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Rallies Around U.S. To Demand Accountability for Torture

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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.

http://accountability4torture.com

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:
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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.)

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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.

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Torture Accountability Action Day Is Sponsored By:
Action Center for Justice
    After Downing Street
    Amnesty International
    Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition
    BuzzFlash
    Coalition for Peace Action
    Code Pink
    Consumers for Peace
    Democrats.com
    Eldoradans Against Torture
    Global Exchange
    High Road for Human Rights
    Hip Hop Caucus
    Historians Against the War
    IndictBushNow
    Individuals for Justice
    Marcus Raskin
    National Accountability Network
    National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance
    NJ Peace Action
    NJ People's Organization for Progress
    Northern Virginians for Peace and Justice
    Polygraph Radio
    Peace Action
    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

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
 

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