At 9:35AM EST on Tuesday, October 17, George W. Bush signed his torture bill into law. From now on, anyone in the world he or his Secretary of “Defense” say is an “enemy combatant” can be arrested anywhere in the world, held without ever seeing the “evidence” against them, and not have the right to face their accusers in court. And, at the heart of it all, they can be tortured under what Bush will rightfully claim is the “law of the land”.
Outside the White House on Tuesday morning, the Religious Campaign Against Torture held a protest vigil in which 15 people were arrested in civil disobedience. The legalization of torture cannot be allowed to stand, and actions like this must multiply quickly and urgently.
Also on October 17th, the U.N. 16 will had their first court
appearance (read report). The 16 were arrested last month for courageously mounting
civil disobedience when Bush stepped to the podium to deliver a speech
of veiled threats to extend and continue the wars he is already waging
at the United Nations headquarters last month.
And in these two events on the same morning, two paths confronting each
and every one of us are clearly laid out. One consists of business as
usual, finding ways to accommodate the unspeakable atrocities Bush and
his crew have let loose on humanity and the even grander scale
atrocities they have in store; or resisting them, opposing them, and
developing a massive political movement that will bring them to a halt.
No Torture in Our Name!
This Regime Does Not Represent Us, and We Will Drive It Out!
With the passage of the Military
Commissions Act, Congress has effectively ratified torture and
indefinite detentions, stripping away the right to habeus corpus. This
is indeed a further leap on the road towards fascism: what has
existed in the shadowy world of clandestine action now has the openly
declared mantle of official,
legal approval. That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn – or be forced – to accept.
If we do not want to be a nation of torturers, there must immediately
be visual displays of opposition to the Military Commissions Act and
the torture and indefinite detentions. To that end, over the next
month World Can’t Wait is calling on you to:
Wear orange armbands with “NO TORTURE” written on them.
Print these new shirts, also available soon on our online store (call our national office at 866-973-4463 for bulk rates). Click here for the design to send to a printer in your area.
On Halloween: wear orange jump suits like those that detainees at Guantanamo Bay are forced to wear, with a sign saying “This is not a costume for the over 450 detainees being held without trial and tortured at Guantanamo Bay by your government.”
This visual display should open up conversations everywhere about just what the Bush regime is doing, what the Military Commissions Act actually is, and what we need to do about it. Here are two things we suggest reading to assist in carrying on this urgently needed conversation:
Silence + Torture = Complicity. Text of fullpage ad from World Can’t Wait published in the New York Times Oct. 4.
Bill Goodman, Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights: remarks on the Military Commissions Act at World Can’t Wait emergency event Oct. 2nd at Cooper Union in NYC