On Monday, President Obama renewed his commitment to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where there are currently over 130 men on hunger strike to protest their conditions and indefinite detention. That same day, Col. Morris Davis – former chief prosecutor at Guantánamo – released a Change.org petition urging President Obama to follow through on his promise to shut down Guantánamo. In less than 24 hours, according to the New York Daily News, there were more than 75,000 signatures.
In his remarks, President Obama said that he does not want anyone to die and that “the idea that we would still maintain forever a group of individuals who have not been tried is contrary to who we are, contrary to our interests, and it needs to stop.”
Conditions at the prison continue to deteriorate with most of the prisoners now in solitary confinement and the number of prisoners being force-fed has jumped to as many as 21, according to military spokepersons. Also on Monday, the Navy sent 40 medics to Guantánamo to deal with the hunger strikers who are, as of today, on day 84 of their protest.
Click here to sign the petition.
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As the 19th Amendment turns 100 amid a summer of mass protest, it’s important to remember the decisive role nonviolent direct action played in hastening its ratification.