8,000 Days of Guantánamo: Vigils Take Place Around the World and 170 Former Prisoners, Lawyers, Politicians and Campaigners Join Photo Campaign

Coordinated global vigils for the closure of Guantánamo on December 6, 2023. Clockwise from top left: London, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Mexico City.

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Wednesday December 6 was a big day for Guantánamo activism, as it marked 8,000 days since the prison opened, and also coincided with the date for the latest global vigils, calling for the closure of Guantánamo, which I initiated in February, and which have been taking place across the US, in London, Mexico City, and elsewhere, every month since.

To mark 8,000 wretched and unforgivably long days of the prison’s existence, I encouraged anti-Guantánamo campaigners around the world to take a photo with the 8,000 days poster, hosted on the Gitmo Clock website, an initiative of the Close Guantánamo campaign, which I established nearly 12 years ago, on the 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo.

The Gitmo Clock has been counting, in real time, how long Guantánamo has been open for nearly six years, since the 16th anniversary of the prison’s opening, on January 11, 2018, when the lamentable Donald Trump was president, and when the prison had been open for 5,845 days.

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8,000 Days of Guantánamo: On Dec. 6, Call For the Prison’s Closure Via the Global Vigils and the Close Guantánamo Photo Campaign

A promotional image marking 8,000 days of Guantánamo’s existence on December 6, 2023.

Please support my work as a reader-funded journalist! I’m currently trying to raise $2500 (£2000) to support my writing and campaigning on Guantánamo and related issues over the next three months. If you can help, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal.





 

I wrote the following article for the “Close Guantánamo” website, which I established in January 2012, on the 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo, with the US attorney Tom Wilner. Please join us — just an email address is required to be counted amongst those opposed to the ongoing existence of Guantánamo, and to receive updates of our activities by email.

I often say that it’s easier to get blood out of a stone than it is to get a single prisoner out of Guantánamo — by which I don’t mean the handful of men charged with crimes, but those who have never been charged with a crime, and who, moreover, have been unanimously approved for release by high-level US government review processes.

Of the 30 men still held at Guantánamo, 16 are in this category, and throughout this year campaigners have been highlighting their plight through coordinated vigils for the closure of Guantánamo that I initiated in February, with the support of friends and allies from groups and organizations including Amnesty International, Witness Against Torture, the World Can’t Wait and the UK Guantánamo Network, which I’m part of, and whose monthly vigils outside Parliament, which resumed in September 2022 after a hiatus of many years, gave me the inspiration to try to expand the vigils internationally.

The vigils take place on the first Wednesday of every month at locations across the US and around the world, including London, Washington, D.C., New York, Mexico City, Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Cobleskill, NY, Raleigh, NC, Brussels and Copenhagen. See here for the report about, and photos from the most recent vigils on November 1.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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