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Friday, January 11, 2008

Red vs Orange

A lot of things are bugging me today.

One of these things is the "Close Guantanamo Day" protests being sponsored by the ACLU and Amnesty International on Friday, Jan 11. The ACLU of Washington state, who are also supposedly responsible for monitoring conditions at the King County Jail that was slammed by the DOJ for deadly rights abuses a few months ago, is sponsoring the event and urging people to "wear orange on Friday" in order to remind people about the abuses at Guantanamo.

That's nice and all, people should be mindful of those abuses of the 300+ prisoners held there, but it seems that there are a multitude of rights organizations that are keeping us mindful of those abuses and, perhaps, the ACLU should be devoting it's attention to the abuses going on just down the street from where they are holding their protest for people thousands of mile away.

Point A is the ACLU protest, Point B is the King County Jail.

...Perhaps, instead of orange, they should ask people to wear red; the same color multitudes of abused and murdered prisoners that have been held at the King County Jail in Seattle were forced to wear for weeks on end without being allowed to wash or a change their clothes instead.

Now, before anyone says, "but Dave, don't be mad at the ACLU for not taking your case." It's not that, it's that I know I'm not the only one who suffered there, the DOJ knows this too, but the ACLU doesn't seem to care that this equates to a class action suit with hundreds, if not thousands, of potential victims. It's not just about my case, others have suffered and have even died there in ways most horrific.

Also, before you suggest that the ACLU needs do nothing since the US DOJ did their job for them, I remind readers that the King County and KCCF leaders have declared that abusing and torturing prisoners is not a rights issue, so it appears that any changes will not be permanent, if they occur at all. In other words, there is ample evidence that the abuses will continue despite the DOJ findings, especially with the lack of attention from organizations like the ACLU.

And if you think that the DOJ report by itself will change things while everyone else remains silent... Think again. This from the Seattle Weekly that initially wrote about the abuses which spurred the investigation:
"As a practical matter these DOJ suits against prisons and jails are not even a paper tiger. They are pretty meaningless." I agreed but said at least there's an embarrassment factor, which might prompt other officials to act. "Yes," he responded, "but the embarassment quickly passes and nothing changes."

If the torture and deaths of prisoners in King County Jail don't bother them enough to spur a protest, then Gitmo shouldn't bother them either. Protesting one while ignoring the other is pure hypocrisy, nothing more.

UPDATE: I plan to go down to the protest site in order to counter-protest by wearing red and distributing flyers asking people to consider why the ACLU and other group are willing to protest against the abuse of prisoners thousands of miles away while remaining silent about the abuse of prisoners a few blocks away in Seattle.

Since I've already been threatened with arrest and abuse by King County officials and some SPD officers, I'll likely be arrested and abused again, just for speaking for those victims who have nobody else who will speak for them...

So, if you don't see any new posts, it's because I was arrested and abused or worse while the ACLU looked on and did nothing. I won't do anything that would provoke an arrest, just ditribute flyers, but I don't think my doing nothing wrong would stop them from making something up as an excuse to harm me again.

Wish me luck, if you care.

Indeed, protester, your silence about prisoner abuse in Seattle is yellow.

UPDATE: I only had time to go a bit before the protest officially started. And I'm a bit ashamed to admit that my nerves wouldn't let me hand out more fliers after I was yelled at and harassed by the people who were supposedly protesting torture.

I handed one to a protester, who read it before she snarled at me "Just what can we do for THEM?!?"

I was taken aback, and already shaking as the last thing I wanted was a scene that might attract the police who would recognize who I was pretty quick, so as my jaw dropped I replied "Probably more than what you are doing for prisoners thousands of miles away from here".

After some more abuse I just left, all while shaking horribly and shocked. Apparently it's a lot more difficult than I thought, trying to reason with people who are protesting against torture when you're a victim of torture yourself.

...seems they like to think they are helping victims of torture, but hate them when face to face with one. But I'm still ashamed of myself, I'm still so full of dread from what happened to me in that jail that I couldn't even stand up to those protesters. When will the torture and dread stop?

...for them, and for me?

While there are still people like this, who play politics while pretending to wave the banner of human rights?

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