CODEPINK Launches Global Hunger Strike and Vigils Calling for Justice for Prisoners at Guantanamo

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Alli McCracken, CODEPINK National Coordinator, (860) 575-5692, Alli@codepink.org
Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK Cofounder, (415-235-6517) medea@codepink.org

CODEPINK Launches Global Hunger Strike and Vigils Calling for Justice for Prisoners at Guantanamo

WASHINGTON - CODEPINK has launched an urgent call to save the lives of 130 prisoners on a hunger strike in Guantanamo by asking people to fast for a minimum of 24 hours, preferably in public places. Within 24 hours, over 600 people from around the world pledged to join a rolling hunger strike, with some people like CODEPINK cofounder Diane Wilson committing to an open-ended hunger strike in front of the White House.

People everywhere are outraged by the indefinite detention of prisoners at Guantanamo and their cruel and degrading treatment. High-profile global figures such as Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, holistic health practitioner Deepak Chopra, and playwright Eve Ensler are joining the fast.

On Wednesday, May 1st, CODEPINK DC staged a vigil in front of the White House with large renditions of Obama holding signs with quotes that he has personally made about Guantanamo. Activists have pledged to return to the White House to pressure Obama to keep his promises about closing the prison, and they will also stage actions next week at places such as Congress, the Department of Justice and the State Department.

"The idea that you can incarcerate forever a group of people who have not been tried is contrary to what I believe and it is contrary to what I believe America to be," said CODEPINK cofounder Diane Wilson. "One prisoner asked: 'Where is America?' Well, I know where this American is. I stand in solidarity with these prisoners on a hunger strike and I will fast indefinitely until Guantanomo is shut down!"

For the last 11 years, CODEPINK has been protesting in orange jumpsuits at the White House, in Congress, at the State Department and even making a trip to Guantanamo.

Today, 130 of the 166 detainees in Guantanamo are engaged in a hunger strike that started in February. Even though President Obama promised to shut down Guantanamo when he ran for president and continues to say he wants to close the prison, his failure to do so has prompted CODEPINK to take further action by organizing a global hunger strike.

Activists will be using the hashtag #Fast4Gitmo to spread the word, and are directing promoted tweets at President Obama’s twitter handle.

To sign up for info about CODEPINK solidarity actions for Guantanamo in DC, send a text that says @codepinkDC to the number 23559.

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CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.

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