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Shut Down Guantánamo! Monthly demo: pictures & report

London Guantánamo Campaign | 04.07.2009 07:27 | Guantánamo | Anti-racism | Repression | Terror War

Pictures and report from the LGC's monthly Shut Down Guantánamo! action outside the US Embassy in London for July

The London Guantánamo Campaign has had a regular presence outside the US Embassy in London for over the past 2 1/2 years. Holding weekly protests demanding the closure of Guantánamo Bay and other illegal and secret jails under the "war on terror" since February 2007, we now hold a monthly demonstration outside the US Embassy on the FIRST FRIDAY of every month at 6-7pm. Although Barack Obama pledged to close Guantánamo Bay within the first year of his presidency, with less than 6 months to go to make good on that promise, he does not seem to be making much progress. Although over a dozen prisoners have been released in the past month, the regime also has continuing indefinite detention on the cards for many of the remaining detainees and plans to try several dozen of them in the US in the coming years...on the basis of evidence no doubt procured through torture at Guantánamo and Bagram, etc. Is this justice US style?

Although spurious charges have been imputed to around a dozen prisoners, in over 7 1/2 years only a few trials have been held in the most dubious conditions that hardly live up to any recognised standard of a fair trial. The "change we can believe in" policies of the Obama era seems to pretty much echo those of his predecessor, relying on state secrets to hide the truth, extraordinary rendition, expanding Bagram and no apology for the devastation to the lives of the 800+ prisoners and their families who have been or are held at Guantánamo over the past 7 1/2 years.

Eight people joined the demonstration on 3 July to call for Guantánamo, Bagram and other similar facilities to be closed down and for justice for the remaining prisoners. On Independence Day, how about some "freedom and justice for all"?

Two men with ties to the United Kingdom remain at Guantánamo Bay: south Londoner Shaker Aamer, a Saudi national with a British family, and Algerian Ahmed Belbacha from Bournemouth. Neither has ever been charged. Belbacha has been free to leave Guantánamo for the past 2 1/2 years but has nowhere to return to. The UK must do more to ensure the safety and return of its residents.

The LGC and Cageprisoners will be holding a public meeting on Saturday 11 July at 3-5pm at the Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11, "Shaker Aamer: the Last Londoner in Guantánamo Bay" to raise awareness about his case. Come and learn more about his case. Speakers include local MP Martin Linton, Gareth Peirce and Moazzam Begg:

The next monthly demonstration will be at 6-7pm on Friday 7 August outside the US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London W1A 1AE.

London Guantánamo Campaign
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