Click on the image to visit the GTMO Clock website and see how many days it has been since President Obama promised to resume releasing prisoners from Guantánamo, and how many men have been freed.
I’m away with my family to Sicily for two sun-drenched weeks of rest and relaxation — actually, it will more probably involve a fair amount of clowning around, and walking the Mediterranean streets at noon, like the Mad Dogs and Englishmen Noel Coward sang about, but I am sure it will be relaxing, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to unwind for a little while and recharge my batteries.
It’s been an intense six months on the Guantánamo front, and I’m acutely aware that there is no good news for the men still held there, who embarked on a prison-wide hunger strike over six months ago to protest about the conditions of indefinite confinement in which they all find themselves, regardless of whether or not they have been cleared for release. 86 of the remaining 166 prisoners have, but they remain held because President Obama lacks the political will to make their release a priority, faced with hostility from Congress, where opportunistic lawmakers have imposed onerous restrictions on the release of prisoners.
Please keep the men in your thoughts, if you can. Write to them, and if you haven’t already done so, visit the GTMO Clock website I launched last week, designed by Justin Norman, to see how many days it is since President Obama promised to resume releasing cleared prisoners (in a major speech on national security on may 23), and how many men have so far been released. The answer isn’t pretty.
If you find it useful, please like it, Tweet it and share it. It currently has nearly 800 likes, but I hope to reach out to thousands more people, as this ongoing injustice grinds on, and the GTMO Clock counts every second of it, reminding President Obama of how his fine words on Guantánamo have yet again turned to ashes.
I’ll be checking in when I can over the next fortnight, but I will also be trying to briefly let go of the cares of the world. The months ahead will be challenging, for all of us who care about injustice, and we will need to be at maximum strength.
So whatever you’re doing for the next two weeks, I hope you too can find some time to relax. Those who need our support may not be able to do so, but we need to be at our strongest to take on the forces of injustice and indifference arrayed against us.
Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer and film-maker. He is the co-founder of the “Close Guantánamo” campaign, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here – or here for the US).
To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the four-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.
Glad to see that you have the discipline to take a break, even as the desperation grinds on.
We need you in the fight, Andy, but you’re no good to us if you’re frazzled and punked out.
I look forward to you coming back in a couple weeks, recharged, refreshed and reinvigorated.
God bless you,
God bless the Detainees, and
God bless the US Government officials whose bad decisions have put us in the situation we are in today.
Thanks for the good wishes, Brian. Hot and happy with my family in Palermo, Sicily!
Sandrine Ageorges-Skinner wrote:
Steve Bubble wrote:
Have a good one Andy n co!
Mo D’oh wrote:
wish you a great time with your loved ones…. (and still hope to see you in burgfield peace camp, somewhere between aug 26 and sept 6 )
Sue Glenton wrote:
Can we expect photos of Sicily soon? Please…
Bob Witanek wrote:
clock is good idea – thanks for doing that – we need a similar instrument for each vapid promise from the current administration
Ruth Gilburt wrote:
Enjoy your hols xxx
Moon Mohamed wrote:
Enjoy your vacation ..you deserve the best
Pamela Lynne Kemp wrote:
Have a wonderful holiday
Leona Starr Mars wrote:
Enjoy and be safe…
Carol Anne Grayson wrote:
Have a great time
Waris Ali wrote:
Have a great time Andy, hope you come back with the batteries recharged! Here is a pastebin i created that people can use with the #GTMOClock hashtag, it’s not completely finalised, but the tweets pretty much are. Some varied tweets with quotes, actions people can take, articles and short videos > http://pastebin.com/FD0rV4md
Thanks everyone for the kind messages. Palermo is wonderfully hot and friendly, with great food, of course, and my mission to relax is proceeding n a thoroughly satisfactory manner! Off to bed now. We have an early start planned, to catch an antiques and bric-a-brac market near the seafront in the morning. Night all.
D J Sanchez In-Montebello wrote:
Have a wonderful time re-charging yourself, Andy. Thank You for all your efforts.
Waris Ali wrote:
200 Days of the Guantanamo Hunger strike. They mention shaker aamer and also the gtmoclock site again Andy. With a link to their old piece on it (that you shared) >> http://rt.com/news/guantanamo-200-days-strike-948/ #GTMO200
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