“…in the name of safety, fear or revenge, American presidents cannot be allowed to arrogate to themselves the power of judge,
jury and executioner.”
— From the May 2013 Close Guantánamo NOW ad in The New York Times
World Can’t Wait needs your financial support now for 2014. We are out to challenge people in this country to value the lives of people in other countries and to reject as illegitimate the crimes being done in our name here and around the world.
2013 has been a year of intense struggle, surprise, and inspiring acts of resistance. In January the White House released a “white paper” on its use of targeted killing, in response to growing outrage over drone strikes. World Can’t Wait began protesting missiles fired from U.S. drones back in 2009, when President Obama’s growing use of them was not acknowledged. From New York City to Honolulu, we put the reality of U.S. “dirty wars” in front of thousands. Finally, recently, the legitimacy of targeted killing has become an open question.
Standing outside the White House in January, eleven years from the day Bush opened the offshore torture prison in Guantánamo, we despaired that despite years of protest, none of the prisoners cleared for release had left the prison since 2010, except in a coffin. 186 prisoners had disappeared from public notice. But, in February, they willed their way back into world attention with a powerful hunger strike which came to involve almost every prisoner.
We organized street protests to support the hunger strike with partner organizations, reaching thousands. But this was not enough. We decided in early May to place a powerful full-page ad in The New York Times, telling prisoners’ stories and showing their photos for the first time. It was astonishing how the action of the prisoners activated their attorneys, artists and many voices of conscience to sign and donate $52,000, all of which went to put this message in front of the world on May 23, the day Obama promised again to close the prison while endorsing indefinite detention and widening the scope of targeted killing.
Outrageously, after five years of promises, Guantánamo is still open. Forced feeding, brutal searches and isolation have nearly ended the prisoners’ strike, for now. With allied groups, we are working to bring family members of the prisoners to the U.S. in 2014, and to bring Andy Worthington, the British journalist who chronicled the stories of the prisoners for a national speaking tour. The project we’ve nurtured for years, Redact This: Artists Against Torture, is coming to fruition as an e-book. As we said in May, “It is up to the people to stand up for principle and morality when their institutions and public officials refuse to do so.”
World Can’t Wait found a following in 2005 by protesting the revelation that the Bush Regime authorized the NSA to collect data on U.S. citizens, then lied about it. What we knew then is dwarfed by what Edward Snowden revealed in June about vast electronic surveillance of whole populations by the NSA. We held the first public event of support, outrage, and art on June 19 at The Cooper Union, demanding U.S. “hands off” Snowden and an end to mass government surveillance.
From June to August, we helped fill the courtroom, organizing buses and housing, with visible support for Private Chelsea Manning during her trial on charges related to blowing the whistle on U.S. war crimes. Hearing the prosecution focus on the footage in Collateral Murder, the video of U.S. military joking about killing Iraqi civilians which she leaked to Wikileaks, and which we’ve distributed thousands of copies of since 2010, strengthened our support for Manning’s actions and outrage at her unjust 35-year sentence.
California prisoners protested the torture of solitary confinement with a massive hunger strike in June. We joined with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network to raise public support for the prisoners’ just demands.
Street protests we led were part of a mass repudiation of a U.S. attack on Syria which broke out across the country, helping to create a political situation where Obama did not attack Syria with naval forces massed in the Mediterranean.
Your donation immediately enables World Can’t Wait to mobilize resistance in 2014 by spreading the stories of lives that have been affected by the crimes of this government and by supporting and honoring those courageous resisters who take creative and bold action for humanity and the planet.
Your support for this ongoing mission, staffed by volunteers, is needed more than ever. Please send a year-end donation.
DIRECTOR, WORLD CAN’T WAIT
Samantha Goldman | Emma Kaplan | Dennis Loo | Jill McLaughlin | Curt Wechsler FOR WORLD CAN’T WAIT
P.S. We hope you take this opportunity to make a real difference in keeping humanity and the planet first by giving a year-end donation to World Can’t Wait.
|ADVISORY BOARD World Can’t Wait / War Criminals Watch|
|M. Cherif Bassiouni
|H. Candace Gorman
Howard Zinn [1923–2010]