The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Andrés Conteris 202-232-1999; -- Medea Benjamin 415-235-6517;

US Hunger Striker to Undergo Forced Feeding at White House Rally to Close Guantanamo and End Solitary Confinement

Solidarity With Gitmo & Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers


WHERE: The White House, 1600 Penn. Ave.
WHEN: Friday, September 6, noon-1pm
WHAT: Force-feeding of US activist at rally to close Guantanamo & end solitary confinement
WHO:, Witness Against Torture, Code Pink, Veterans For Peace, and others organizer Andres Thomas Conteris on day 61 of his fast in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners in Guantanamo and Pelican Bay will undergo a nasogastric feeding in front of the White House on Friday, September 6 at noon. Conteris will underscore the brutality of force-feeding, to which dozens of men at Guantanamo have been subjected since a new hunger strike began last February, and which California officials have threatened for hunger striking prisoners in Pelican Bay protesting the use of extended solitary confinement in US prisons. The American Medical Association, the United Nations, and Senators John McCain and Diane Feinstein have all condemned force-feeding.

The tube feeding of Conteris, administered by a medical professional, will be webcast live at .

"Force-feeding is torture," says Conteris, a 52-year-old man from California who has lost 50lbs since starting his strike on July 8th,, when Pelican Bay inmates started theirs. "I wish to make visible what the U.S. government is perpetrating against prisoners in Guantanamo and what the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is threatening for hunger strikers in Pelican Bay. The only way to end the hunger strikes and force-feeding is to shutter the Gitmo prison and respond favorably to the demands of the prisoners in California."

"Indefinite detention, prolonged solitary confinement, and force-feeding," says CodePink co-founder, Medea Benjamin, "are all ways our government brutalizes people. They must stop, and Guantanamo must close."

The rally comes on the second day of the trial of Diane Wilson at the DC District Court (500 Indiana Ave., NW). On June 26, day 57 of her solidarity hunger strike, Wilson was arrested protesting Guantanamo and Pelican Bay by allegedly scaling the White House fence. The rally will feature updates on the situations at Guantanamo and at Pelican Bay is a coalition working to close Guantanamo and oppose torture, including the use of extended solitary confinement. For more information about the event or to interview Conteris or other participating organizationss contact: Andres Conteris 202-232-1999; and Medea Benjamin - 415-235-6517