Saturday, December 31, 2011

Protest Indefinite Detention Seattle 1/11/12 on 10th Anniversary of 1st Prisoners to Guantanamo

Candlelight Vigil

Join Washington  State Religious Campaign Against Torture, Amnesty International USA - including local Amnesty International USA Group-4 of Seattle, Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation, Code Pink Washington, and other justice activists to

**Protest indefinite imprisonment without charges on the 10th Anniversary of the arrival of prisoners at Guantanamo.  171 prisoners remain at Guantanamo.  Many  have been cleared of any  role in combat.  Hardly any have been charged with a crime. 

**Protest torture and other inhumane treatment of prisoners  anywhere

**Protest Congress's action to "legalize" indefinite detention without charges or trial,   and other violations of the Bill of  Rights (part of the recently passed NDAA,  National  Defense Authorization Act of 2012)

Wednesday January 11, 2012,  5-6 pm, on sidewalk outside of the Jackson Federal Building, 2nd avenue between Madison and Marion, downtown  Seattle;  if you can please bring a candle in a container  to protect against wind (paper cups with holes in bottom work) and if you can, a sign indicating your opposition to indefinite detention and torture and/or your support of the Bill of Rights.

The Seattle Vigil will be one of many actions around the country.  See the National Religious Campaign Against Torture website and also Amnesty International USA's Day of Action website for more information.

The Bill of Rights

Passed by Congress September 25, 1789.
Ratified December 15, 1791.

Amendment I

Freedoms, Petitions, Assembly
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II
Right to bear arms
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III
Quartering of soldiers
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV
Search and arrest
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V
Rights in criminal cases
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI
Right to a fair trial
In  all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII
Rights in civil cases
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII
Bail, fines, punishment
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX
Rights retained by the People
The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X
States' rights
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

[Thanks to ]

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Joshua Phillips to speak in Seattle on Fri. Nov. 18

Joshua Phillips, author of  "None of Us Were Like This Before: Reflections on American Soldiers and Torture."

Friday, November 18, 3:30 pm, University of Washington, Thomson 317, Seattle

Phillips will discuss his recent book, None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture (Verso, 2010). Gen (ret.) Antonio Taguba, author of the Taguba Report on the Treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, writes: "Joshua Phillips' incredible work in documenting the experience of soldiers who detained and interrogated detainees reflects the huge dilemma and consequences of their actions. His book is about accountability where senior leaders in the military and in the highest level of government failed to account for their actions, failed to protect soldiers who expected clear instructions, and failed the Nation in preventing torture and abuse of the enemy."

Joshua E. S. Phillips has reported from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and South Asia. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Newsweek,The Nation, Salon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, among other publications. His radio features have been broadcast on NPR and the BBC. Phillips won a Heywood Broun Award and Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcast journalism for his American Radio Works documentary What Killed Sergeant Gray.

Sponsored by the UW Law, Societies & Justice Program; UW Center for Human Rights; and Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tacoma event Nov 16, 2011

Weds Nov 16, 7-8:45 pm, at University of Washington-Tacoma, Carwein Auditorium (Keystone 102), 1990 S. Commerce Street, Tacoma; Joshua Phillips will speak on his book, None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture. How do torture and abuse affect the perpetrators as well as the victims? Co-sponsored by Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture, United for Peace of Pierce County (UFPPC), Veterans For Peace, Amnesty International, HOPE Network (UWT's human rights organization), Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation. info or Rob Crawford, 253-692-4460

Friday, June 3, 2011

June Is Torture Awareness Month

On behalf of the Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture (WSRCAT) we want to remind friends that June is designated as Torture Awareness Month. This is indeed a difficult topic to address because it so deeply offends our religious and humane principles. But precisely because torture is so deeply offensive to our legal, moral and spiritual bearings, it is all the more important that we attend to its offense by holding it in prayer and our political consciousness. Please consider observing June as Torture Awareness Month by doing one or more of the following three things:

1) Go to the new WSRCAT website  for local articles (see especially our own RobCrawford's as well as links to other end-torture websites;

2) Take a few minutes to view a brief new video, "Repairing the Brokenness," at [], that offers responses to torture from leaders from various religious traditions. After you have viewed the video please consider offering it to a post-worship group or any group audience;

3) and finally, please consider an individual or group letter to your Congressperson and Senators Cantwell and Murray to call for a much needed Commission of Inquiry that would lay bare the full facts of U.S. torture and cruel treatment. WSRCAT's position is that in order to become a nation of law committed to human rights, public awareness of what has happened and accountability for these actions - including criminal investigations and prosecutions - are absolutely essential if we are to prevent torture in the future.

Tom Ewell

Monday, May 9, 2011

WSRCAT Co-founder OpEd in Seattle Times 5/9/11

Rob Crawford's OpEd "In the wake of Osama bin Laden's death, America wrestles with itself over torture" published in The Seattle Times May 9, 2011, can be viewed at

Rob, a Professor at University of Washington-Tacoma, co-founded Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture. He has advocated for accountability for torture as a means to prevent future torture, and has spoken to dozens of religious congregations about the immorality of torture.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

WSRCAT website now under construction

We have a website!

See - watch for increasing content.

That address formerly forwarded to this blogsite. To come directly to the blogsite, use

WSRCAT Activist to Speak on Guantanamo May 22

Seattle Chapter Fellowship of Reconciliation presents

Jamie Mayerfeld of Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture on
"Why Guantanamo Is Important to You"

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Potluck 5 p.m., Announcements 6 p.m., Program 6:30 p.m.
at Woodland Park Presbyterian Church, 225 N 70 St, Seattle
All are welcome! Free, an offering will be taken. Info 206-789-5565

Human rights advocates held high hopes that President Obama would end the human rights abuses at Guantanamo Prison. Sadly, although torture has decreased, Obama quickly institutionalized indefinite detention without trial for most of the prisoners. Contrary to widespread perception, Obama was not forced into this policy by political circumstances. We will conclude with an action to support the release of one unjustly detained prisoner.

Jamie Mayerfeld is Associate Professor of Political Science and Law, Societies & Justice at the University of Washington. His research focuses on the justification of international human rights institutions and the origins of the U.S. torture policy. His recent articles include "In Defense of the Absolute Prohibition of Torture," Public Affairs Quarterly (2008).

Sunday, January 16, 2011

ANTI TORTURE WORKSHOP Jan 17, 2011, Seattle

The Martin Luther King Celebration Committee presents the 29th annual region-wide Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration with Workshops, Rally, and March, theme "Many Voices United to Build the Beloved Community"

Monday, January 17, 2011,
starts at Garfield High School, 400 23rd Avenue at East Jefferson, Seattle
9:30 a.m. Workshops, see details of ANTI TORTURE WORKSHOP below
11 a.m.-noon. Rally
12 noon March to Federal Building, 2nd & Marion, downtown Seattle
~1:15 p.m. 2nd Rally at March end, time is approximate
Buses will return marchers to Garfield High School

Information: Eddie Rye, Jr., 206-786-2763, or Larry Gossett 206-296-1002 or, or


Workshop "There Is No Torture in the Beloved Community"
(This is Workshop #13, and will be held in Garfield High School room 205.)

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., often spoke of the Beloved Community, where conflicts would be resolved nonviolently with the goal of adversaries becoming reconciled. War crimes such as torture make continuing violence more likely and reconciliation less likely. Yet U.S. torture continues and torturers of prior administrations have not been held accountable. Besides being morally unacceptable, politically damaging, and ineffective, torture is illegal according to U.S. and international law. Panelists will present information about U.S. torture and lead a discussion of what we can do to end torture - a requisite step in building a truly Beloved Community.


Rob Crawford, co-founder of Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture (WSRCAT), Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UWTacoma, with specialty in 20th Century History. WSRCAT includes people of many faiths as well as humanists who oppose torture under any circumstance.


David Marshall, Seattle attorney who has represented Guantanamo prisoners since 2006. Mr. Marshall has practiced law for 29 years and specializes in child abuse cases.

Bjoern Meinhardt, Pastor at Vashon Lutheran Church, and active member of WSRCAT

Jamal Rahman, Sufi Muslim leader of Interfaith Community Church who works extensively with Christian, Jewish, and Muslim groups to advance interfaith understanding, has participated in WSRCAT activism

These panelists will be joined by Prof. Jamie Mayerfeld with a brief update on WSRCAT's work on Guantanamo and by Tom Buchanan with a few words about solitary confinement as torture. Each will present a quick action participants can perform.