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Last Chance for Leadership: Close Guantánamo

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Join a rally near you (see list below). Call or email President Obama.  Sign a White House petition.


President Obama has just one year left to fulfill his first-term promise by closing Guantánamo and ending indefinite detention. Doing so will demonstrate leadership and burnish his legacy as a defender of the principles on which he campaigned and won office.

On January 11, 2016, the prison at Guantánamo will enter its 15th year of operation. More than 100 men remain there, the vast majority of whom will never be charged with crimes. Dozens of prisoners are cleared for transfer. Some remain on hunger strike and are force-fed, and a handful are facing charges in unfair trials. There has been no accountability for the torture that many detainees have suffered.

Though Congress has placed obstacles to closing Guantánamo, President Obama can and should make significant progress towards reducing the population and shuttering the prison. He must order the Secretary of Defense to expedite transfers and accelerate the Periodic Review Board Process, and tell the Justice Department not to reflexively oppose habeas petitions in federal court.  He must also reject a policy of indefinite detention, and formally try or release all detainees.

In addition, President Obama should order all relevant agencies to read the full Senate torture report.  Refusing to read the report, more than a year after receiving it, reflects the “bury your head in the sand” mentality that will prevent the country from adequately learning from its past mistakes and permanently ending torture.  Further, the Obama administration should prompt the Department of Justice to open a new, comprehensive investigation into the clear acts of criminality described in the report.

Now is the time for Obama to accomplish a central goal of his administration by closing Guantánamo. There is today a renewed climate of fear and hate reminiscent of the post-September 11 mindset that led to torture and indefinite detention in the first place.  Guantánamo is the bitter legacy of a politics of fear, which must be rejected.

This is the President’s last chance to keep his promise and close Guantánamo.  If he does not do so, there is a real chance that the current detainees will die there, and that more detainees will join them.

We cannot let that happen.  Close Guantánamo now.

Endorsed by: Amnesty International USA, Bill of Rights Defense Committee and Defending Dissent Foundation, Center for Constitutional Rights, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Montgomery County (Maryland) Civil Rights Coalition, National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, No More Guantanamos, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC), Witness Against Torture


Miami: Saturday, January 9

Shut Down Guantanamo Bay
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
March Starts at: NW 36th St and NW 87th Ave, Doral, FL
Ends at: US Southern Command 9301 NW 33rd St Doral, FL

Berkeley, CA: Sunday, January 10

New Beginnings to Activate for the Best Year Ever/ Close Guantanamo
Historic Berkeley Fellowship Hall, 1924 Cedar @ Bonita, Berkeley.
(See below for San Francisco protest on Monday, January 11)

Huntington Beach, CA: Sunday, January 10

Close Guantanamo Bay
Noon – 1 p.m.
Huntington Bay Pier, 1 Main Street

Northampton, MA: Sunday, January 10

Close Guantanamo Rally and Protest
3 p.m.
Northampton City Hall, 210 Main Street (If heavy rain, Lyman Hall, First Churches on Center Street)

Chicago, IL: Monday, January 11

Close Guantanamo Now!
4:30 – 5:30
Federal Building, Jackson & Dearborn

Cleveland, OH: Monday, January 11

“Challenging Islamophobia; Causes, Consequences, and Solutions”
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Old Stone Church, Fellowship Hall, Downstairs
91 Public Sq, Cleveland, Ohio 44113

“Close Guantanamo 2016, Cleveland Vigil and March” (View on Facebook)
4:00 – 5:00 PM
91 Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio 44113 (sidewalk, Old Stone Church)

Los Angeles, CA: Monday, January 11

Close Guantanamo Now
noon – 2 p.m.
Federal Building, 300 North Los Angeles St.

New York, NY: Monday, January 11

Close Guantanamo Now
Father Duffy Square 46th & Broadway

Portland, OR: Monday, January 11

Shut Down Guantanamo-- Stop Inspiring Terrorism
3:30-5:30 PM
SE Hawthorne & Grand (East end of Hawthorne Bridge)


San Francisco, CA: Monday, January 11

Close Guantanamo Now
1:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Market and Montgomery

Takoma Park, MD: Monday, January 11

Close Guantanamo 2016
6-7 p.m.
Takoma Metro Station

Washington, DC: Monday, January 11

Close Guantanamo Now
White House (Lafayette Park)

Westminster, CO: Tuesday, January 12

6 p.m.
120th Avenue and Federal Street