June Action and Independence Day 2007
Actions in Washington, D.C.
June 26 has historically been the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. This year, many organizations are honoring the day by joining together to rally in Washington, D.C., calling for the restoration of habeas corpus, the end of U.S. involvement in torture and extraordinary rendition, shut down of Guantánamo Bay, and near complete dismantle of the Military Commissions Act.
Leading the action is the American Civil Liberties Union. Among its allies are:
- Amnesty International
- Bill of Rights Defense Committee
- Center for Constitutional Rights
- Code Pink
- Friends Committee on National Legislation
- Human Rights Watch
- National Religious Campaign Against Torture
- and other national civil liberties and human rights organizations
Learn more about the rally in Washington, D.C., including bus transportation. There is also more information about events in June and July on BORDC's June 5 Conference Call notes page.
Outside Washington, D.C., local rallies, vigils, readings, and other actions are beginning to take shape.
Create Your Own Independence Day/Week Actions
Meetings with Congressional Representatives Your representatives will be back in their districts from July 2 to July 6, so it's not too soon to begin scheduling meetings through the local office. Take along members of ally groups, and check out the BORDC Congressional Meetings Workshop for more tips and tools.
Join in the local Independence Day celebration, be it parade, festival, potluck, or other gathering.
- Take plenty of Bill of Rights Bookmarks to give neighbors and friends a reminder of the liberties that belong to we, the people. Bookmarks are available in both English and Spanish.
- Download flyers on the Bill of Rights, and our work to restore our liberties.
Run for Liberty The Run/Walk for Liberty in Denver, Colorado has become an all-day tradition at Washington Park. Beer garden, prizes for kids, and the Festival of Rights are also part of the day-long event, including a "GrafFREEti" wall, plastered with compositions of "What Freedom Means to Me.". Click here for more information.
Create A Tree of Liberty, using colored paper with quotes or excerpts from the Bill of Rights and Constitution, or names of those who have sacrificed for the liberties we hold dear. According to stories of the American Revolution, Trees of Liberty were places where colonists plotted against the British. "Liberty Tree" is also a poem by Thomas Paine. Remember the quote from Thomas Jefferson, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
Ideas and Resources
Read Up on Habeas Legislation
The BORDC Legislation Page has information about the many bills that have been introduced on the issue of the Military Commissions Act and habeas corpus. The two basic approaches to legislation are these:
- H.R. 1415 and in the Senate, S. 576, titled "Restoring the Constitution Act," attempts to dismantle the Military Commissions Act, including restoring habeas corpus and eliminating the use of testimony gained by torture.
- H.R. 1416 and in the Senate, S. 185, titled "Habeas Corpus Restoration Act," attempts only to restore the right of habeas corpus, and does not further attempt to change the Military Commissions Act.
- Host a reading of the play, "Guantánamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom"
- Hold a reading of excerpts from public statements, testimony and opinion editorials made about Guantánamo, torture, and the Military Commissions Act from individuals like Retired Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, freed Guantánamo detainee Bisher al-Rawi, Seton Hall Law Professor Mark Denbeaux, former general counsel of the Navy Alberto Mora or even excerpts from the Guantánamo play.
- Hold a public vigil, reading the names of the men and boys who have been imprisoned at Guantánamo, or in some other public way, commemorate the nearly 800 who have been detained there.
Run an ad in the local paper. Collect contributions from allies to run a full-page newspaper advertisement signifying that each person who contributed to fund the ad asks that your Congressional representative work to restore habeas corpus, dismantle the Military Commissions Act, shut down Guantánamo, and end U.S. involvement in torture and extraordinary rendition. Send a copy of the ad to your Congressional delegation, or take it with you when you meet with your representatives.
Meet with your elected representatives, or call their office.
Use local media to educate the public.
- Start a letter to the editor campaign.
- Write an opinion editorial with other leaders in your community.
- Create a program for public access television with an interview of a local law professor, law dean, or perhaps a local Guantánamo attorney. Check in with firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we know of a local speaker, or check with the Center for Constitutional Rights for an attorney to speak.
- Write and submit a series of public service announcements to your local radio station.
- Guantánamo By the Numbers (Center for Constitutional Rights)
- Restore Habeas Corpus Resource Center (Center for Constitutional Rights)
- Send "Restore Mr. Habeas" postcards to your Congressional representatives.
- Military Commissions Act Fact Sheet - ACLU
- Military Commissions Act Fact Sheet - CCR
- June 27 Call-in to Congress flyer as .pdf or .doc
Raising the level of public awareness in every way possible will draw attention to these violations of human rights and the growing shame of the United States throughout the world.