Fourteen arrested on White House sidewalk calling for closure of Guantanamo

photo by Ted Majdosz

from a report by Art Laffin

May 17th marked the 100th day of the hunger strike of Guantanamo prisoners, with protests and vigils around the world calling for an end to indefinite detention, torture and the closing of Guantanamo.  In Washington, D.C., a noon-time vigil on Pennsylvania Ave. in front of the White House brought the hunger-strikers urgent plea for justice to President Obama.

Shortly after the vigil ended, fourteen people, most of whom are members of Witness Against Torture (WAT), walked onto the White House sidewalk in the “picture postcard” area and held a nonviolent witness. A huge banner was unfurled: “Immoral, Illegal, Ineffective — No Torture, No Guantanamo.”

Other people wearing orange jump suits and hoods held signs of the nine men who have already died at Guantanamo since 2006. This witness lasted over an hour before Park Police placed the group under arrest. We were taken to the Anacostia Park Police station where we were charged with disobeying a lawful order. We were told by police to return to the station during the next two weeks to receive an arraignment date.

We must not forget the plight of the hunger strikers as their health continues to deteriorate. Please go to  for updates about the hunger strikers and the campaign to close Guantanamo and end torture and indefinite detention.

Art Laffin being arrested.
Photo by Ted Majdosz

People Arrested:
Eve Tetaz, Washington, Activist, D.C.
Helen Sheitinger, WAT, D.C.
Jordan Manuel, Activist, D.C.
David Barrows, Activist, D.C.
Art Laffin, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, D.C.
Pat Davis, TASSC, Arlington, VA
Bill Frankel Streit, Little Flower Catholic Worker, Central VA
Jennifer Harbury, Lawyer-Activist, Texas
Bill Ofenloch, CPF, WAT, NYC
Brian Hynes, Activist, NYC
Carmen Trotta, NYC Catholic Worker
Erica Brock, NYC Catholic Worker
Beth Brockman, WAT, Raleigh, N.C.
Dooler Campbell, CODEPINK, D.C.

For photos of the vigil and action on the White House sidewalk please see:!i=2518094516&k=wHft8HT

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