Saturday, April 19, 2014

"We who believe in freedom cannot rest!" (Shut Down Guantanamo!)

On Good Friday 2014 (April 18), members of the Chicago Coalition to Shut Down Guantanamo participated in the 34th annual 8th Day Center Good Friday Justice Walk. The theme for the walk was "We who believe in freedom cannot rest!" and this certainly resonated with the work of the Coalition.

Below is text of our station (#9 - Executed) together with photos from the day and images of the detainees whose writings were used.


Jesus, our Tortured Brother,
In this world, so many are
forced to walk your path today —
the suffering and pain, the
humiliation, sense of betrayal and
for those with power, the
Romans of today, continue to
condemn others to modern crosses.
You said that what was done to the least of these was done to
you and so each day,
You are tortured anew.

(Sister Dianna Ortiz, OSU)


My name is Shaker. Please can you remember this name for me, because I hardly can anymore.

Here, they call me 239. In fact, I call myself 239. It feels so strange to witness my name slipping away from me.

I wonder how long it is going to take for all of us here in Guantánamo to slip away from the world’s memory?

We have lost years of our lives here - and some (three times as many as have been convicted) have actually died.

We have lost our sanity, our health, our humanity and our dignity. Yes, we seem to have lost everything.

But I believe we are gradually rediscovering hope and, with hope, we will relocate our lives and everything else that is meaningful.

Meanwhile our tormentors are losing everything and, the more they lose, the more they torment us. I can’t describe what they are doing. The world must hasten to compel the US government to solve this dilemma before it is too late. Candles cannot burn forever.

(Shaker Aamar)


Where is the world to save us from torture?
Where is the world to save us from the fire and sadness?
Where is the world to save the hunger strikers?

(Adnan Latif)


O prison darkness, pitch your tent.
We love the darkness.

For after the dark hours of the night,
Pride’s dawn will rise.

Let the world, with all its bliss, fade away -
So long as we find favor with God.

A boy may despair in the face of a problem,
But we know God has a design.

Even though the bands tighten and seem unbreakable,
They will shatter.

Those who persist will attain their goal;
Those who keep knocking shall gain entry,

O crisis, intensify!
The morning is about to break forth!



Where is the world to save us from torture?
Where is the world to save us from the fire and sadness?
Where is the world to save the hunger strikers?


Jesus, our Guardian of the Wounded and Tortured,
Bid us to look into the secret prisons—the unmarked
graves—the hearts and minds of the torture survivors,
Bid us to wipe the tears of the families of those whose
decapitated bodies were cast into the open sea,
Bid us to embrace the open wounds of the tortured.
Jesus, Guiding Spirit,
Teach us to be in solidarity with those who hang from
these crosses,
Call out to those who torture, “Know the evil you have
done and repent.”
Call out to the rest of us, “What meaning does love have
if you allow torture to continue unopposed?”
In the name of all the tortured of the world, give us the
strength, give us the courage, give us the will to bring this
horror to an end, in the name of love, justice, and the God of
us all. Amen

(Sister Dianna Ortiz, OSU)

Justice Walk photos courtesy FJJ.