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Protesters demand Trump close Guantanamo Bay

By Cassia Laham

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Doral, FL – About 40 activists marched from Trump National Resort in Doral to U.S. Southern Command, June 25, to demand that President Trump shut down Guantanamo Bay prison. The prison currently holds 41 detainees, 26 of whom have not been charged or tried for any crimes and five of whom have been cleared for release.

Protesters first gathered outside of Trump’s resort at 5 p.m., with a large banner that read, “Shut down Guantanamo!” Four people donned the infamous orange jumpsuits with black hoods over their heads; the same that prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are forced to wear. The four knelt in front of the Trump National Doral entrance holding signs such as, “Investigate Trump for war crimes.”

Conor Munro, an organizer with People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism (POWIR), led the evening’s protest. “Closing Guantanamo under Trump might be more difficult than under Obama, because he openly promotes a torture agenda. But, what’s also true is that there is a large people’s movement against Trump, and we need to use that to target issues that matter,” said Munro.

At 6 p.m., the group marched one mile in the 93-degree heat to U.S. Southern Command, which is the entity responsible for all military activity in the Americas. From directing the prison cells at Guantanamo Bay, to the right-wing paramilitaries in Colombia and attempted coups in Venezuela, SOUTHCOM is a sinister institution that serves no other purpose than to spread the violence of U.S. imperialism across the hemisphere.

The event ended outside of the gates of SOUTHCOM, where the group listened to speeches from community leaders. One speaker focused on how the prison was once used to detain thousands of Haitian refugees fleeing a U.S.-backed coup, while another focused on how the land belongs to the people of Cuba and must be returned back to them in order to rid the island of U.S. military presence once and for all.

This was the fifth year that POWIR organized this protest to close Guantanamo Bay. Activists promised to continue the fight against torture, violence and war, no matter who sits in the White House.

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