Thursday, June 25, 2009, has been designated Torture Accountability Action Day by a large coalition of human rights groups planning rallies and marches in major U.S. cities, including a rally in Washington, D.C.’s John Marshall Park at 11 a.m. followed by a noon march to the Justice Department where some participants will risk arrest in nonviolent protest if a special prosecutor for torture is not appointed.
Events are planned in Washington, D.C.; San Francisco, CA; Pasadena, CA; Thousand Oaks, CA; Boston, MA; Salt Lake City, UT; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; Las Vegas, NV; Honolulu, HI; Tampa, FL; Philadelphia, PA; and Anchorage, AK, with details available online:
In Washington, D.C., groups will maintain literature tables from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at John Marshall Park, 501 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. A rally will begin at 11 a.m. with speakers including:
* Marjorie Cohn, President of the National Lawyers Guild, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law;
* Njambi Good, Director of Counter Terror with Justice Campaign, Amnesty International USA;
* Enver Masud, Founder and CEO of The Wisdom Fund, recipient of the 2002 Gold Award from the Human Rights Foundation for his book “The War on Islam”;
* Max Obuszewski, member of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance;
* Marcus Raskin, Cofounder of the Institute for Policy Studies;
* Patricio Rice, torture survivor;
* Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Cofounder of the Partnership for Civil Justice;
* Kevin Zeese, Director of VotersForPeace.US, Board Member of VelvetRevolution.US.
With performances by Jordan Page, Tha Truth, and David Ippolito.
Participants will march at noon to the Department of Justice, where some but not all of the participating organizations will engage in nonviolent resistance if the Attorney General has not yet agreed to appoint a special prosecutor for torture. (Some of the organizations sponsoring the day of rallies do not engage in civil disobedience.)
In Pasadena, Calif., at 12 p.m. PT citizens will submit a formal judicial misconduct complaint against 9th Circuit Judge Jay Bybee, former Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel: Courthouse steps, Chambers Courthouse, 125 South Grand Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105.
Statement of Purpose:
The highest officials in our government have trampled on our traditional ideals of making America a nation of laws, not of men, by illegally narrowing the scope of torture and authorizing waterboarding, walling, and other inhumane interrogation techniques. In doing so, they have violated the Anti-Torture Act, the War Crimes Act, the Geneva Conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment.
In order to enforce our laws and restore the free society that our forefathers envisioned, citizens must demand accountability for abuses of the laws pertaining to torture. In the tradition of the Civil Rights movement, change will not occur unless citizens stand up for their rights under the law.
Torture Accountability Action Day Is Sponsored By:
Action Center for Justice
After Downing Street
Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition
Coalition for Peace Action
Consumers for Peace
Eldoradans Against Torture
High Road for Human Rights
Hip Hop Caucus
Historians Against the War
Individuals for Justice
National Accountability Network
National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance
NJ Peace Action
NJ People’s Organization for Progress
Northern Virginians for Peace and Justice
Peace and Justice Forums Billings Montana
Portland Peaceful Response Coalition
Progressive Democrats of America
Project Vote Count
School of the Americas Watch
Senior Action Network
The Torture Abolition Survivors Support Coalition
US Labor Against War
Veterans for Peace
War Criminals Watch
Washington Peace Center
We Are Change LA
Witness Against Torture
World Can’t Wait