Protests planned against Guantánamo prison

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Bradley Manning. - Photo: Courtesy

A national coalition is planning a day of action against the continued operation of the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.

Demonstrations will take place on Jan. 11 at the White House and the U.S. Capitol Building, as well as at federal buildings in San Francisco and Chicago.

At least one event is planned in Wisconsin. Activists will gather for a letter-writing party at Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse, 1101 Williamson St,. Madison, at 7 p.m. on Jan. 11. Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice and Madison Pledge of Resistance are organizing the event.

Jan. 11 marks the 10th anniversary of the first detainees' arrival at the U.S.-controlled detention facility in Guantanamo.

The progressive groups organizing the D.C. demonstration include the Bradley Manning Support Network, Witness Against Torture, Amnesty International USA, Center for Constitutional Rights, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Physicians for Human Rights, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, No More Guantánamos, Pax Christi USA, Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition, Catholic Worker, War Resisters League, World Can't Wait, Code Pink, School of the Americas Watch, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, 8th Day Center for Justice,, Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban 5, Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, Refuge Media Project, War Criminals Watch, Arab American Association of New York, Appeal for Justice, International Justice Network, High Road for Human Rights, Quaker Initiative to End Torture and Courage to Resist.

Three years ago, the president signed an executive order calling for the closing of Guantánamo, which remains open and operating.

Detainee assessments from Guantánamo were among the U.S. documents that gay soldier Bradley Manning is accused of stealing and giving to WikiLeaks. The files revealed that more than 150 innocent Afghans and Pakistanis, including farmers, chefs and drivers, were held for years in the prison without charge.

A preliminary hearing in the Manning case took place in December. A decision on whether a court martial will be convened is expected later this month.

If Manning is convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

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