Miami January 2008 Press Links


"A political protest in the streets of Miami boiled over on Saturday, when several hundred people from the Cuban community clashed with a group of activists. "

Here's the link that takes you to the clip directly.
Some GREAT quotes from the day!

  • "The US Government is harboring a terrorist. And George Bush has said that any country that harbors terrorists is guilty of terrorism." Medea Benjamin
  • Tighe Barry speaking to a police officer:
    " They do not have permits to carry ten foot polls and with points on the end. That I know is a fact. Now why you don't, you do not follow the rule of law. When the rule of law breaks down, Democracy breaks down. When Democracy breaks down, Anarchy takes place. And what we saw in the streets of Miami was Anarchy! "

Another article from the MIAMI HERALD:
Cuban exile militant stirs up foes, fans By David Quinones

Photos by Ricardo Lopez/ Miami Herald Staff

Awesome Slide Show of the Shut Down Guantanamo Rally:

Guantanamo Prison Protests at SouthCom in Doral

Demonstrators, joined by the national anti-war Code Pink movement, were protesting near the Pentagon's Southern Command headquarters in Doral Friday morning calling for the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison camps in Cuba.
It was coordinated worldwide by Amnesty International, marking the sixth anniversary of the opening of the camps.
Six years ago, the first 20 detainees arrived at the remote U.S. Navy base to open the offshore detention and interrogation center.
The Defense Department, which had no official comment on the anniversary, calls the prison camps a war-on-terror necessity and says captives are treated humanely.
The Southern Command overseas the Pentagon's operations in Latin America and the Caribbean and supervises the prison camps, where the United States currently holds 275 men as ``enemy combatants.''
Some of the Doral demonstrators wore orange jumpsuits synonymous with what the prisoners are clothed in.

Dear Friends,
As you probably know from previous emails, our guests from CodePINK have planned to launch their Terrorist Watch Campaign focusing on Luis Posada Carriles , today, Saturday, by meeting in front of the Versailles Restaurant (3555 SW 8th St) at 11am to begin to pass out flyers calling for the arrest of this known terrorist.

The CodePINK activists have come to Miami to lead the successful protest that occurred on Friday in front of the Southern Command in Doral to demand the closing of the Guantanamo Detention Center.

After the protest on Friday members of CodePINK went to a Miami Cuban Radio station to participate in a talk show on Posada Carriles case. When they arrived they encountered a very hostile agitated audience and they debated some equally hostile radio commentators. During the show they were told that if they showed up at the Versailles they would receive a hostile response which would lead to one of them having their " head split open" by a "Castro agent posing as a Cuban right winger". Tonight Medea Benjamin, a national leader of CodePINK, received of phone call from a report from El Nuevo Herald, informing her that the Vigilancia Mambisa, Alpha 66 and other right wing Cuban groups would be holding a counter protest beginning at 10AM at the same location as the Code Pink action.

Over the past year these organizations have physically attacked 3 peaceful protests against the Bush administrations policies regarding Cuba and Venezuela. In all 3 cases First Amendment Rights were trampled upon as the protests were violently broken up with none of the violent attackers being arrested.

Today this must not be allowed to happen again. This morning we will be meeting with the City of Miami Police to facilitate their ability to enforce the law and protect our First Amendment Rights. We cannot allow a small group of right wingers to turn back the clock to a time when people in Miami lived in fear if they expressed opposition to the US policies on Cuba and Latin America. Please join us in supporting CodePINK'S right to free speech by joining them across the street from the Versailles Restaurant at 11 AM this morning. For more information please call me at 305-582-4846 or Media Benjamin at 415-235-6517
Best Regards,
Jack Lieberman
South Florida Peace & Justice Network

Doral protesters target Guantánamo
BY CAROL ROSENBERG Miami Herald Posted on Fri, Jan. 11, 2008

About 60 protesters -- many wearing trademark orange jumpsuits -- staged a street demonstration near the Pentagon's outpost in Doral Friday -- protesting the sixth anniversary of the opening of the prison camps at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Morning rush-hour motorists mostly whizzed by the demonstrators, who were chanting, ''Hey-hey, ho-ho, U.S. out of Guantánamo'' and ''Stop torture now,'' at a busy intersection at Northwest 87th Avenue and Doral Boulevard.
A few drivers honked their car and truck horns as protester Rae Newman of Miami waved a sign declaring, ``Honk 4 Peace.''
''People are somewhat complacent,'' she said, adding that the horn-honking ``goes in waves, actually. When one person honks, it gives others the courage to honk.''
The local demonstrators, joined by the national anti-war movement called Code Pink, were protesting near the U.S. Southern Command as part of a coordinated series of demonstrations called by Amnesty International.
Six years ago Friday, the first 20 detainees arrived at the remote U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba to open the offshore detention and interrogation center. Since then, nearly 800 detainees have been held there -- 275 of whom remain behind barbed wire enclosures as ``enemy combatants.''
Only two are now formally charged with crimes; two more await charges and a Pentagon official has said, in the end, the Bush administration expects to put 90 of the 275 on trial.
The Defense Department, which had no official comment on the anniversary, calls the prison camps a war-on-terror necessity and says captives are treated humanely.
Medea Benjamin, Code Pink founder, said the coordinated demonstrations across the globe were designed to send a message. ``We want the world to see another face of the American people -- one that believes in human rights and justice for all.''
Last year, for the fifth anniversary, she led a dozen people to the Cuban side of the minefield separating the isolated U.S. Navy base from Cuba proper -- and staged a vigil there. Among them were the mother and brother of Guantánamo detainee Omar Deghayes, who was released to the British government last month and is in London awaiting a court decision on whether he will be extradited to Spain.
The Doral demonstrators fanned out on a sidewalk with banners that also declared, ''Torture is terror'' and ''Close Guantánamo.'' About a third wore the jumpsuits and held photos of war-on-terror detainees, both men since freed and some still in the prison camps.
The protesters marched up a sidewalk toward Southcom, the jumpsuits and banners serving as quirky street theater in generally businesslike Doral.
One protester brought a pet rooster, saying it symbolized ``a wake-up call for America.''
Most of the demonstrators were locals, among them Florida National Guard soldier Camilo Mejia, 32, a former staff sergeant who was busted down to private after he was convicted of desertion for refusing to serve a second tour in Iraq in 2004.
Mejia, now of Sunny Isles, served nine months in an Army prison and is now appealing his conviction.
Meantime, he said he came to protest for a ''due process'' at Guantánamo but not in support of the detainees.
``It's not about the people who are there. It's about us. Everybody's entitled to their day in court. Give them an attorney and charge them with something.''
Southcom is the Pentagon's outpost for operations in Latin America and the Caribbean and has supervised the prison camps since before they opened on Jan. 11, 2002.

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