During this week's National Working Committee call, Students for a Democratic Society decided to join the growing list of co-sponsors for the "Shut Down Guantanamo!" protest taking place in Miami, Florida on January 11th. SDS will join People's Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism, Vets for Peace, War vs. Human Needs, and many other groups as they rally at the US Southern Command Center for the closure of "the Capitol of Torture" at Guantanamo Bay.
Event description courtesy of People's Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism (POWIR):
In November 2001, President George W. Bush authorized the
detention of any suspected Al-Qaeda members by newly-created military
commissions. Anyone considered “unlawful enemy combatants,” would be captured,
tortured, and locked up in prison cells at Guantanamo Bay.
January 11, 2014 will mark the twelfth year since the first
detainees were sent to the US prison facilities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Since then, 779 men have been sent to Guantanamo Bay without trial and
have been jailed without ever having been officially charged with any crime. As
of November 2013, over 160 prisoners remain locked up, most of whom have been
detained there for over seven years.
During his first presidential campaign in 2008, President Barack
Obama stated that he would close the doors of Guantanamo Bay by 2010. Since his
election, the facility has remained functional, prisoners continue to be
tortured, and hundreds of prisoners have taken part in hunger strikes to
protest their indefinite detention and deteriorating conditions.
The South Florida community is organizing an action to demand that Guantanamo Bay be closed; end torture
of prisoners; stop force-feeding hunger strikers; release detainees who have
not been charged with crimes; transfer cases to Federal Court if legitimate
evidence exists; and repatriate freed detainees or provide asylum for those who
need it. We are asking for SDS to endorse:
Miami Protest: Shut down Guantanamo!
“Thirteen Years of Shame! Thirteen Years of Torture! It’s time to
November 21-23 Students for a Democratic Society will be joining thousands of other activists, from across the country, outside the gates of Fort Benning in Columbus, GA to say, “Shut down the School of the Americas!” The School of the Americas (SOA) is training ground for Latin American soldiers who are taught torture, psychological warfare, as well as how to carry out coups and overthrow democratically elected governments across Latin America. SOA graduates are responsible for overthrowing and attempts to overthrow democratically elected governments in places such as Honduras and Venezuela. SOA graduates are responsible for the rape, murder, and “disappearances” of hundreds of thousands of students, teachers, union leaders, clergy, and people who stand on the side of the poor and oppressed throughout the Americas, but especially in Colombia.
Recently, 43 student activists from Ayotzinapa, Mexico were “disappeared” by Mexican police. Mexico is one country that sends its military and security forces to train at the SOA. It is more important than ever to raise the demand to shut down the SOA and fight for justice for the 43 students from Ayotzinapa and for all those murdered by SOA graduates.
SDS’ers often say, “When we dare to fight, we dare to win!” And, we believe that we will win. One example of this is earlier this year when the Columbus, GA Police Department threatened to attempt to stop us from protesting outside the gates of Fort Benning this November. SDS was one of many organizations that vowed to be outside the gates of Fort Benning no matter what. We fought this attack saying, “Shut down the SOA, not free speech!” By our collective effort we were able to force the Columbus Police Department to back down. But we do not back down. We will continue to fight because we have seen time and time again that when we fight, we can win.
SDS will be hosting a student meet up on Saturday night after the concert in the convention center at the Fountain City Coffee shop (located at 1007 Broadway) in downtown Columbus. Anyone who believes that we can win and is interested in building the student movement is invited to join us!
New Students for a Democratic Society is circulating the following statement from Scott Williams, a national coordinator for FIST (Fight Imperialism, Stand Together). SDS is firmly opposed to all forms of political repression and stands in solidarity with all of those who are facing political repression and intimidation.
The FBI came looking for me today at my family’s house by Scott Williams
The United States launched an invasion of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 which continues to this day. This evasion began the US’ War on Terror that the US government used to justify removing civil liberties, invading additional countries, and torturing people.
President George W. Bush stated the war aimed to dismantle Al-Qaeda by removing the Taliban from power. However, President Ronald Reagan funded and armed the Taliban in an effort to overthrow the government of Afghanistan. Even a basic understanding of history shows that United States hopes to control the region.
These wars have have tragic consequences. The US government remains responsible for at least 21,000 Afghan, nearly a million Iraqi, and countless others in countless countries killed. As American schools and universities suffer from tuition hikes and program cuts, the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost between $4-$6 trillion. Students for a Democratic Society calls upon SDS chapters, affiliates, and allies to hold actions on their campuses and in their communities on Tuesday October 7. We must go out and say "No to the wars." We demand money for jobs and education, not for wars and occupation!
Students for a Democratic Society condemns the August 9, 2014 murder of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Students for a Democratic Society condemns all racism, police brutality and the perpetration of state violence against its citizens.
When officer Darren Wilson took aim at the back of Michael Brown, he took aim with his gun but also targeted his humanity. Officer Wilson took due process into his own hands and became a vigilante and a cold blooded killer behind a badge and a gun. Witnesses reported that Brown was fleeing with his hands raised when he was struck by the first bullets. They also report after Brown was struck by the first, stopped and turned around calling out that he was unarmed the officer continued to fire.
Students for a Democratic Society condemns the air strikes on Gaza and the use of excessive force on the Palestinian people during Operation Brother's Keeper by The Israeli Defense Force and Israeli settlers. SDS stands in solidarity with the people of Palestine in the face of violent Israeli repression and terrorism.
Early on July 1 Israel began a series of what would be in total over 40 air strikes on the Palestinian territory of Gaza. The strikes are part of larger Israeli operations in the past two weeks that have sought to terrorize the Palestinian population of both Gaza and West Bank.