Public photos (2)
This page features photos of members of the public, from around the world, supporting the "Countdown to Close Guantánamo" campaign. The campaign, launched on Jan. 20, 2016, counts down the last year of the Obama presidency and calls for President Obama to fulfill his promise to close the prison. This is the second page of photos of members of the public supporting the countdown, beginning with the "250 days to go" poster on May 14, and continuing with the "200 days to go' poster on July 3, the day before U.S. Independence Day. The first page, featuring supporters holding posters marking "1 year to go," "350 days to go" and "300 days to go" is here, and the third page began with "150 days to go," on Aug. 22.
To get involved, you can print off the "150 days to go" poster, take a photo of yourself with it, and send it to us for Aug. 22 -- with a message if you wish. You can also let us know where you're from, if you'd like. Please also note that 100 days is on Oct. 11. Also see the photos of celebrities and other significant figures here.
200 days to go (July 3, 2016)
Steve Lane, in Bethesda, Maryland, wrote, "I offer to trade places, for a month, with a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay who has been cleared for release but is still held there. He will live in my home, and I will live in his cell. That will make up, as best I can, for what my country has done to that innocent man."
Staff and students at Arcadia University in London supporting the Countdown to Close Guantánamo after campaign co-founder Andy Worthington made a presentation about his political activism, the Close Guantánamo campaign and the We Stand With Shaker campaign in London on July 19, 2016.
John Goss, in the UK, says, "Dear President Obama, you made a promise in your inaugural speech to close Guantánamo Bay prison because you were aware of what a disgrace it was (and still is) to the good name of the United States of America. For some reason, up to now, you have failed to keep your promise. I implore you in the name of humanity to act swiftly and show the world that you are a man of your word."
Heather Adams sent the photo above, and wrote, "Attendees at the 5/20/2016 plenary 'Critical Considerations of the Hoffman Report: Consequences, lessons learned and the work ahead' stand in support of closing the Guantánamo Bay Detention Centre. This session was part of the Psychology Special Interest Group at The 2016 International Congress Of Qualitative Inquiry. Individuals pictured (not in order): Heather Adams, Mona Ibrahim, Laurie MacGilliway, Cynthia Langtiw, Nicole M. Velez-Agusto, Gordana Jovanovic, Jane Callaghan, Mary Gergen, Kenneth Gergen, Kay Yu Yuan Chai, Angelo Benozzo, Michael Kral, and Ariel Gains, and three individuals who did not wish to be named.
Natalia Rivera Scott, Mexico.
Jan Strain, Seattle.
Julisa Wescott, from Sarasota, Florida, USA, says, “I have attached my photo for the Close Guantánamo campaign in support of closing the disgraceful Guantánamo Bay permanently! May God grant justice and peace. Amen.”
German journalist Ludwig Watzal wrote, "President Obama, please release all prisoners and pay them compensation for 15 years of innocent incarceration. The real perpetrators of the 9/11 conspiracy against the American people are still on the loose."
Bernard Sullivan, and Susie Sullivan (below), in Dorset, say,
"Just one day before the USA celebrates the 240th anniversary of its Independence from Great Britain in 1776, President Obama will be reminded that he only has 200 days left to close Guantanamo. With some politicians in the UK wanting to abandon the Human Rights Act, one has to wonder how just little have we all learned in 240 years."
Cassia Laham, of POWIR (People's Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism), in Florida.
Conor Munro, of POWIR (People's Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism), in Florida.
Carlos Valnera, of POWIR (People's Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism), in Florida.
JP Sanchez, of POWIR (People's Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism), in Florida.
Tim Lind, Three Rivers, Michigan.
Suzanne Lind, Three Rivers, Michigan.
Shane Mills, London.
Dot Young, London.
Colin Matheson, London.
Debra Sweet, national director, The World Can’t Wait. This photo and the five below were taken at The World Can’t Wait’s New York office.
Susan Hall, of Greater Boulder Greens, in Colorado, is holding a copy of The Guantánamo Files by Close Guantánamo's co-founder Andy Worthington, and Guantánamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, still held at the prison. She says, "After WWII those who had tortured with waterboarding were sentenced to 15 yrs in prison by the US. Is it fair to sentence lowly soldiers while Bush & Obama with Clinton's support continue to hold the victims hostage? Let me see if people have the courage to post the sign for innocent hostages to be released, which was what the Commander and Chief promised & though he released some cleared & some uncleared hostages, he has not done what he said he would, which was release them all. This is especially important NOW after 14 YEARS and he has less than 200 days left in office."
Tom Hall, of Greater Boulder Greens, in Colorado.
Janet Weil wrote, "For Obama to close Guantánamo."
JoAnne Lingle, in Indianapolis, Indiana, wrote, "I will see you all in DC in January 2017! Thank you for all that you do."
This photo, and the photo below, are from Sigrun.
Susan Partnow, U.S. The orange jumpsuit is for Mohammed Bawazir, a Yemeni prisoner who was supposed to be freed earlier this year, but who, at the last minute, refused to board his plane to an identified country that had offered him a new home.
Shelagh Bocoum, U.S.
Tony Litwinko sent this poster on July 11, when President Obama had just 192 days left to close Guantánamo.
250 days to go (May 14, 2016)
Steve Lane, from Bethesda, Maryland, says, "The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States begins with: 'In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury …' Our Administration says we can't try our prisoners at Guantánamo Bay because they would be found innocent but are too dangerous to release. Does that sound like what the Founding Fathers had in mind? Or is that what they rebelled against?"
Susie Sullivan, from Dorset, who helped initiate a recent Parliamentary meeting for Guantánamo prisoner and best-selling author Mohamedou Ould Slahi, says, "Close Guantánamo - the prison without human rights. A scar upon America and a scar upon our hearts. Let freedom for all prisoners be soon." Please sign the petition to U.S. defense secretary Ashton Carter, calling for Slahi to be freed, which currently has nearly 35,000 signatures.
Bernard Sullivan, from Dorset, says, "Guantánamo showcases the USA to the world, shining a glaring spotlight upon itself, a dismal symbol of a nation that preaches human rights to others while failing to uphold them itself. By its very existence, Guantánamo transmits its most arrogant message - 'My master is so powerful that it has made hypocrisy a way of life, preaching one set of standards, but acting out precisely the opposite, which no-one can oppose'. It is only by closing Guantánamo, and not by moving it, that America can ever regain a shred of international respect or moral authority."
Jan Strain says, "My message to Barack Obama: 'Tick Tock - it's been over 8 years since you first promised closing Guantánamo was to be one of the first things you would do if elected president. SHUT IT DOWN.' Thank you for pushing this so hard, Andy! Love from Seattle."
German journalist Ludwig Watzal says, "President Obama, please set all remaining prisoners free, at once, and pay all of them financial compensation for 15 years of innocent incarceration. For the upcoming 15 years, the Bush/Cheney gang should be locked up in Guantánamo instead, including free waterboarding once a week."
Andy worthington, the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign, says to President Obama, "We are watching, Mr. President, and supporting you as you work towards fulfilling your promise to close Guantánamo, which you first made seven years and four months ago, when you promised to close the prison within a year. Please don't let us down. As you said in February this year, 'Keeping this facility [Guantánamo] open is contrary to our values. It undermines our standing in the world. It is viewed as a stain on our broader record of upholding the highest standards of rule of law. As Americans, we pride ourselves on being a beacon to other nations, a model of the rule of law. But 15 years after 9/11 -- 15 years after the worst terrorist attack in American history -- we’re still having to defend the existence of a facility and a process where not a single verdict has been reached in those attacks -- not a single one.'"
Dot Young, London.
Tyler Worthington, London.
This photo, and the six photos below, are of students from San Jose State University, in California, which were sent by Charlotte Casey.
Leena says, "Hi, My name is Leena from Finland. I am supporting the Countdown to Close Guantánamo."
Rene wrote, "Godspeed, Andy!"
Jenny Hughes in France says, "I can't believe Gitmo is STILL open and people are STILL incarcerated there without having had any trial let alone a fair one. It makes me feel nauseous and panicky. Hurting them hurts me and all of us. So very many rights breached: does the US consider them inhuman? Or because they are 'aliens' they don't deserve the same rights US citizens are supposed to (but often can't) enjoy? How can the world and so many leaders turn a blind eye to atrocities such as this in peacetime when after a war this torture (and deaths) would be tried for war crimes. 'War on terror'? Yes: but also terror created by the USA used to neutralise, control and sometimes murder anyone it is fearful of."
Julisa Wescott, in Sarasota, Florida, USA, says,
Anna Sadlo, from London.
Jim McDowell, Canada.
Jeannie Stokowski-Bisanti, mother, writer and teacher born in the USA and living in Europe, sent two quotes:
"The time is coming when people will be astonished that mankind needed so long a time to regard thoughtless injury to life as compatible with ethics." — Albert Schweitzer, physician/Nobel Laureate.
"On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question, "Is it politic?" And Vanity comes along and asks the question, "Is it popular?" But Conscience asks the question "Is it right?" And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right." — Martin Luther King Jr.
Rosalind Belanger, in Canada, says, "Ever happy to contribute to the campaign - Success is not far off!"
Tim Lind, from Three Rivers, Michigan.
Deborah Hitz says, "I hope it helps. Thank you for all you do."
Daniel Pérez Creus sent this photo of Pape Modou and Jeanot from P. A. Quartet, Dakar, Senegal, and said, "Thanks and good luck!!"
And some additional photos from 300 days
This photo, of Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, and the eight other photos below, were sent in by Cynthia Papermaster of Codepink’s Golden Gate Chapter in Berkeley, California, from a Codepink luncheon. Cynthia wrote, “With immense gratitude for your continuing efforts to obtain justice for the prisoners and to shut Guantánamo.”
Cynthia Papermaster and Jimminywinks
Ingrid Kepler May and Jackie Barshak
This photo and the one below are from Codepink's April 29 "Active Hope" event in Berkeley, attended by about 100 people, where Cynthia Papermaster of Codepink’s Golden Gate Chapter spoke about the Guantánamo situation and asked the audience to hold up signs asking Obama to shut Guantánamo. The event featured Joanna Macy and Ray McGovern as well as 12 speakers covering a variety of local and national social and environmental justice issues.