The sky was cloudy as I rode on the Path Train heading to Manhattan. I was going to my first protest; my stomach was in butterflies. I imagined a scene something like the people of the 70’s who protested, rose up, and spoke out, marching through the streets. It was not, however anything like that.
On January 11th, 2008 there was a peaceful worldwide protest for the detainees of Guantanamo Bay. I was asked to go as a journalist to cover this very important protest in New York City. In the beginning, I saw that there were a handful of people and even fewer police. The protest was held across from the Supreme Court House located in Lower Manhattan’s Foley Square.
It began raining soon after I arrived. Maybe that is why people did not show up. However the rain would not compare to the waterboarding and torture that I was there to report. I can’t help but wonder if it were our fathers, sons, or brothers in Guantanamo Bay, would there have been more there?
The protest in New York City was peaceful by all means. No riots, fanfare, or marching in the streets. However there were prayers, quiet talking, and silent cries for the mass torture going on that has been swept under the rug by this current Administration for so long. New York was fortunate; there were no arrests made, however at other protest there were those who were not so lucky.
As a journalist I must report only the facts. It is very important for people to make up their own minds. What is going on in Guantanamo Bay cannot continue. There is evidence of torture and suffering. There is proof that the current Administration knows that there is torture going on there even now. In 2005 the CIA destroyed the tapes that contained evidence of torture techniques that may be being used on Guantanamo Bay detainees. There have been numerous debates on whether or not waterboarding is in fact torture. How many more must go through this before we as a nation say enough is enough? How many more must be kept in such conditions until the World stops turning a blind eye?
Sometimes peace is achieved by peace, but great leaps and bounds must be made to achieve this peace. We are not off the hook simply because this does not affect us personally. This does affect us. There are Americans being held in Guantanamo Bay. Do not be mistaken about that. There are also countless others from many different nations and lands who are being detained there without the right to a fair trial.
To think that this is not on our own soil is to think that there is not pollution in our air. If you think this cannot happen to you, look up the definition of an “enemy combatant.” If you think that this cannot take away your civil liberties, reconsider your options and how you would live in a fascist world.
With America facing a new president, can the next administration remove what has already been put into place by the current administration? Who is to say they would? Who is to say they would not? However the question that lies within is this: With all the new administration is going to face, how can they correct what the current administration has already created?
As I listened to this peaceful protest and watched what went on around me, there were more who came to stand for the tearing down or shutting down of this place called Guantanamo Bay. What can we do? This is something that many ask. There is plenty to do; call and write your Senators, Representives, and Congressmen. The people of America are the people who have employed this Administration. If you had an employee who did not perform the task assigned to them, would you keep them on the payroll?
Think about the fact of what is going on over in Guantanamo Bay. If this was your family member, would you stay so silent? If you knew that evidence that was destroyed caused the Administration’s heart to panic, could this snuff out the heartbeat of a nation if they stood by and allowed this to continue? As the protest came almost full circle, the clouds produced their own form of waterboarding as if sympathizing with those detained. If one were to listen, you could hear the drummer’s cadence in tune to a heartbeat for freedom, if only for a moment.
Please contact your Senators, Congressmen, and State Representatives and I have listed the links to the offices below. Thank you.
Labels: CIA, Guantanamo Bay, Torture, Waterboarding