Out came the signs: "Torture + Silence = Complicity."
Out came the banners: "Drive Out the Bush Regime."
Out came the orange jumpsuits and hoods and the photographs of terror suspects being abused.
How else would you mark the fifth anniversary of the U.S. government holding accused terrorists at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba?
About 50 people brought their opinions to the Hart Plaza pavement in a good, old-fashioned political demonstration Jan. 11, protesting the fact that about 400 suspected enemies of America continue to be held without trial, without access to lawyers and without the chance to hear, let alone refute, the so-called evidence against them.
"We may be small but for each person here, maybe we can change a few minds," says Theresa Zettner.
The first prisoners there arrived Jan. 11, 2002, after being rounded up in northern Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights, the organization that has represented many of the prisoners in their efforts to have trials or be released. Some have been released.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in October the detainees had habeas corpus rights, meaning they could not be held indefinitely without trial. But then Congress passed the Military Commissions Act, basically circumventing the ruling by changing the laws on which it was decided.
The protest at Hart Plaza, like dozens around the country, had been planned for a while, organizers say, but it took on new energy with George W. Bush's announcement the night before that he intends to increase the U.S. military presence in Iraq to create peace.
Although News Hits doesn't see why, some people seem miffed that Bush cleverly devised an Iraq exit strategy that has us sending an additional 21,000 troops into the quagmire. The problem is that, when it comes to the intricate workings of a brain as massive as our president's, it's hard for most common folk to follow. We just gotta trust him when he tells us that war is peace.News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or NewsHits@metrotimes.com