After Guantanamo Panel

Confronting the Politics of Torture

Thank you to the Muslim Students of the School of Social work and to all of the other organizations that helped put this event together. I am representing Democracy Insurgent, a Middle East solidarity group on campus animated by principles of democracy, antiracism, Third World feminism, and queer liberation.

Before I get started, I should say that this talk might be a little rough around the edges because we’ve had our hands full these past two weeks organizing nonstop to oppose the Israeli massacres in the Gaza strip. The recent Palestine solidarity demonstrations have been inspiring, and they are part of an emerging upsurge in political activity, especially among youth, Arab, and Muslim folks. The theme of this panel is After Guantanamo, and I will argue that we are in a moment today where many people are trying to figure out how to challenge the war on terror and the politics of torture which gave birth to institutions like Guantanamo Bay. The fear that Guantanamo was built to instill in the community is starting to thaw a bit, and new possibilities are emerging. So in that sense, this panel is very timely.

The goal of my talk is not to provide empirical documentation of human rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay. Other folks on the panel have already done a good job pointing out examples of torture and abuse, and there’s ample documentation available showing that the U.S. government has engaged in torture not only at Guantanamo but also at Abu Ghraib and in other prisons around the world. What I will do in my talk is attempt to situate this torture in a broader political context. I will show how torture is not an isolated exception to the normal practices of the American state but that it is actually a key part of how this state governs. When I say the “politics of torture” I mean that torture is a key part of how the U.S. rulers maintain their imperial domination over the Middle East and other subordinated nations. I mean that torture draws from and reinforces the white supremacy and patriarchy already present in U.S. society. So I will focus today on how we can analyze, organize against, and confront these politics of torture.

To give credit where credit is due, I should say that a lot of the analysis I’ll lay out here draws heavily from Kristian Williams’ excellent book American Methods. (note: all quotes in this transcript are from this book).

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Torture, Religion, and White Supremacy

The very location of Guantanamo Bay is a powerful symbol of white supremacy and American Empire. The land the prison is located on was seized by the United States as part of the Spanish American War, the same war in which the US colonized the Philippines and Puerto Rico and subordinated Cuba. This was the war that Rudyard Kipling claimed to justify when he wrote The White Man’s Burden. Guantanamo is a symbol of ongoing U.S. power in the Caribbean and Latin America. Now the US operates a military base there in a way reminiscent of the extraterritorial concession areas it set up in China and elsewhere during the colonial era. Here, Cuban law does not apply but U.S. law doesn’t exactly either. It is not the US and it is not part of any other country; it is a no-mans land, a perfect place to hide a torture chamber. At the Navy Exchange in Guantanamo they sell T-shirts with pictures of rats in turbans and orange jumpsuits, with slogans like “Guantanamo Bay, Cuba- Home of the Sand rat.” In such conditions, the fact that torture emerged is not surprising.

Of course, the Bush administration claimed that they built Guantanamo to save the nation from terrorism, not to reinforce white supremacy. Assistant secretary Jay S. Bybee justified harsh interrogation tactics by weighing the lives saved by gathering information that could prevent another 9/11 against the harm done to the prisoner.

In reality, the U.S. government is well aware that torture is a lousy way to gather information. One US Army field manual states, “Use of torture and other illegal methods is a poor technique that yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collections efforts, and can induce the source to say what he thinks the interrogator wants to hear.” The victim will confess to almost anything to end his unbearable pain. Under pressure to yield a high-profile success in the war on terror, interrogators at Guantanamo engaged in torture, as other folks on this panel have explained. But Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Christiano reports that “ interrogators at Guantanamo obtained information of only minimal to moderate intelligence value.” The prison camp did provide some faulty information: British detainees known as the Tipton Three confessed to meeting with Osama bin Laden even though the British intelligence service MI-5 later proved their innocence.

So why then would the American government waste so much time and money running a torture chamber that isn’t actually helping to fight terrorism? Well, Guantanamo plays other important roles within the context of the war on terror.

The war requires that the general population maintain a high level of paranoia. First of all, we need to be kept afraid that a new 9/11 could happen any minute so therefore the government must be given extraordinary emergency powers to spy on us and wage preemptive strikes in our name. Running a prison camp like Guantanamo maintains this fear – it provides a spectacle of brown skinned men with beards in orange jumpsuits, men the US claims it has saved us from. Even if these men are not personally connected to any real terrorist organization, the fact that they are being held without trial and are being tortured sends the message to the general population that they MUST have been planning something dangerous to merit such emergency treatment. Racism is reinforced through a spectacle of domination and mistreatment.

And if a credible terrorist threat is not always available (or if the US is unable to actually catch Bin Laden and company) then “terrorists” can be produced by forcing less threatening detainees to make false confessions to terrorist acts under torture.

Secondly, Arab and Muslim folks, and anyone else who might object to imperial assaults on Iraq and Afghanistan plus suspension of civil liberties in the U.S. – all of these potential dissidents need to fear that we will be suspected of terrorism and possibly tortured if we speak up too loudly. Thus, it is helpful to maintain a prison camp like Guantanamo as a form of intimidation. Folks like the Tipton Three are broken and humiliated until they confess and then they are released back to the public. This sends the message that everyone breaks under torture so you cannot trust people in your community since they may inform on you if you speak out too loudly and then you might be sent to Guantanamo.

This, coupled with the COINTELPRO type system of paid FBI informants in mosques, is a tactic aimed to break up the social solidarity of the Ummah, the Muslim community. Instead of being a cohesive social body that provides religious and political meaning for its members, the U.S. government wants the Ummah to be dismembered and defunct. They want it to become a collection of isolated individuals who cannot trust each other and hence cannot organize together to stop the war, divest from Israeli apartheid, or fight back against anti-Muslim hate crimes. The government is proud of the fact that it offers religious freedom to Muslims, as if folks should be grateful that mosques have not yet been shut down entirely. But the freedom offered is simply the freedom to practice Islam privately, as an isolated individual. Any sense of a collective Muslim identity based on a common struggle for social justice becomes a target for dismemberment by the war on terror and the politics of torture. For a religion like Islam that so strongly emphasizes social justice and civic responsibility, this is disastrous.

In general, the state fears that religious communities can provide a common space where movements can gestate and grow so they have to attack the religious expressions of oppressed peoples. This is not particular only to Islam. In fact, a similar strategy was used against Catholic liberation theology during the 70s and 80s. Left wing Catholics were struggling against U.S. - backed dictatorships in Latin America. Many of these dictatorships employed torture to dismember the church and render it ineffective as a source of political opposition. All people of faith should stand in solidarity with Muslim folks now because our communities have also been dismembered before and they will be again if we don't stop the politics of torture.

My friend and fellow DI member Shemon Salam was active in Palestine solidarity organizing in the large Arab and Muslim community in Detroit during the height of the second intifada in Palestine and the divestment movement here in the U.S. At that point hundreds of Arab and Muslim youth were out in the streets protesting and demanding divestment from Israel. This movement started to die down though when the Patriot Act and other machinery of the War on Terror was set up. In the wake of 911, 1200 people, mostly Arab and Muslim folks who didn’t have U.S. citizenship, were rounded up and jailed across the country. Many were kept incommunicado and denied legal representation. Some were deported or held in indefinite detention. The rise of Guantanamo Bay is part of this machinery of the war on Terror and it works with the rest of it to instill fear in the community. The target is not just Arab and Muslim folks. The government makes an example out of them in order to control everybody else. My own parents have warned me many times not to keep up my Palestine solidarity organizing because they think that if I do I will end up in Guantanamo Bay.

This entire framework of the war on terror is designed to punish disobedience and reward passivity and political disengagement. Mahmoud Mamdani has written about how the war on terror divides the world between so-called Good Muslims and so-called Bad Muslims. The Good Muslims are the ones who accept the logic of American empire and who vehemently and publicly distance themselves from any angry or rebellious criticism of the American government. Bad Muslims, in contrast, are those who identify with anti-imperialist struggles in the Middle East, who express anger or outrage, who stand up to the government. The politics of torture aims to dismember the Ummah so that individual Muslims will feel powerless, will feel like they have to play the role of the submissive Good Muslim or else they will be sent to Guantanamo.

This logic is produced, reproduced, and taken to the extreme inside Guantanamo itself. The interrogators create a perverse world in which betraying the Muslim community is made the highest virtue and prayer, solidarity, and community are made into violent threats that must be suppressed with torture. Michael Ratner from the center for constitutional rights states that at Guantanamo, cooperation means “telling the interrogators everything about your life, about all your acquaintances, anything they want to know about people back home, so they can also be rounded up and arrested. And it means confessing to whatever they want you to confess to.” Inside Guantanamo, the “good Muslims” are the ones who confess to meeting Osama bin Laden even if they haven’t. Outside Guantanamo, Good Muslims who have absolutely no connection to Osama Bin Laden publicly apologize to America for what happened on 9/11 out of fear that they will be arrested if they don’t. Fear of having to make the first type of forced confession helps produce the conditions where so many people on the outside feel they have to make the second kind.

The guards at Guantanamo were subordinated to the directions of the interrogators, who made the entire camp into elaborate system of privileges and punishments, where privileges meant access to basic rights such as toilets, food, and clothing, and punishments meant subjection to humiliation and extreme pain. Detainees were sometimes beaten if they prayed but loudspeakers blared “cooperate and you can go home.”

Guantanamo’s internal riot cops participated actively in the torture by labeling even the most modest expressions of dignity as potentially violent insurgency that had to be crushed. For example, Tarek Dergoul describes one encounter with the riot guards:
“They’d already searched me and my cell twice that day, gone through my stuff, touched my Koran, felt my body, around my private parts.. .And now they wanted to do it again, just to provoke me, but I said no because if you submit to everything, you turn into a zombie. I heard a guard talking into his radio… and I knew what was coming. The five cowards, I called them, five guys running in with riot gear. They pepper sprayed me in the face, and I started vomiting… they pinned me down and attacked me, poking their fingers in my eyes, and forced my head into the toilet pan and flushed. They tied me up like a beast and they were kneeling on me, kicking and punching. Finally, they dragged me out of the cell in chains, into the rec yard, and shaved my beard, my hair, my eyebrows.”

It is difficult to see how such actions are possible unless they simultaneously build off of and reinforce white supremacist stereotypes of the Angry Muslim man who will somehow explode and blow you up the minute he expresses any dignity or self respect. The only way to avoid torture inside Guantanamo was to become the Good Muslim – docile, submissive, ready to apologize for terrorist attacks you didn’t even commit.

An extreme version of this dynamic was reported by former translator Eric Sarr. He quotes an interrogator called “Brooke”:

“ When Fareek returns to the cell in the middle of the night, he usually spends a great deal of time praying. I believe the problem here is that it’s too easy for him to regain strength when he returns to his cell… We’ve gotta find a way to break that, and I’m thinking that humiliation may be the way to go. I just need to make him feel that he absolutely must cooperate with me and he has no other options. I think we should make him feel so fucking dirty that he can’t go back to his cell and spend the night praying. We have to put up a barrier between him and his God.”

Brooke put this logic into practice by sexually harassing and molesting Fareek and smearing his face with simulated menstrual blood.

Torture and Patriarchy

Acts of sexual humiliation are common not only at Guantanamo but also at Abu Ghraib and in civilian prisons inside the U.S. Rape and threats of rape have also been employed by US prisons operating in the war on terror, most prominently at Abu Ghraib. The use of rape is a key part of the politics of torture; torture builds off of but also reinforces patriarchy and violent male supremacy.

Although it is not as widely reported, 42 women were held at Abu Ghraib during the 1st months of the US occupation. Many of them were kept in solitary confinement – the excuse for this was to protect them from the male inmates but in reality it made them more vulnerable to abuse by the guards. Most of these women were not suspected of any crime or resistance activity. They were taken in during neighborhood sweeps or raids or they were held because a male relative of theirs was active in the resistance. This last point shows the patriarchal attitude of the U.S. prison officials – they did not recognize these Iraqi women as having any independent social existence outside of their male relatives so they thought it appropriate to punish them in order to punish their husbands or fathers. Because of the stigma associated with sexual assault, few women detainees have spoken with the media about it, but the Fay report includes unreleased photos of women being raped at Abu Ghraib.

There are also numerous examples of male inmates at Abu Ghraib being raped or threatened with rape. Many times these men were forced to stand naked in front of their guards for long periods of time or were forced to wear women’s underwear while the male guards said they were going to “treat them like women”, suggesting they were going to rape them.

In U.S. prisons, this dynamic is very common. Male guards in female prisons often use rape as a form of punishment against rebellious prisoners. The patriarchal dynamic of the broader society is intensified when the male guards have so much direct power over the female inmates. Unfortunately, this is usually not recognized as torture because rape is seen as such a common part of life in patriarchal society that it is not considered unusual. In reality, rape is fundamental to the politics of torture. It is a form of torture in and of itself because it inflicts pain in order to dominate, control, reduce, and humiliate someone. Also, other forms of torture are so effective because they contain within them the fear that they might be followed up with rape.

In male prisons in the U.S., rape is also a common tactic of torture and control. Although there are no women present, the patriarchy of American society is also intensified inside male prisons, where men who are raped are forced to take on a female gender role as part of a subordinated political and economic caste within the prison. A patriarchal division of labor is created in the prison even if no women are present. Any man who is unable to defend himself from rape is likely to become the “property” of other men, forced to provide sexual service as well as doing chores like cleaning their cells. These men are often called “prison wives” and are basically treated like slaves.

This dynamic was replicated at Abu Ghraib by Military Police guards who had experience in U.S. prisons. That’s why they made the Iraqi detainees wear women’s clothing. Rape was a part of reinforcing this patriarchal hierarchy. The guards played the role of the dominant men and the Iraqis were forced to play the role of submissive women.

Sometimes women prison guards actually played the dominant role, raping or threatening to rape the Iraqi detainees, or sexually harassing and humiliating them. Now I’m sure there might be folks out there who will conclude that this shows American military women have achieved some degree of power or equality because they are playing the dominating role. Others have suggested that women were used in the interrogation of Iraqi men because Arab culture supposedly deems it particularly shameful for men to submit to women.

These arguments are part of a broader white supremacist argument that some liberal feminists in the US make concerning Arab and Muslim culture. They claim that Muslims are exceptionally patriarchal and that the US needs to maintain its power in the Middle East in order to bring women’s rights and equality to an otherwise backwards region. This is oppressive at many levels, especially since it renders invisible the struggles that Arab and Muslim women are waging on their own for equality in their own societies, and it neglects the fact that the U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have killed many women and put many more in danger of rape in the context of warfare and instability. But this imperial feminist argument is particularly offensive when applied to this phenomenon of American women prison guards sexually abusing Iraqi men. It encourages us to explain away the Abu Ghraib photos in terms of Arab sexism, overlooking the very real American sexism at work here. It almost subtly suggests that these male victims of rape somehow deserved it because their culture is patriarchal and it makes it seem like U.S. culture somehow does not have a problem with gender oppression.

Just like Black cops and prison guards can often reinforce white supremacy in all of its violence, women prison guards and soldiers can reinforce patriarchy. Their power comes from their role as agents of the state, and as we have seen, the state regularly employs sexual torture to reinforce patriarchy in its prisons. The women torturers at Abu Ghraib are helping to create a subordinated gender within the prison – they are equating femininity with something inferior, something that can and should be dominated, invaded, and humiliated, and they are trying to fit Iraqi men into this role as a form of torture. In prison slang, to “make a woman out of someone” is to rape them. When U.S. military recruiters target male adolescents they claim that joining the military will “make a man out of you”, meaning it will turn you into a cold blooded killer. As Kristian Williams puts it, “whatever the actual sex of either person, the gendered relationship between victim and torturer reflects the same sort of sexist thinking.”

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What Can we Do About it?

So far in my talk, I have contextualized torture at Guantanamo within the broader politics of American white supremacy and patriarchy. The question remaining is what can we do to confront these politics of torture?


Well to start, Obama has stated that he will close Guantanamo, but he hasn’t given a concrete timeline. Bush has also talked about closing Guantanamo since 2006. Vincent Warren of the Center for Constitutional Rights fears this might mean “The same old Bush administration policies with some human rights window dressing.” To help prevent that, it’s important that we all participate in the walk out here on campus on Inauguration Day, Jan 20th. We’ll be rallying on Red Square at 10:30 AM to encourage Obama to live up to his promises and to call for a definitive end to the war on terror that has given birth to Guantanamo.

We Need to Challenge the CIA

However, even if Obama closes Guantanamo, our work won’t be finished. It might be in the interest of U.S. imperialism to close Guantanamo because it has so badly damaged the credibility of the U.S. government both at home and abroad. But this will mean nothing if Guantanamo is simply decentralized and outsourced to an archipelago of U.S. military and CIA prisons around the world. Many Guantanamo prisoners have also been moved back to Afghanistan where they’re being kept in similar extra-legal gulags.

The Washington Post reports that the CIA is holding 100 suspected terrorists in secret CIA prisons around the world. These are the so-called “Black sites” where ghost detainees are kept with little oversight and no communication with the outside world. The CIA may have even wider latitude in applying torture techniques than the guards and officials at Guantanamo. For example, the joint CIA-military unit 6-26 in Iraq was tasked with searching for ex-Baathists. They engaged in broad sweeps, imprisoning many Iraqis with no Baath party connections. Four of their members were reassigned after they tortured prisoners with Tazers. Similarly, a secret CIA unit tasked with hunting Al Qaeda received attention when a man they tortured to death turned up in photos packed in ice at Abu Ghraib next to the grinning face of a prison guard there.

These CIA Black Sites often involve kidnapping people and then sending them to be tortured by governments allied to the US such as Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco. This is called “extraordinary rendition.” It allows the US to keep its image clean. If the torture of one of its proxies happens to be exposed in the media, the State Department can always claim that this kind of torture is just one more example of Arab backwardness and that’s why the US needs to be in the Middle East to spread democracy and human rights.

CIA agent Robert Baer disclosed that “There is a rule inside the CIA that if you want…good information you send the suspect to Jordan, if you want them to be killed or tortured to death you send them either to Egypt or to Syria – never to see them again.” A former CIA counterintel chief acknowledged that “Egyptian jails are full of guys who are missing toenails and fingernails.”  Considering the rise of a massive Palestine solidarity movement in Egypt and the recent militant strikes lead by women workers at Mahalla, the Egyptian state that does all of this torture might have already been overthrown if it weren’t for the billions of dollars in military aid that the US pumps into the regime to help it repress its people.

So even if Obama closes Guantanamo, we still need to keep organizing to stop these politics of torture. We can start right here on campus. The University is currently collaborating with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, an umbrella group that includes the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security. UW worked with this office to create the Institute for National Security and Research, or INSER on campus. This program is basically a recruitment tool to help attract and train the next generation of intelligence operatives. The UW administration has also invited CIA agent Tim Thomas to teach classes on how to spy on Internet media sources and blogs (for more information, click here).. Democracy Insurgent is launching a campaign which will demand that the UW administration close INSER and fire their resident spook. Our campus should be for education, not for training people to staff an agency that is running secret torture chambers. If you’re interested in getting involved, please speak with us after the event.

We Need to Challenge Israeli Apartheid

Even if Obama closes Guantanamo, we also need to confront the politics of torture as they rear their ugly head with Israel’s massacres in the Gaza strip, which are going on as I speak.

It is no secret the Israel and the United States collaborate closely. The U.S. provides Israel with 2-4 Billion dollars a year in foreign aid, much of which goes towards military and intelligence training. In turn, Israel collaborates with US military and intelligence forces to help suppress any Arab nationalist, socialist, or Islamic organizations across the Middle East which might pose a challenge to US empire. Israel has also supported right wing governments and paramilitaries across the Third World, including the genocidal regime in Guatemala in the 80s and apartheid South Africa. Israeli agents were present in Guatemalan dictator Rios Mont’s army camps while his military was attempting to torture the Mayan population to death. For this reason, when the Palestinian people rebel against Israeli apartheid, their struggle is at the forefront of anti-imperialist struggles that people of color are waging across the world.

Ever since its founding through ethnic cleansing in 1948, the state of Israel has fought a brutal counterinsurgency campaign aimed at breaking this Palestinian resistance. The current massacres and siege in Gaza are simply the most recent intensification of this campaign.

Torture has been a routine aspect of Israeli counterinsurgency tactics, something the CIA is no doubt fully aware of and may even be supporting and learning from. Even during the so-called “peace process”, human rights groups investigating Israeli prisons documented the use of sleep deprivation, stress positions, hooding, focused beatings, continuous loud music, extremes in temperature, confinement in closet sized rooms, inadequate access to food and toilet facilities, and violent shaking. In 1998, for example, B’Tselem estimated that the GSS interrogated between 1,000 and 1,500 Palestinians each ear, using torture in 85 percent of its interrogations. (133). Palestinian prisoner Abd al-Rahman al-Ahmar testified that he was subjected to “body hangings in so many different ways where each separately or all together cause exhaustion and pains in the body and in all the internal organs… sometimes they bound a person to a very small chair leaving half his body hanging in the air… and as to the pains that this position caused, no words can describe them adequately… I suffered from continuous vomiting.”

Palestinians rose up in the second intifada partly because the charade of the Oslo peace process could not cover up this ongoing regime of Israeli terror. In response to the Palestinian uprising, Israeli army chief of staff Moshe Yaalon said, “the Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.” Israel intensified their practices of mass torture in order to achieve this goal. In July 2002, the GSS admitted to torturing 90 Palestinians, citing “ticking time bomb” emergencies. Human rights groups such as the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel argue that the vast majority of the hundreds of prisoners that GSS interrogates each year are tortured.

Today, these politics of torture are being extended even further. To punish the Palestinian people for democratically electing Hamas, Israel has turned the entire Gaza strip into an open-air prison. Just as Israel uses the logic of counterterrorism and the specter of a “ticking time bomb” to justify torture in its prisons, so too does it claim the right to starve, bomb, shoot, and mangle the prisoners of the Gaza strip, including the unarmed population. The death toll in the current assault is around 1,000 so far but another 4-5000 more are wounded. They are likely to face tremendous suffering considering that Gaza’s medical facilities and access to medical supplies have been severely compromised. This is not a war. It is mass torture - no different from shooting a prisoner in the arm and then denying her medical attention. The goal of these practices is not to gain valuable counter-insurgency information. It is not even simply a dubious claim to self-defense against terrorist attacks. It is an attempt to break the will of the Palestinian people, to dehumanize them and neutralize their resistance to apartheid.

As part of this attempt, the Israeli Defense Forces’ recently attacked a U.N. school and bombed the Islamic University of Gaza. These attacks on educational institutions cannot be tolerated and in response, Democracy Insurgent is organizing in solidarity with our fellow youth and students in Palestine whose education has been put on hold by Israel’s racist occupation. We are launching a campaign to demand that that the University of Washington cease any academic collaboration with Israeli universities including research trips, study abroad programs, conferences, etc. until the Israeli government ceases both armed attacks and economic blockades of the Gaza strip.

Students, faculty, workers, and community members should decide U.W.’s foreign policy, not undemocratic bureaus of the U.S. Empire and it’s security state. It’s time that we take back our campus so we can stand in solidarity with our fellow students in the Middle East.

The Current Moment: Fear is Not an Option: 

This kind of campaign is viable right now because we are entering into a very inspiring moment in history. I’ll conclude by reading from a recent statement that Democracy Insurgent wrote summarizing this moment:

The newest round of attacks by Israel against the people of Palestine has been bold, outrageous, and tragic. However, these attacks have been met worldwide by an increasingly bold, confident, and outraged solidarity movement. Thousands of people have come together to protest Israel's violence in marches and rallies across the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, while just a month ago, these rallies would likely have drawn only a few dozen. The numbers, however, are just the beginning of what makes these recent actions different from what Palestine solidarity activists have seen in the past.

On Saturday, January 3rd, Seattleites witnessed the largest Palestine solidarity march to take place in their city in years. Nearly 1000 people came out into the streets of downtown Seattle. The multiracial character of the crowd, comprised of Arabs, South Asians, East Asians, Southeast Asians, Black and Jewish folks, and also the multigenerational participation, ranging from pre-schoolers to people in their 60s and 70s, further distinguished this march from its predecessors.

Last Saturday, January 10th, there was a stationary rally downtown at the federal courthouse. Arab and Muslim youth ages 8-15 started a spontenous march, chanting “Long Live the Intifada”, “Allahu Akbar”, and other chants. Democracy Insurgent joined them and offered them our megaphone. Eventually they galvanized the vast majority of the rally and lead the crowd of about 200 in an unpermitted march through downtown Seattle.


These youth refused to be Good Muslims, refused to be passive and silent in the face of the politics of torture and the war on terror. The fear that Guantanamo produced is beginning to thaw and people are beginning to demand more. Only this kind of popular mobilization can close Guantanamo for good. Only this kind of popular mobilization can ensure that no prison like Guantamao is ever built again.