"The Important Thing is, Not to Stop Questioning" – Albert Einstein
Welcome to MUJCA-NET
Ever since my arrest friends have been calling me Razia Parks. I know there is no comparison, still its kinda fun to hear even a hint of a link to a(n) historic figure.
For those who don't live in the area here is a brief account:
On Monday late morning, July 30th, members of Peoria Area Peace Network and I donned orange jumpsuits like the prisoners wear and put black hoods over our head to protest mistreatment of prisoners and other related actions of the United States. (Tonya's list of concerns follows my narrative).
After demonstrating in front of the federal building we decided to move to Civic Center where Michele Obama was speaking at a fund raising luncheon. The press were already there to cover Obama. It must have been quite a sight - all dressed in orange jump suits and wearing black hoods over our heads walking in line one behind the other. Obviously the press were curious, while interviewing Jack Ryan, a former FBI agent, they also started filming all of us.
I heard a man in yellow shirt (the management?) talking to the press. I was a little distance away from the rest and did not fully comprehend the situation except that every one was leaving including some press. Like a sheep I started following the crowd, but some thing inside made me stop and then kneel on the carpeted floor. I heard the man in yellow shirt yelling at the remaining press not to film. Then he came and asked me to leave. I told him I'd like to ask Michelle Obama what her husband was planning to do about the issues that concern us.
The man in yellow shirt was very rude and arrogant, told me again to leave or he'll call the police. I repeated my request, he refused. Then a woman, Bonnie somebody, asked me to leave. She was a little better than the man in the yellow shirt. She told me to wait outside the building and she'll ask Obama if she'd talk to me. I told her I’d wait inside – I’d offered to take my hood and jumpsuit off. While still trying to persuade me to leave the building she’d contact some one on the phone to go to Obama. Bonnie and I were still talking when the police came and told me to leave. I started to tell them what I was trying to do but they did not let me finish my sentence and put handcuffs on me.
As I was led into the police car Bonnie came and told me that Michelle Obama would like to talk to me and that I should contact 'the office'.
Tonya and Jack, fellow protesters, bailed me out of the county jail at ~ 5. I was charged with Criminal Trespassing and was to appear in the county court on August 28.
The story was covered in the local media and blogs
IS THIS AMERICA ?
Our demonstration today is a call for the United States to:
1) RESTORE HABEAS CORPUS
The Military Commissions Act passed by Congress in the fall of 2006 prohibits any non-citizen who is designated as an ‘enemy combatant’ from filing a writ of habeas corpus. Such people can and have been held in prison for years by our government without any charges or evidence against them. They do not have the right to judicial review. They are often prohibited from contact with attorneys, their families and even their embassies.
2) END EXTRAORDINARY RENDITIONS
3) STOP TORTURE
Prisoners have been subjected to brutal and inhumane treatment at the hands of the U.S. “government,” including the following:
Objects forced in rectum
Rape & other sexual abuse
Removal of fingernails
Exposure to extreme temperatures and noise
Use of “metal chain,” - a device that stretches the spine
Use of “falaqa,” a torture technique in which prisoners are beaten with sticks on the soles of their feet
In contrast with the commonly-held view that mistreatment of prisoners only occurred for a short time period at Abu Ghraib, prisoners continue to be tortured in numerous holding cells throughout the world.
Some prisoners in U.S. custody have been literally tortured
to death. One example of many is the story of Dilawar, a 22-year-old taxi
driver, who was brutally killed even though most of the investigators
assigned to his case were convinced he was innocent of any wrongdoing.
U.S. prison guards at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan hung Dilawar from the ceiling and brutally beat him over a 5-day period. Despite his pleas for a doctor, he died of blunt force injuries to the lower extremities. This has been reported by mainstream sources such as the Associated Press, the New York Times and 60 Minutes. In fact, an Army investigation reported in the Baltimore Sun stated that Dilawar’s injuries were so severe that his legs would have needed to be amputated had he lived.
4) ABIDE BY THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AND THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS
The Geneva Convention strictly prohibits the torture and ill treatment of any person in custody.