Close Guantánamo, Support the Pelican Bay Prisoners' 5 Core Demands – End U.S.-sponsored Torture at home & abroad
Let's wear 2.7 million orange ribbons (it costs $2.7 million per year to maintain each Gitmo detainee)in solidarity with all prisoners who suffer torture paid for by U.S. taxpayers and perpetrated by U.S. federal, state, county & municipal governments.
CloseGitmo.net has set the goal for 2.7 million people to wear orange ribbons as a way to tell the world we oppose U.S. government-sponsored torture at all levels and in all cases. Our focus is on closing the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay and supporting the prisoners of Pelican Bay with their 5 core demands. We call for an end to torture in municipal and county jails where suicide is epidemic among inmates who suffer from poor mental health. We condemn all state prisons who perpetrate the torture of long-term solitary confinement. We also oppose violations of human rights at U.S. federal detention centers as well as all U.S. secret detention centers around the world known as "Black Sites" and military bases where torture is well known, i.e. Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan (the "other Guantánamo").
We appeal to the conscience of all decisionmakers who control the fate of prisoners at Guantánamo and say: Close Gitmo!
We support the 5 Core Demands of detainees in prisons throughout California led by prisoners from the Pelican Bay SHU (Security Housing Unit) currently on their 5th week of hunger strike:
- Eliminate Group Punishment;
- Abolish the Debriefing (snitching) Policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteri;
- End long-term solitary confinement;
- Provide adequate food; and,
- Provide constructive programs (education, self-help treatment, religious activities and other productive activities).
Why 2.7 million orange ribbons?
In Senate Judiciary Hearings on July 24, 2013, U.S. Senator Richard Durbin announced that it cost $2.7 million/prisoner/year to keep a prisoner in Guantánamo. This amounts to $7400/inmate/day! Those who wear orange ribbons will help bring awareness to how Gitmo ant Pelican Bay prisoners are being subjected daily to torturous, inhumane conditions.
Hunger Strikes in Guantánamo and in California led by prisoners in Pelican Bay
The hunger strike in Guantánamo began February 6, 2013. Soon thereafter nearly all 166 prisoners participated. Sources report that 38 remain firm and have kept fasting (see "track hunger strike" at CloseGitmo.net). The inmates began refusing food in protest against the desecration of the inmates’ Korans and evolved to become a wider protest about President Obama's abandonment of his stated commitments over the past five years to close the facility.
The California prisoner hunger strike led by Pelican Bay detainees in the state's only supermax prison started July 8, 2013, with 30,000 prisoners from 22 prisons around the state and others outside the state. As they begin their 6th week on strike, over 250 refuse to eat. 14 prisoners identified as ring leaders have been put in Administrative Segregation Units (Ad. Seg. or ASUs), equivalent to the hole within the hole. They are subjected to cold air blown into their cells and other punitive actions.
U.S. Government policy at the Municipal, County, State Federal & Global levels perpetrates torture in 4 main ways:
Extended solitary confinement: The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, has stated that solitary confinement beyond 15 days is equivalent to torture. The U.S. leads the world in the number of those held in extended isolation with more than 80,000 detained in city and county jails as well as state and federal prisons and other detention centers. Prisoners in Guantánamo are routinely held in isolation for extended periods and some in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit have spent over three decades in the SHU, i.e. solitary confinement or “the hole”.
Indefinite detention: In both Guantánamo and in all four California Prison SHUs, prisoners suffer deep psychological torture, never knowing when they will be freed. One California prisoner has suffered 42 years in solitary!
Beyond indefinite detention, the vast majority of Gitmo detainees are held without being charged and 86 out of 166 have been cleared for release but never freed. The Obama Administration has said 46 inmates will never be charged or tried. Both the military and civilian attorneys for the detainees, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross, have said despair is widespread because of the prisoners' indefinite detention.
Human contact and communication restricted: Prisoners in SHUs are not permitted any human physical contact and are forbidden from making phone calls. Guantánamo inmates are not allowed family visits or phone calls. Meetings with lawyers are monitored in Gitmo and the California SHUs which violates prisoners' rights to confidential communication with defense attorneys.
Forced feeding: Over 40 prisoners are currently on hunger strike in Guantánamo and are being forced-fed with nasogastric tubes twice daily. In a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, President Dr. Jeremy Lazarus of the American Medical Association (AMA) said force-feeding competent prisoners who consciously choice to refuse food is against medical ethical standards. Dr. Gerald Thomson of the Constitution Project condemned the practice saying it is against international ethical standards. Those in Pelican Bay are threatened with this same kind of torture if they continue their hunger strike begun July 8, now in week 6.
2.7 million Orange ribbons – wear them in solidarity with Gitmo and Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers; place the orange ribbon on social media pages, i.e. Facebook
Our goal in the coming months is to get 2.7 million people to regularly wear the orange ribbons in solidarity with ending U.S.-sponsored torture and closing Gitmo. We fundraising campaign will renew until this many ribbons have been circulated or until Guantánamo is closed and prisoners on the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike find their 5 core demands met.
Thousands of ribbons have already been distributed in this effort to End U.S. Torture. A running count of the number of ribbons already distributed will be published at CloseGitmo.net.
Funds raised will build strategies to End U.S-sponsored Torture
In addition to distributing ribbons, funds raised from this campaign will go to building solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike in Guantánamo Bay and Pelican Bay. Your generosity will go to strengthen the CloseGitmo.net initiative through organizing strategies to End U.S.-sponsored torture. Strategies involve building educational campaigns, supporting direct nonviolent actions, networking with families of prisoners, encourage citizens to contact their members of the U.S. congress, building ties with human rights advocates, working with the coalition in solidarity with the Pelican Bay hunger strike and promoting the Guantánamo: A Comprehensive Exit Strategy.
To see all the non-profit organizations participating in this campaign, please visit CloseGitmo.net. Nonviolence International has agreed to serve as the Fiscal Sponsor and channel 100% of funds received to support Ending U.S.-sponsored Torture in Guantánamo, Pelican Bay and elsewhere. You will receive an email confirmation that your donation is tax-deductible resulting from your gift to Nonviolence International.
Initial funding goal: $7,400, equivalent to the cost of detaining ONE prisoner in Guantánamo for ONE DAY.
Long-term goal: raise the needed funds to distribute 2.7 million orange ribbons to End U.S.-sponsored Torture at all levels.
Benchmarks Along the Way
As we progress, we highlight the significant benchmarks on the road to our $7,400 goal. We are grateful to all donors whose gifts help us meet the benchmarks. We've met 12 of the 20 benchmarks so far!
1 = number of prisoners who have died during the California prison hunger strike. Billy “Guero” Sell, age 32, was found dead in his isolation cell onJuly 22 in the Corcoran SHU. He had unsuccessfully sought medical attention before his death. Also the number of detainees convicted by U.S. military commission before 2009 and still held at Guantánamo.
4 = number of Gitmo detainees hospitalized from hunger strike (July 31, 2013) and the same number who have died in detention since 2009. Also the number of SHUs in the State of California.
14 = Number of detainees identified as hunger strike leaders in Pelican Bay & held in Administrative Segregation Units (ASUs) – This "hole within the hole” is where prisoners are tortured with cold air being blown at them in addiition to other punitive treatment (July 31)
44 = Number of Gitmo prisoners who continue on hunger strike (July 31, 2013)
46 = Number of Gitmo Detainees the Obama Administration has designated for indefinite detention without charge or trial
57 = Number of days on water-only Hunger Strike by Diane Wilson from CodePink in solidarity with Gitmo and Pelican Bay prisoners before scaling the White House fence on International Day for Victims of Torture, June 26, 2013
79 = Number of days Elliott Adams from Veterans for Peace participated in solidarity Hunger Strike (300 cals./day) with Gitmo and Pelican Bay prisoners, May 19 - Aug. 4
- 86 = Number of Gitmo prisoners cleared for release and not freed
- 300= Number of calories some U.S. Solidarity Hunger Strikers are agreeing to consume
- 300= Number of calories some U.S. Solidarity Hunger Strikers are agreeing to consume
- 400 = Number of protestors outside Corcoran prison on july 13, 2013 supporting the prisoners 5 core demands
- 601 = Confirmed number of hunger striking prisoners in California supporting 5 core demands of Pelican Bay prisoners, July 28, 2013
- 779 = Total number of detainees ever incarcerated at Guantánamo
- 1107 = Number of prisoners in the Pelican Bay SHU (June 15, 2011)
- 1989 = Year that Pelican Bay prison was opened.
- 2380 = Designed maximum capacity for Pelican Bay prison
- 2,977 = Inmate population at Pelican Bay (125.1% of capacity as of 12/31/12)
- 3,081 = total prisoners locked up in Pelican Bay as of April 4, 2012
- 4,220 = Days that Guan†anamo has been open (August 1, 2013)
Please help us reach this Benchmark
- 7,400 = Number of dollars it costs to hold ONE prisoner for ONE day in Guantánamo
Please help us reach this Benchmark
Thanks to our valued supporters for helping us reach these goals:
Mubarak, Kathy, Cynthia, Darrin, Ellen, Virginia, Timothy, Jan, David H., Margaret, Erica, Josh, David G., Corinne, & Ann.
Longterm solidarity fasts in solidarity with Hunger Striking prisoners in Guantánamo and Pelican Bay
Diane Wilson began fasting in Washington, DC on May 1st in solidarity with Hunger Strikers in Guantánamo and went 58 days on water-only. She also dedicated her fast to Ending U.S.-sponsored torture in local, state, national & global detention centers. On day 57, June 26, 2013 - International Day for Victims of Torture, she joined hundreds protesting U.S. Government policy on Guantánamo. Diane scaled the White House fence and was charged with unlawful entry. The trial begins with Jury selection on September 5, 2013 in DC District Court. Please come to DC to support Diane & CloseGitmo.net.
S. Brian Willson began a 300 calorie/day fast in Portland, OR and ended his fast 3 weeks later after being hit by an SUV while he was at a stop light on his hand-cycle.
Elliott Adams and Tarak Kauff fasted on 300 calorie/day for weeks. They ended their hunger strike on August 4th at a Mosque in Albany, NY after fasting 80 days and 58 days respectively.
Cynthia Papermaster began fasting on June 15, 2013 and continued her hunger strike on 300 calorie/day for 84 days.
Andrés Thomas Conteris began water-only fasting on July 8, 2013, the same day as 30,000 prisoners in California supporting 5 Core Demands to abolish torture in the state prisons. He fasts in solidarity with Gitmo prisoners and those in U.S. prisons who suffer daily torture in the Security Housing Units (SHUs) and Administrative Segregation Units (ASUs) of Pelican Bay. On Sept. 6, Day 61 of his water-only fast and 2nd day of Diane Wilson's trial, he was fed with nasogastric tubes at a rally in front of the White House to show how Gitmo prisoners are tortured twice daily through force-feeding which is yet another form of torture the prisoners there are subjected to. Watch this video to see how Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) was fed through a nasogastric tube so protest force-feeding in Guantánamo. For coverage of the September 6 Rally at the White House protesting force-feeding of hunger strikers in Guantánamo click here (videos, photos, U.S./global news articles).
Thousands of people participate in rolling fasts. To get involved, please visit CloseGitmo.net Solidarity Fasting, and if you are interested in other ways to counter U.S.-sponsored torture at home and abroad, click here.
Wear an orange ribbon to bring awareness to this campaign, and spread the word to family and friends via social media, email, etc.
U.S.-sponsored torture is unjust, illegal & profoundly immoral.
PLEASE JOIN OUR EFFORT TO STOP IT, NOW!
WEAR and SHARE ORANGE RIBBONS!
For frequently updated information, action suggestions, daily news, and a running tally on orange ribbons distributed, visit CloseGitmo.net.