August 6, 2013


 Cynthia Papermaster speaking at the Berkley Post Office Occupation on her 51st day of hunger strike. Video cred: Daniel Arauz


August 1, 2013

Berkeley woman on day 47 of fast for Guantánamo

Berkeleyside – August 1, 2013 10:45 am by Julia Hannafin

Today marks day 47 of Berkeley resident Cynthia Papermaster’s open-ended fast. Papermaster, who has been a member of women’s social justice Cynthia Papermaster 2013-08-01 Berkeleysidemovement Code Pink for over six years, began her hunger fast on June 15 in solidarity with cleared-for-release Guantánamo Bay prisoners.

While actions have been taken towards closing Guantánamo, none have been successful. President Obama issued a directive in 2009 to close the prison within the next year, but the US Senate passed an amendment blocking funds needed to transfer or release prisoners, and the directive was shot down. In 2011, the President signed the Defense Authorization Bill, which in part placed additional restrictions on the transfer of prisoners to foreign countries and the mainland. Meanwhile Guantánamo is still open, with 166 prisoners behind its walls.

85 out of those men have been cleared for release, yet they remain in the prison. As protest, large numbers of detainees began hunger striking. At the height of the hunger strike, about 100 of the prisoners were fasting. Guantánamo’s controversial practice of force-feeding its prisoners on hunger strike is currently making headlines.

Cynthia Papermaster stands in front of Berkeley's City Council, urging people to push the Obama administration for the release of Guantanamo Bay detainees. Photo: Julia Hannafin.

Cynthia Papermaster stands in front of Berkeley’s City Council on July 16, urging people to push the Obama administration for the release of Guantanamo Bay detainees. Photo: Julia Hannafin

It was the massive hunger strike and force-feeding that pushed Papermaster to begin her fast. Papermaster is a community, peace and justice activist, a director of Berkeley No More Guantánamos, and a member of Code Pink’s Golden Gate Chapter. She also founded the National Accountability Action Network, which works for the prosecution of U.S. officials for complicity in torture, murder, and crimes against humanity.

Papermaster, who describes herself as having “an overabundance of compassion,” says she has been working for peace and justice for years. The stories of the men imprisoned at Guantánamo touched her. “These men deserve their freedom, and they deserve our assistance in getting released and resettled. We must act now, before there are any more deaths, any more suffering,” she wrote in a media release on her fast, which involves a 300 calories a day, liquid-only diet.

When will she cease her fast? Only when President Obama begins to free the 85 detainees cleared for release, she says.

In 2011, the Berkeley City Council passed a resolution welcoming cleared-for-release Guantanámo prisoners to resettle in Berkeley, using private funds.

Recent news that the Obama administration intends to repatriate two Guantánamo Bay detainees to Algeria may soon end Papermaster’s fast, but she will hold on as long as necessary. Along with supporters, Papermaster spoke at the Berkeley City Council Tuesday on July 16 about her efforts, urging people to call for the prisoner’s release. “Obama needs to hear from people,” she said, making it clear that she would risk her own health for as long as need be.


July 11, 2013
Peter B. Collins show

Flashpoints with Dennis Bernstein

KPFA Radio 94.1 FM, Berkeley, CA

July 11, 5pm Pacific time –

Interview with Gerry Condon @52:42   and with Cynthia Papermaster at @57:28

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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. 

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- Metta Center for Nonviolence


No more Guantánamos

Nonviolence International

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