Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Supporting Hunger Strikers from Guantánamo Bay to Pelican Bay: Take Action‏

Today is International Day in Solidarity with the California Hunger Strikers and for Justice for Trayvon Martin. The Guantánamo Bay hunger strike will soon enter its sixth month and other campaigns supported by the LGC also involve hunger strikers, so we ask you to take action. (1) and (2) - please join the actions in London today and tomorrow & (3) and (4) please take part in the petition-signing/letter-writing campaigns. Hunger strikes are an extreme form of peaceful protest  with potentially fatal consequences. Please take what action you can to support the peaceful and lawful demands of abused prisoners.

1: Press release: "Hunger for Justice" International Day in solidarity with California Prisoner Hunger Strikers & for Justice for Trayvon Martin, 31 July – TODAY, 5-7pm

2: LGC “Shut Down Guantánamo!” demonstration in solidarity with Guantánamo Bay and Pelican Bay hunger strikers, 1 August, 12-2.15pm

3: Take action for Shawki Omar, Palestinian-American hunger striker in Iraq (letter writing campaign)

4: Take action for Ali Aarrass, Belgian-Moroccan hunger striker in Morocco (petition & letter writing campaign)

An article by Aisha Maniar from the London Guantánamo Campaign about why the California hunger strike should matter to Guantánamo Bay activists. For the connections, issues and background:

1: Press Release: Family Members, Activists and Celebrities “Hunger for Justice”

Today, Wednesday July 31st is International Day of Action in solidarity
with California Prisoner Hunger Strikers & for Justice for Trayvon Martin

 On day 24 of the California Prisoner Hunger Strike and Work Strike launched by 30,000 prisoners, communities across the US will fast and hold events in solidarity with the hunger strikers and their 5 core demands, and for Justice for Trayvon Martin.  Action is more urgent every day -- one of the hunger strikers, 32-year-old Billy Guero Sell, has already died, after being refused medical help.  People around the world have committed to fast today, for 24 hours if they can, and take other action in solidarity.

A LONDON PROTEST is being held on Wed 31 JULY, at 5-7PM   outside the US EMBASSY   24 Grosvenor Square   W1A 2LQ

Today’s solidarity demonstration outside the US Embassy in London is organized by Women of Colour in the Global Women’s Strike and is supported by the London Guantanamo Campaign, along with Legal Action for Women; Free Mumia Abu Jamal Campaign UK; Friends of John La Rose; International Coalition to Free the Angola 3; JENGbA (Patricia Brown);; National Forum of African Caribbean Organisations; Mahmoud Sarsak, Palestinian prisoner hunger strike; Marcia Rigg; Stop Isolation (Hamja Ahsan), Campaign Against Criminalising Communities. Plus Kit & Co, blues and soul singer
UK Contact: Sara Callaway, Women of Colour Global Women’s Strike: 0207 482 2496

Worldwide, more than 1000 individuals and organisations, including US celebrities have pledged to support the “Hunger for Justice” campaign in support of the California prisoners.

2: Thursday 1 August: “Shut Down Guantánamo!” monthly demonstration, 12-2.15pm, US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, W1A 1AE
Join us at 12-1pm outside the US Embassy and 1.15-2.15pm outside Speaker’s Corner, Hyde Park, opposite Marble Arch, to call for the closure of Guantánamo and other prisons like this.
Prisoners in California have also been on a mass hunger strike since 8 July against the practice of prolonged solitary confinement, sometimes of decades, which many consider to be a form of torture. This month’s demonstration will be in solidarity with both prisoner hunger strikes.

3: Take action for Shawki Omar:
The family of Shawki Omar, a Palestinian-American held in jail on spurious charges for the past 8 1/2 years in Iraq have joined the LGC’s protests outside the US Embassy on a number of occasions, and have held their own too. Mr Omar has been on hunger strike against increasing abuses in Iraqi jails since February this year. The Iraqis have no plans to release him even though he has been held for longer than his alleged sentence. In June, our monthly demonstration was held in solidarity with his case.
Please write to the Iraqi and US authorities and demand actions. Find out more here:

4: Take action for Ali Aarrass:
From Amnesty International: Ali Aarrass, a dual Belgian-Moroccan national detained in Salé II prison near Rabat, Morocco, is on a “dry” hunger strike (refusing water in addition to food) to protest ill-treatment at the hands of the prison authorities. He is reportedly in a critical condition, still conscious but unable to stand and struggling to speak. Today is day 22 of his hunger strike.
Find out more about his case and take action for this hunger-striking victim of torture here:
And sign the petition to support him:

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