Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

Human rights advocates

Human rights advocates rallied outside the White House on Saturday to demand the closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay Naval Station. (Photo: Courtesy of Amnesty International USA)

Human Rights Advocates Rally at White House to Demand US 'Close Guantánamo and End Torture'

"18 years of injustice. 18 years of impunity. 18 years too long."

Jessica Corbett

Human rights advocates marked the 18th anniversary of the opening of the U.S. military prison at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba with a rally outside the White House on Saturday to "demand an end to years of torture and human rights violations" and call for the detention camp's immediate closure.

In January 2018, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep the prison open. The move, which revoked an order from Trump's predecessor that called for the prison to be closed, outraged human rights defenders. With the demonstration Saturday, activists criticized not only Trump's decisions related to the prison but also those of former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

"Three United States presidents have overseen Guantánamo during its shameful 18-year existence, yet it continues to remain open as people who have never been granted a trial are still detained and as they age and face the prospect of spending the rest of their lives in the prison, dying far away from the families and loved ones they have not seen in years," Daphne Eviatar of Amnesty International USA said in a statement.

"It is well past time that Guantánamo close once and for all, and all the men who have long ago been cleared for release are transferred to countries that have agreed to accept them," added Eviatar, director of the Security With Human Rights program.

Organizers of the "Justice Now: Close Guantánamo and End Torture" rally included Amnesty International USA, Witness Against Torture, Defending Rights & Dissent, Center for Constitutional Rights, CAIR, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, the World Can't Wait, CodePink, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Close Guantanamo, Tsuru for Solidarity, and Justice for Muslims Collective.

"Guantánamo currently holds 40 individuals: all Muslim men, many of whom were tortured in the camp," Amnesty's statement said. "Several detainees are experiencing health problems as a result of years of detention and instances of torture and other ill-treatment. Some remain detained despite having been cleared for transfer for years. This includes Toffiq al-Bihani, who has been imprisoned for eight years without trial."

Participants in Saturday's demonstration carried signs which declared "Close Guantánamo now!" and "Investigate and prosecute U.S. torture!" Other signs shared the stories of individuals detained at the prison. Some of the activists wore orange jumpsuits and black hoods.

Along with the rally outside the White House Saturday afternoon, organizers held a funeral procession, which ended at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. The activists carried nine coffins for nine detainees who have died at the prison.

Organizers of the action aimed to call "attention to the brutality of the prison, including indefinite detention, and for an end to any and all uses of torture," they explained on Facebook. "We cannot let Guantánamo disappear from the public consciousness."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·


West Virginia Constituents Decry 'Immorality' of Joe Manchin

"West Virginia has been locked into an economy that forces workers into low-wage jobs with no hope for advancement, and after decades of this our hope is dwindling," said one West Virginian. "The cuts that Sen. Manchin has negotiated into the agenda hurt our state."

Julia Conley ·


'Texans Deserved Better Than This': Supreme Court Leaves Abortion Ban in Place

The nation's high court set a date to hear a pair of legal challenges to the "horrific" restrictions.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Like It Never Happened': Federal Judge Tosses Trump Attack on Clean Water Rule

Denying a Biden administration request to temporarily retain the rule, the judge reestablished "the careful balance of state and federal power to protect clean water that Congress intended when it wrote the Clean Water Act."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo