Edinburgh protesters kneel in silent ‘submission’ at the Mound(thanks to Leith and North website for use of the picture)
There was a Guantanamo dog dressed in an orange coat, and a choir singing as we walked along Princes Street. But the most striking moment was when over 150 people wearing orange boiler suits knelt in silent protest while a young ‘guard’ in combat gear shouted at us: “I don’t want to see your eyes, look down, look down.”
This was the moment when people in Edinburgh, Belfast and London joined thousands of others in cities across the world as Amnesty International marked the sixth anniversary of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp on Friday January 11. Leith Open Space supporters were among them, donning orange suits to kneel in the infamous submission position outside the US consulate in Regent Terrace and then again at the Mound. You can see Nick Gardner’s report and pictures on the Leith and North website as well as many more pictures on the Amnesty Flickr page.
Since then Amnesty has emailed all of us who took part to say that the day following demonstrations the Chief of the US Military, Admiral Mike Mullen, admitted that he thought Guantánamo Bay should be closed – because he believed that negative publicity worldwide had been “pretty damaging” to the image of the US. (Find out more).
“Not a day longer”, a petition calling for the base to be closed, has now more than 3,000 signatures including the names of parliamentarians of all parties in Scotland and among them are our elected representatives for Edinburgh North and Leith Mark Lazarowicz MP and Malcolm Chisholm MSP.