For Immediate Release
Veterans Join Hunger Strike to Close US Prison at Guantanamo
Large Protest Action Outside White House on Wednesday, June 26
WASHINGTON - Four members of Veterans For Peace are fasting in solidarity with the hunger striking prisoners at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Diane Wilson has not eaten for 47 days. She has been on a water-only fast for most of that time and has lost over 40 pounds.
Brian Willson, fasted publicly in Portland, Oregon for 28 days, taking in less than 300 calories a day, while losing 24 pounds. While riding his three-wheeled handcycle last week, Brian was hit by a car and forced to suspend his fast in order to heal from his wounds. Brian will consider re-joining the hunger strike at a later time.
Elliott Adams, former national president of Veterans For Peace, is on day 33 of his hunger strike. He is also taking in less than 300 calories a day, and has lost over 30 pounds, about one pound a day.
Tarak Kauff, who serves on the Board of Directors of Veterans For Peace, is on day 11 of his hunger strike.
“What is happening in Guantanamo is despicable,” said Elliott Adams, who was a paratrooper in Vietnam. “Just think about it: 86 prisoners are cleared by the government -- the Department of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security over a year ago, and they're still being held. Many of them have been held for over 11 years! This is a violation of our moral and religious principles, international law, and national law. It is also a violation of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the things that are supposed to define America.
“It goes against the very principles I thought the American flag stood for when I was a young man,” said Elliott Adams. “I just can't sit and enjoy my life when my country is doing such terrible things to these people. It's up to us to force our government to get them out of there".
Diane Wilson. a former Army medic and fourth generation shrimp boat captain in Texas, said
". . .where am I? Well, I know where this one American fisherwoman is. I stand in solidarity with the Guantanamo prisoners on their hunger strike and I will fast indefinitely until justice comes."
Veterans For Peace national board member Tarak Kauff, on the 11th day of his fast, said,
“It is up to human beings of conscience to take the risks, step out of our comfort zones and do our utmost to end this disastrous reign of U.S. military and corporate-controlled government. If we do not act with determination and courage now, we can be assured that we, our children and their children will reap the results of our inaction. Is that what we want? Rise up America! Shut down Guantánamo!
June 26 Actions in Washington, DC – Shut Down Guantanamo!
The Veterans For Peace hunger strikers will be joined by dozens of organization and hundreds of protestors outside the White House on Wednesday, June 26.
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Veterans For Peace is a national organization founded in 1985. It is structured around a national office in Saint Louis, MO and comprised of members across the country organized in chapters or as at-large members. The organization includes men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations including from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts. Our collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. Thus, other means of problem solving are necessary.