By Phyllis Rodriguez, Activist and mother of 9/11 Victim Greg Rodriguez
My son Greg was 31 years old and worked on the 103rd floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center.
I first learned he was there on the morning of September 11. But it wasn’t until 36 hours later that I learned he had perished. Through the shock and pain of my grief, I was afraid of what our government was going to do in the name of my son and my family.
I felt that causing suffering to others in the name of my son and the almost 3,000 people who died that day would make things worse for us and the world. In some ways, my fears were realized.
Today, the detention site at Guantanamo begins its 15th year of existence. We need 100,000 people to send this message to President Obama through Whitehouse.gov: Close Guantanamo.
There are 104 detainees still in Guantanamo. Most of them have been held without charge for more than decade. They face the prospect of dying behind locked doors, without ever having been tried for a crime.
At least 29 of them were held in “black sites”, or secret detention centers, before being transferred to Guantanamo. Many if not all of these individuals were tortured – sexually abused, beaten, forced into coffin-shaped boxes, hung from the wall wearing only diapers and made to feel they were literally suffocating to death.
The cycle of violence will never end unless we put a stop to it. Guantanamo cannot provide us justice. And I do not want politicians to use my son’s memory as justification for keeping people at Guantanamo.
This is a shameful period of our history. And it’s gone on far too long.
Join me in telling President Obama: Not in my name. It’s time to close Guantanamo. If 100,000 people take this action by the end of the month, the rules state that the White House will have to issue a response.
After you take the action at Whitehouse.gov, please be sure to verify your email address or it won’t count. We must reach 100,000 verified signatures. We must close Guantanamo.
Thank you for your support.