[Thanks to faster Jimmy Tardy for submitting this post.]
PORTLAND, OR—A rolling fast began in June of 2013 to hold and maintain VFP member S. Brian Willson’s Guantánamo Hunger Striker’s Solidarity Fast, which ended after Brian was seriously injured in a run-in with a car. So far, 21 people have fasted on a rolling basis (e.g., going without food one day a week) in support of Brian, as well as the men who are still being held in Guantánamo Prison without charge or, even more horrifically, those who are still being held in spite of being “cleared for release” by the U.S. Government, after it was determined that they should never have been there in the first place.
Guantánamo is a festering wound that threatens us all. It is a monumental waste of taxpayer money, it is a disgusting abuse of power, and it is the United States Government behaving at some of its worst. Closing Guantánamo should have happened a long time ago.
The local rolling fasters have put together a short letter, which we hope to present to local mosques, submit to editors of local newspapers, and send to Barack Obama and other governmental officials. The text of our statement, which we have translated into Arabic, is as follows:
We, the undersigned, make the following statement:
We fast in order to affirm that we do not agree with the unlawful detention and torture of innocent men in Guantánamo, Cuba, by the United States military. We are demonstrating that we take seriously the things that are done in our name, that we will not turn away from an injustice which we recognize as our responsibility. We are making it known that we are aware and that we are not OK with this. We demand that this situation no longer continue. We are proud to be in the company of others who will not simply accept the actions of the powerful. We will not roll over, we will not go along to get along.
In order to right this outrage there is much to be done. We are starting where we can: in our own bellies, in our own minds, and in our own hearts.
Our local rolling fast is part of an international Guantánamo solidarity movement that includes, among other actions, an ongoing Veterans For Peace–led Fast on Fridays action. If you would like to join efforts of solidarity and witness here in Portland, please contact Jimmy Tardy at 503 432 0116 or jvt2b [at] yahoo (dotcom).