Teach-in Held in Protest of Bush Administration
November 2, 2006 11:09 PM
A controversial law recently passed by the Bush administration was one of several topics discussed by the World Can’t Wait organization, which held a lecture at SF State Thursday night as part of the nation-wide call to drive out President Bush before 2008.
Guest speakers Carlos Mauricio and Robert Harmon expressed concerns about the Military Commission Act. The Act, which was passed in October, allows the government to put enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States on trial. Harmon, a representative of the National Lawyers’ Guild Military Law Task Force, criticized the bill and said it violates citizens’ basic human rights.
The use of torture has also increased and has been accepted by the U.S. military, according to Mauricio, who is also a torture survivor. Mauricio is a part of the Stop Impunity Project, a torture survivor group.
During the 1980s, Mauricio was captured and tortured for nine days by the El Salvador government because they suspected him of being a Cuban guerilla commander.
“I was deprived of sleep, no water, food and beaten,” he said. “I had to listen to people being tortured. I could hear them being bitten, electrocuted and raped.”
Mauricio is working with his organization is to close down the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation in Georgia, which trains Latin American soldiers in interrogation tactics and counterinsurgency techniques. He said torture results only in fear.
World Can’t Wait organizer and volunteer, Rafael Schiller-Laden, 25, spoke out about how important it is for the public to acknowledge what is going on in the government and the war in Iraq.
“This country is moving in a direction towards fascism. It is very controversial to say, but since 9/11, we have the Patriotism Act, the Military Commissions Act,” Schiller-Laden said.
Alex Mejia, 22, junior at SF State, is the youth organizer for the World Can’t Wait chapter at SF State. Mejia emphasized the importance of people becoming more involved with human rights and protecting the U.S. Constitution.
“This organization is for everyone, it doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican,” said Mejia. “The main point of this organization is to unite with other groups and bring in new people to bring about change. “
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