It’s easy to march on Washington, DC in March or September when the weather is sunny and warm. An activist event in cold, cold January only happens when people are really riled up about something. The upcoming vigil and fast in Washington DC from January 11 (the 8-year anniversary of the opening of the indefinite detention center at Guantanamo) to January 22 (the date by which Barack Obama had promised Guantanamo would be closed) is driven by activists’ indignation regarding United States policies of detention and torture without trial. Whether the group is able to keep the heat on the Obama administration depends on the numbers they will be able to amass and the deftness with which they’ll be able to navigate past journalistic indifference to spread their message.
Will the folks behind Witness Against Torture (the organization organizing this extended protest) succeed on that count? The signs don’t look good, and I don’t think it’s the organization’s fault. A nation full of liberals who followed the smallest details of the Bush administration’s gulag archipelago with great and seemingly sincere ire is now coughing and looking the other way when revelations about secret overseas prisons are made during the administration of Barack Obama. What’s changed?