanamo.
The film will be followed by a panel discussion of the serious legal and ethical questions posed by both hunger striking and forced feeding. The Guantanamo prisoners have said this is their last means of protest, and they would rather die than continue in conditions of extreme isolation and torture. Obama has defended forced feeding as a means to prevent death, even though it is widely regarded as torture. These issues are not confined to Guantanamo. During last summer’s hunger strike by prisoners in California to end solitary confinement, a court held that the State could force feed them. And right now, some prisoners at Menard Prison here in Illinois are engaged in a hunger strike to end their solitary confinement as well. As prisoners stand up for humane treatment, where will we stand?
Our panel will feature Dr. Frank Summers, a clincal psychologist who has played a leading role in the fight within the American Psychological Association to bar members who participate in torture. We have also invited Abu Noor Abdil Malik, Muslim chaplain at DePaul University, to shed light on the Islamic perspective on risking one’s life through a hunger strike to attain justice. Please join us for this important film and indepth discussion of these and other questions. If you are on Facebook, please ‘join’ the event there and invite friends.
This event is also endorsed by Radical Public Health.
The Chicago Coalition to Shut Down Guantanamo includes World Can’t Wait Chicago, Illinois Coalition Against Torture, Witness Against Torture, White Rose Catholic Worker, Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban Five.
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World Can’t Wait has endorsed this international call for coordinated actions in April and May. Read and endorse the call at KnowDrones.org. Each new revelation of the NSA’s role in targeting drone assassinations, including the targeting of US citizens, makes this action more urgent. We will be developing plans locally and nationally. Please share your thoughts and ideas with us!
In An Open Letter, Major Obama Supporters Call for Action to Close Guantanamo as Promised
An initiative of prominent Illinois lawyers
The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program
by Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill
Obama’s Drone “Reforms” – More Assassinations, More War Crimes
by Larry Everest