On 7 January 2012, peace and human rights campaigners converged on Trafalgar Square to mark ten years of injustice at Guantanamo Bay. Impassioned peeches included our own Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London (pictured below). I joined the visual display by wearing an orange jump suit and black hood, as part of a line of would-be Guantanamo detainees (pictured above, from the line). We had our numbers and names read out in turn, as we passed to the front of the line, then returned to the back of the line to continue the process again, until all 171 names and numbers of the currently detained were read out in public. Though this process continued for only ten minutes, the sense of dehumanisation from under the hood was already palpable. (London Guantanamo Campaign callling for this action.)
One can hardly imagine the suffering and degradation which these unjustly detained men are having to endure, and have done for up to ten years. Moreover, British resident Shaker Aamer and former resident Ahmed Belbacha are being impeded for return to this country by the current British government.
When I sought to explain the injustice of Guantanamo to sixth formers during the Bush years, their response was one of incredulity, "Surely they must have done something wrong?" No, that's the point. No charge. No trial. Now we must persevere to fight this injustice even whilst Obama breaks his pledge to end the regime.Shahrar Ali and Jean Lambert MEP at the public rally, Trafalgar Square.
Local meeting on Guantanamo injustice: As part of Brent Stop the War meeting, Monday January 9th 7.30 pm at Brent Trades Hall, 375 High Rd, Willesden NW10 2JR. Aisha Maniar, steadfast campaigner, will speak on Ten Years of Guantánamo Bay.
More photos from the action day.