January 8, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: media@aclu.org; (212) 549-2666

Group Urges People to Wear Orange on Sixth Anniversary of Illegal Detentions

NEW YORK – To coincide with the six-year anniversary of the arrival of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, the American Civil Liberties Union today announced its Close Guantánamo campaign. The ACLU is hosting more than 20 events across the country this week from Washington, DC to Boise, Idaho. In addition, the ACLU is calling on Americans to wear orange this Friday as an expression of opposition to indefinite detention at the U.S.-run prison and torture. Orange, the color of the jumpsuits worn by the first Gitmo detainees in photographs released by the Department of Defense in 2002, was chosen to represent torture tactics and prisoner abuse.

“We believe people will turn out in force to express their opposition to the symbol and reality of Guantánamo,” said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project. “For six years, the Bush administration has flouted the Constitution and run roughshod over the international human rights system that the U.S. itself helped build. On January 11, we will send a clear message to the world that the administration must abandon its torture policies and shut down Guantánamo once and for all.”

The ACLU, along with other human rights organizations, launched the Close Guantánamo campaign in December. Events across the country this week will include demonstrations in Washington, DC, Boston, Philadelphia and Boise, ID; protests in San Francisco and Tampa; a discussion in Pittsburgh; a vigil in Raleigh, NC; and a rally in St. Louis.

Musician Henry Rollins and actress Gloria Reuben from “ER” have agreed to wear orange in support of the campaign. In addition, singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello will wear orange onstage at her performance at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY this Friday.

“I am wearing orange to help bring back the dignity our country has lost as a result of Guantánamo,” said Ndegeocello. “We must join together in solidarity to demand the immediate closure of this shameful prison. It has tarnished America’s image in the world and continues to be a symbol of torture and injustice.”

In just three weeks, over 1300 Facebook users subscribed to the ACLU’s Close Guantánamo page and over 230 people joined the ACLU’s MySpace page, including the campaigns of both parties’ presidential candidates.

More information on Close Guantánamo, such as details on our scheduled events, is available at: www.aclu.org/closeguantanamo

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