Monday, January 15, 2024

Marching Toward Justice

Marching Toward Justice

by C.A. Matthews

No justice. No peace!
Know justice. Know peace!

I wore an orange jumpsuit and a black hood over my head this past Thursday (January 11) for two hours. I, along with a couple dozen activists, marched around our county courthouse chanting the above chant as well as many others concerning justice, freedom, and for the end of unjust detention and torture. Ours and many other protests worldwide this week marked the twenty-second anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, an extrajudicial prison operated by the US military that has held hundreds of men, many without charge, for the past 22 years.

(I’m carrying the “Close Guantanamo” sign in this video

There are currently thirty souls still detained at Guantanamo, sixteen of whom were supposed to have been released many years ago, but they haven’t been because the US simply doesn’t release these individuals to go back to their homes and families. They are only released to other countries that are willing to lock them up again behind bars or keep a close eye on them. You’re not really being “freed” if you’re simply placed into another prison or detention set-up without a trial and without a chance to see your family again, are you?

There are many parallels between the detainees of Guantanamo and the detainees of the open-air concentration camp known as Gaza. You can learn a lot (I sure did) from the following webinars. I recommend you watch them and share the links with others. Together, we can pull down the walls of unjust detention and tear down the torture chambers that have been built with US taxpayer dollars and used to destroy others in our names.

From Guantánamo to Gaza: Resisting State Violence and Occupation

From Guantánamo to Gaza: Where Do We Go From Here?

If you feel so moved, please donate to the Guantanamo Survivors’ Fund. If and when a detainee is finally released, he receives no help in making the transition from imprisonment to life outside. He's given no money, no housing, no clothing, and no medical help to deal with his trauma of both mind and body. Please give generously if you’re able and share the link with others.

No justice. No peace.

And since I’m sharing video links, here are some well worth a look. These are the testimonies given at the International Court of Justice at The Hague by legal representatives from the Republic of South Africa and from the state of Israel this past week. The case presented by South Africa is well argued and, without a doubt, revealing of the true natures of Israel's leaders. The South Africans very wisely didn’t state that “Israel is calling for a genocide”—they simply quoted Israeli officials who openly called for the “elimination” or “complete annihilation” of the Palestinian people or the “human animals” of Gaza as the Israeli Defense minister named them. Their own hideously racist words will damn them. 

Day 1 of SA v Israel on Genocide at World Court

22-Minute Speech Details Israeli Officials' Genocidal Statements at ICJ

It doesn’t take much to convince the public that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people when Israeli leaders are openly declaring that it’s what they’re in fact doing. But will the judges rule that a “potential for genocide” is indeed happening in Gaza?

In a perfect world, a ruling would be announced right away, but it will probably be two or three weeks (or more) until the world hears back from the ICJ justices. It is a very biased and political court  from what I’ve learned. Judges from countries that have had similar charges made against them in the past might not want to judge Israel guilty of the same crime in fear it could come back and bite their country at some point. The ICJ in reality, however, has little to no "bite" and no way to hold countries accountable for their war crimes, alas. Politics trumps justice in this imperfect world.

No justice. No peace. 

And now for our third story concerning the march toward justice this past week, The National March on Washington for Gaza (livestreamed in its entirety via BreakThrough News.)

“No country that supports genocide will ever flourish! ...Take a look at our irrational relationship with Israel!”-- Sh. Yasir Qadhi, a speaker at the March

“I don’t feel safe as a Palestinian.” – Anees, a Palestinian-American artist reading his poem in front of 400,000 people at the March

Biden, Biden you can’t hide! You’re supporting genocide!
Your silence is a license for Israeli violence!
We will free Palestine...within our lifetime!
From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!

I wish I could have attended the massive National March on Washington for Gaza this past weekend, but the march around the courthouse in the cold and damp earlier in the week was about all my old body could take for a while. The buses from our city heading toward DC were full, so I knew we would be well represented there.

Independent journalists broadcast live coverage on You Tube of all the rally speakers and the march to the White House to let “Genocide Joe” know that the majority of Americans want an end to the bombing of Gaza and a permanent ceasefire.
BreakThrough News was the only media group that I could find online that followed all the events of the day. Once again, the American mainstream media purposefully ignored an anti-genocide/pro-Palestinian event in the nation’s capital in order to suppress its message and public knowledge of its large turn out.
Ceasefire now! Ceasefire now!


Speakers expressed their disgust and sheer horror at how the Biden’s administration continues to ignore the plight of the Palestinians and send even more weapons to Israel. How anyone could ignore the mass murders of so many civilians (now estimated at 30,000+ lives lost with 12,000 of those deaths being children’s) brought forth stern commentary using straightforward terminology. Biden and Secretary of State Blinken were painted as despicable, morally bankrupt, and explicitly complicit in the genocide against the Palestinian people.

That the Democratic Party even entertains the notion that Biden is a viable candidate after this and similar American rallies over the past three months demonstrates that they’re not really serious about keeping the White House. Perhaps that’s the plan of the oligarchy after all—to pass off control of the Executive Branch to the Republicans as a distraction from what’s really happening in the world at the expense of the struggling classes. 
The oligarchs probably believe that most Americans can't tell there are no actual differences between the two establishment factions. We are easily fooled. But on-the-street interviews during the march to the White House give evidence to the fact that the protesters know they have a choice in the voting booth. Some expressed their support for the Green Party’s Jill Stein, one of the speakers at the pre-march rally.

Dr. Stein was in good form. Wearing shades of blue, the wind blowing through her silver-white hair, she boldly proclaimed to the crowd as she took the stage, “I see power! I see justice! I see democracy as far as the eye can see!” She ended with, “You have the power! Remember, we have the power to change history. Together we are unstoppable!” Jill is collecting names for a pledge demanding an end to the genocide at her campaign web site now:

You can watch Jill Stein's speech here:

The solidarity of the different groups of marchers was lovely to see. A young activist said of Joe Biden when asked why the president continued to send money and arms to Israel: “It’s not the eyes that are blind; it’s the heart that is blind.” “(Biden is) an excuse of a president,” another marcher told a reporter with BreakThrough News. “We are tired of being second class citizens in our own country.”

Very telling comments on this, the weekend of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. If Dr. King were alive today, no doubt he would have gone to DC and marched, proudly carrying a Palestinian flag.

“There’s no turning back,” said Liane, an activist with the Shut It Down For Palestine Coalition as she stood outside of the White House’s double-fence in the bitter cold after sunset. “Biden has lost legitimacy. No one running in either of the two parties has any legitimacy. Consciousness has been raised.”

Well said. It’s impressive how well-informed activists are and how they aren’t swallowing the pro-Zionist propaganda put out by the government. They're fighting back, speaking out, and naming names. They understand they have options, choices in the polling booth. Jill Stein, a strong pro-Palestine/anti-genocide candidate for the presidency, is one of them.

There is no justice and no peace yet for the beleaguered people of Palestine, but at least there is some hope on the horizon. And so we will continue marching on toward justice.

Related Articles and Interesting Links

The National March on Washington for Gaza, January 13, 2024

Chris Hedges: The Case for Genocide

Genocide is not a political problem. It is a moral one. We cannot, no matter what the cost, support those who commit or are accomplices to genocide. Genocide is the crime of all crimes. It is the purest expression of evil. We must stand unequivocally with Palestinians and the jurists from South Africa. We must demand justice. We must hold Biden accountable for the genocide in Gaza.

‘The Evidence of Genocide Is Not Only Chilling, It Is Also Overwhelming and Incontrovertible’

What Israel Faces at The Hague

South Africa’s Impassioned Plea to Stop Israel’s Genocide

Your Man in the Hague (in a Good Way).

US and UK Bomb Yemen, Israel's Pathetic Defense at the International Court of Justice, and More

Give to the Guantanamo Survivors Fund

An Ex-CIA Agent Looks Back at 22 Years of Torture at Guantánamo Bay

Accountability and Legacy at Guantanamo: Some Progress, Still A Long Way to Go

Gaza crisis: another hospital facing dire shortages, warns WHO
Screams without proof: questions for NYT about shoddy ‘Hamas mass rape’ report

Pro-Palestinian household targeted with bomb in Sydney, Australia

Westerners Have An Absolutely Psychotic View Of Airstrikes

Western Empire Bombs Yemen To Protect Israel's Genocide Operations In Gaza

US and UK launch war against Yemen

US and UK Bomb Dozens of Sites in Yemen

We Could Try Simply NOT Provoking A Wider War Via The Continued Destruction Of Gaza

Biden Is Everything People Feared Trump Would Be

If You've Just Started Paying Attention To US Foreign Policy

We badly need the kind of critical reporting that WikiLeaks supplied on the crimes of the “war on terror”

Abby Martin Explains Why Israel Will Never Be The Same

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  1. The demand for a ceasefire in Palestine is there, yet the politicians prefer to ignore the public and continue to fund genocide. Biden hides behind an even greater layer of security because he's afraid of those nasty people wearing odd scarves. What a sh!tshow. Jill Stein is the only adult in the room when it comes to the next election. #VoteGreen

  2. Thank goodness for an adult like Jill Stein is running! Added bonus is she isn't a genocidal maniac like Biden or Trump.

    1. Ain't that the truth! America desperately needs Jill Stein. Her campaign slogan says it all: People, Planet, Peace. We need to take care of our people (Medicare for All, end student debt, aid the homeless, etc.), we need to take care of our rapidly warming climate and deteriorated environment (stop subsidizing Big Oil), and we most definitely need peace in this world (shut down the MIC). This is the year the USA needs to #VoteGreen and #EndTheGenocide


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