100 Day Guantanamo Hunger Strike Press Conference at National Press Club Thursday, May 16, 10am


May 15, 2013


Alli McCracken, CODEPINK National Organizer 860-575-5692 [email protected]

    Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder, (415) 235-6517 [email protected]

100 Day Guantanamo Hunger Strike Press Conference at National Press Club Thursday, May 16, 10am

Washington, DC — On Thursday, May 16th at 10am CODEPINK will be hosting a press conference in the Zenger Room at the National Press Club. As the health of the striking prisoners deteriorates, human rights advocates and military officials are speaking out, calling on President Obama to take immediate action to close the prison.

Speakers (full bios below):

Colonel Morris Davis, former Guantanamo Chief Prosecutor

Carlos Warner, lawyer for eleven Guantanamo Bay detainees

Captain Jason Wright, JAG lawyer for two Guantanamo Bay detainees

Imam Mahdi Bray, Executive Director of the Muslim American Society’s Freedom Foundation

Diane Wilson, military veteran on a hunger strike since May 1 to close Guantanamo

Medea Benjamin, moderator, CODEPINK cofounder

The following day, Friday May 17th, marking the 100th day of the beginning of the hunger strike, a coalition of activists will stage a vigil in front of the White House from noon until 1:00 pm. They will don orange jumpsuits like the ones worn in Guantanamo, read the names of the prisoners and letters from their families. Colonel Morris Davis will deliver his change.org petition, with over 200,000 signatures, to the White House.

CODEPINK has launched an urgent call to save the lives of the 130 prisoners on hunger strike in Guantanamo and has been staging actions across DC for the last several weeks. Over 1,200 people from around the world have joined a rolling hunger strike. Diane Wilson, who will be speaking at the press conference, has been on a water-only hunger strike since May 1st and intends to continue her strike until the prisoners cleared for release begin to be freed.

Speaker bios:

Colonel Morris Davis: Colonel Morris D. Davis (born July 31, 1958) is a United States Air Force officer and lawyer, was appointed to serve as the third Chief Prosecutor of the Guantanamo military commissions September 2005 until October 2007. He resigned from the position due to objecting to the appointment of William J. Jaynes, II, former General Counsel of the Department of Defense, as Presiding Officer of the commissions. He retired from active duty in October 2008 and has been speaking out publicly against the continued operations at Guantanamo Bay prison.

Captain Jason Wright represents two Guantanamo Bay detainees facing trial

before the U.S. Military Commissions: U.S. v. Khalid Shaikh Mohammad and U.S.

v. Obaidullah. Mr. Mohammad’s capital case is currently in active litigation, and

Mr. Obaidullah remains uncharged despite enduring more than 11 years of


In August 2011, CPT Wright was assigned to the Office of the Chief Defense Counsel for the U.S. Military Commissions and now splits his time between their offices in Washington, D.C. and U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.

Carlos Warner

Carlos is an Assistant Public Defender for the Northern District of Ohio. He has been a public defender for 15 years. He, along with his colleagues, represent 11 men held at Guantanamo Bay, including Yemeni men cleared for release. He has worked tirelessly to close Guantanamo both publicly and behind the scenes. He still believes with the President’s will and force, the prison could be shuttered in a year.

Imam Mahdi Bray is a long-time civil and human rights activist currently serving as the Executive Director of the Muslim American Society’s Freedom Foundation (MAS Freedom), and former President of the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (CCMO). Imam Bray serves on the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Alliance, Interfaith Worker Justice and is a national co-convener of Religions of Peace-USA. He has served as political advisor and strategist to several national state and local political campaigns. Imam Bray has served as a liaison between the President’s White House Faith-Based Initiative Program and Congressional Affairs on behalf of the Muslim Community.

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of the peace group CODEPINK and the human rights group Global Exchange. She has worked for years to close Guantanamo, including organizing a march of former prisoners and family members of present prisoners to the Cuban side of Guantanamo. She is author of several books on US policy, including Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.

Diane Wilson is an environmental activist, anti-war activist, an author, and a fourth generation shrimper from Texas. She is a co-founder of the anti-war organization CODEPINK. She has been on a water-only hunger strike since May 1st in solidarity with the prisoners and intends to continue her strike until the prisoners cleared for release begin to be freed. On May 10, Ms. Wilson, a grandmother, was arrested at the White House for chaining herself, by her neck, to the fence.

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GTMO has been open:

U.S. Hunger Strikers

Hunger Striker's Blog

 U.S. Faster in Solidarity w/Gitmo & Pelican Bay Prisoners


Foreground: EMT prepares the tool for the nasal intubation.       Background: U.S. Embassy, Buenos Aires, Argentina Middleground:...agony awaits. 

The feeding demo is extremely painful, yet it is done with consent. The long-term solidarity fast continues with nasogastric nourishment in front of U.S. governmental symbols of power. The twice-daily force-feeding of Gitmo hunger strikers is nonconsensual and therefore real torture by the standards sponsored by U.S. taxpayers and authorized by members of Congress who just raised the debt ceiling to nearly $17 trillion. President Obama's actions continue to belie his empty words "Close Guantánamo."  As Commander-in-Chief, he could easily order an end to what the Pentagon refuses to call "forced-feeding."   The force-feeding is premeditated  relentless forced penetration of plastic into their innermost sacred cavities !

Andrés Thomas Conteris - fasted on water and coconut water with vitamin and electrolyte supplements. Solidarity fast began July 8, 2013 with 30,000 hunger striking California prisoners urging fulfillment of 5 Core Demands of the Pelican Bay supermax prisoners.  Force-feeding protests began Sept. 6 & Sept. 25 in front of the White House & later in front of the Oakland Office of CA Dept of Corrections and Rehab (CDCR) to depict how prisoners in Guantánamo are tortured with force-feeding twice-daily and how CA prisoners as future hunger strikers have been threatened with a court order authorizing force-feeding.  On Oct 4 and Oct 8 he was tube-fed in front of the U.S. Embassies in Montevideo, Uruguay and Buenos Aires, Argentina. On Oct 15 a similar protest took place in Santiago, Chile.  On Friday, Oct 18 the feeding protest returns to Washington, DC outside a Federal Court hearing on the lawsuit challenging force-feeding in Guantánamo.  He is now on a maintenance fast losing about 1 pound per week, unlike the 5 pounds/week the first 11 weeks.  In January 2014 with the anniversary of Guantánamo on Jan. 11, the force feeding protests will recommence.  Please spread the word. 

Join a Rolling Fast

U.S. Hunger Strikers who have suspended their fast






Diane Wilson - Water only 58 days (lost 48 lbs). Diane, co-founder of CodePink and member of Veterans for Peace, suspended her hunger strike on June 27, 2013 after detention following her arrest for scaling the White House fence the day before. She faced a jury trial in DC District Court on Sept. 5th, 2013.


S. Brian Willson - Suspended Hunger Strike on June 10, 2013 after 31 days on 300cal/day, when a car accidentally hit him. Supporters continue a vigil with a rolling fast, in Portland, OR.



Elliott Adams - Went 80 days on 300 cal/day from May 18, to August 4, 2013 losing 45 lbs.   He is past President of Veterans for Peace.







Tarak Kauff - Ended fast on August 4, 2013 after 58 days on 300 cal/day since June 7.  He lost 29 lbs. On Board of Directors for Veterans for Peace.


Cynthia Papermaster - After 84 days on 300 cal/day, Cynthia suspended her  hunger strike on Sep. 6 which began June 15, 2013. Code Pink member,  lost 35 lbs. The transfer of two Algerian prisoners on Aug. 29, 2013, inspired her to suspend her fast. 

Collaborative of CloseGitmo.net Organizations

Arlington West Santa Monica

- Campaign for Alternatives to

   Isolated Confinement - NY

Close Guantánamo.org

Code Pink

Global Exchange

- Fast for the Earth

- The Jericho Movement

The Justice Campaign

The London Guantánamo


Meta Peace Team: "Pursuing peace

   through active nonviolence"

- Metta Center for Nonviolence


No more Guantánamos

Nonviolence International

Nuremberg Actions

Office of the Americas

Peaceworkers USA

Save Shaker

Stop Mass Incarceration

Witness Against Torture

The World Can't Wait

Veterans for Peace

Pelican Bay Hunger Strike

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