WCW Home Take Action Videos & Reports of Demonstrations 5/21/09 West Hollywood CA City Hall Hangs "NO TORTURE" Banner with Hollywood Artists, Former Mayor, & Guantanamo Lawyer
5/21/09 West Hollywood CA City Hall Hangs "NO TORTURE" Banner with Hollywood Artists, Former Mayor, & Guantanamo Lawyer PDF Print E-mail

Report by Debra Sweet, National Director of World Can't Wait

As I watched the Obama and Cheney speeches yesterday, I was rushing to a press conference called by the West Hollywood City Hall where they hung a "NO TORTURE" banner.  Former West Hollywood Mayor John Duran hosted Actor John Heard, Guantanamo lawyer Michael Rapkin, Paul Haggis, Mark Ruffalo and myself in calling for the torture photos to be released and the war criminals prosecuted.  This kind of thing should be happening in as many places as possible.


Paul Haggis, Screenwriter & Director:  "Torture is torture. This is something that debases us, to hell with everybody else. It debases us as Americans. It shames us. And they're going to hide these pictures? Because they might upset someone? We need to see these pictures, Mr. President, and we need to see them now!"



Michael Rapkin, Guantanamo Lawyer, described in painful detail what was and is being done to detainees in Guantanamo.  "Some say that President Obama will end torture, so why deal with the past? I say, don't believe that torture will end. Because already our president has said, through his lawyers' court filings, through his choice of a CIA director, who has at the Senate confirmation hearings, supported the use of the 'ticking bomb' scenario. These are concerns that the public should have over whether torture will come to an end under Obama. Finally, we are a nation that lives under the rule of law. Laws are to be enforced not just when it is convenient to do so. Prosecutions require evidence, and the photos are the best evidence of what happened" 

 Mark Ruffalo, Actor and Director:  "This is not the time to walk away. This is the time to shed some very bright light into the dark corners of Abu Ghraib, the CIA secret rendition sites, Guantánamo Bay and, Lord knows, how many other hideous and dark-filled places where bold-faced torture was carried out in the name of decent American people... Each day that we and you, President Obama, refuse to face what has been done, and bring those responsible to justice, the more those images of torture become our identity, each day that we try to move away from these crimes the more burdened by them we become. Torture is a crime. The people who carried out that crime are called criminals... Don't allow that orange uniform and black hood to be our new flag. Investigate and prosecute..."

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