News Release

· Catholic Workers Back from Guantanamo · Bethlehem


Berrigan and Brown are among the 25 activists, many with the Catholic Worker, who have just returned from a march to the U.S. military base at Guantanamo. While holding vigils, they fasted outside Guantanamo. The Associated Press recently reported that “32 prisoners [in Guantanamo] are on hunger strike to protest what they say is cruel and inhumane treatment. Twenty-five of those prisoners are being fed through tubes.”

Berrigan wrote in her piece “Why I Am Marching to Guantanamo”: “It is an act against biology. But refusing to eat is the prisoners’ only way of drawing attention to their predicament. They have no other tools except deepening their own suffering. … The Bush administration has denied every fundamental right afforded by international law or American law to allow the inmates to defend themselves. It has even denied charging them with any crime beyond looking the part of the villain in Bush’s war on terrorism.”

In addition to being available for interviews, Brown can arrange interviews with other marchers from around the U.S.; profiles of each of the 25 activists along with personal statements and other information is available at Witness Torture. (Recent news reports indicate that the Catholic Worker is among the groups being monitored by the FBI.)
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Also just back from the Guantanamo march, Sr. Anne has more than 40 years teaching experience. For the last 10 years, she has worked with the Christian Peacemaker Teams, which currently have four members held hostage in Iraq. She was with the CPT in Iraq most recently in April; she was also recently in Hebron with the group in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Laffin has been active in nonviolence work for peace, justice and human rights for over 25 years. He is a member of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington, D.C., and is co-editor with Sr. Anne Montgomery of the book Swords Into Plowshares.
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Langley works in the Catholic Worker house in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife, Sheila Stumph; they have both returned from the march to Guantanamo. He is also North Carolina Death Penalty Coordinator for Amnesty International. He said today: “We live a few blocks from death row in North Carolina, one of the more active death rows. We work with the families visiting their loved ones on death row; we organize resistance around executions when they come up.” This year North Carolina executed the 1,000th person since the death penalty was reinstated. Langley is working on a photo documentary about the death penalty.
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Chief executive of the Open Bethlehem Project, Sansour said today: “The current situation here is grim. The walls and fences that encircle Bethlehem have turned this 4,000-year-old city into a prison for its 160,000 citizens.”

Patrick Orr is London representative for the group. He said today: “The Israeli Occupation is an ever-present fact in Bethlehem. Over the last few years, the city’s borders have been dramatically redrawn by the expansion of illegal settlements in a ring-like formation around the city, on land confiscated by force or acquired by coercion from Bethlehemites. Squatting above every hilltop, these settlements have no respect for the environment or the lives and heritage they erase.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167