Cierren Guantanamo Por Favor

19 11 2008

Today I was granted a day off work in order to urge President Elect Barack Hussain Obama to keep his word and close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

In order to make the plea, myself and several dozen other like minded people from Amnesty International assembled at a pretty green park overlooking the Lima waterfront to dress in orange overalls, don white masks (cleverly, you’ll note, in the same fashion as prisoners at Guantanamo) – and enact a brief demonstration of why current president Bush’s government has acted to violate the human rights of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and why it needs to be immediately closed.

come on Barry, just close the camp

"come on Barry, just close the camp"

Several press-types from various tv channels and websites attended with all their crazy cameras and news reporters and there was even security guards and riot police who were standing by in case things got a bit rowdy. I did two interviews. The first one was in Spanish and the reporter soon got bored after she found out that I could barely say more than “Human Rights are Important” in my strained (but improving) take on Castillian. The second – for which I was chosen because I spoke native English –  I rambled on a bit about the reason why we were protesting and why a Scottish guy in Peru cared so much about an inhumane prison camp in Cuba. I have no idea where these will end up.

All in all it was a pleasant morning at the park was spent and George Bush will hopefully think twice before detaining people indefinately without trail and subjecting them to degrading, inhumane conditions again.

Our protest timing, far from being spontaneous, was in order to coincide with the imminent APEC summit which is being held in Lima. Several thousand foreign dignitaries – including George W himself – are descending on the city this weekend to chat about free trade and how to get richer during a financial crisis. It’s a pretty massive event for Lima – the government even granted two days holiday on thursday and friday, though this is probably to get as many people out of the city as possible so that the traffic has at least some chance of functioning whilst there are “real life important people” visiting. I’m writing a newsletter article on it at the moment so will post it as soon as it’s written – god bet you cant wait for that!!!!!!

So, I say to you Mr Barack Obama, if you stumble across my blog, let it be known that I urge you to close Guantanamo Bay as you have stated that you will. And, President George W Bush, should you chance a peek at this post, I’ll see you in court. At least you have the opportunity to go to court …

N.B. This all happened in Lima btw so is totally legit for a travel blog. Actually I dont even know if this ever was a travel blog, so it’s legit either way.

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