For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Frida Berrigan, 347-683-4928,
Helen Schietinger, 202-344-5762,

Today is Day of Action Against Torture, Rally at White House, Demo at Justice Department

Opening of 11-Day "Fast for Justice" Demanding Closing of Guantanamo

WASHINGTON - In an 11 am rally
at the White House, organized by Witness Against Torture, human rights
activists will kick off 11 days of action to close the U.S. detention center at
Guantánamo and end torture. After a “prisoner march”
from the White House to the Department of Justice, one group of anti-torture
activists will demand a meeting with
DoJ officials, while others will engage in non-violent civil disobedience.

Today's actions are just the beginning of a new campaign to close
Guantánamo. Over 100 people around the country have signed up for the 11-day,
liquid-only Fast for Justice. Close to 50 fasters will be in Washington for the
duration of the fast, where their activities will include:

  • Holding
    daily vigils at the Justice Department,
  • Lobbying
    the White House and members of Congress, and
  • Marking
    Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday with a vigil for Pfc. Bradley Manning
    in Quantico, VA.

All activities are aimed at placing the issues of torture and indefinite
detention in the consciences and hearts of people in the Nation’s Capital. For
a schedule of the fast, daily updates, and to learn about the fasters, go to

Who We Are:  In
December 2005, Witness
Against Torture
drew international attention after its members walked to
Guantánamo to visit the prisoners. Since its return, the group has organized
vigils, marches, nonviolent direct actions, and educational events to expose
and decry the administration's lawlessness, build awareness about torture and
indefinite detention, and forge human ties with the prisoners at Guantánamo and
their families.


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Witness Against Torture is a grassroots movement that came into being in December 2005 when 24 activists walked to Guantanamo to visit the prisoners and condemn torture policies. Since then, it has engaged in public education, community outreach, and non-violent direct action. For the first 100 days of the Obama administration, the group held a daily vigil at the White House, encouraging the new President to uphold his commitments to shut down Guantanamo.

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