SSAC Protest Voices Heard Loud Outside Parliament: Save Shaker Aamer DEMO 25th MAY

Last Tuesday saw SSAC demonstrating outside parliament calling for the release of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident still held in Guantanamo . Parliament Square was heavily policed and SSAC supporters found themselves fenced in onto the central green space also occupied by the now well established Peace Camp. Banners hung from railings, campaign tea-shirts and orange jumpsuits were worn and raised voices of protest were heard loud and clear throughout the morning. The demonstrations were timed to coincide with the state opening of Parliament. SSAC supporters were particularly pleased to welcome Jane Ellington MP, Chris Nineham of STWC, and Kate a representative for Jean Lambert MEP who visited the SSAC protest. Messages of support were received from others, including Caroline Lucas MP, George Galloway, Tony Benn, Yvonne Ridley, Jean Lambert MEP and Victoria Brittain.  Jane Hurcombe Brighton Against Guantanamo, Ray Silk SSAC and John Clossick Wandsworth STWC spoke at the event.

Victoria's message of support was read to supporters:

"Many thanks to all of you who have turned out to support the return of Shaker from Guantanamo , and especially to the leader of the Green party, Caroline Lucas, who has made this a priority. Shaker's wife and children are so grateful for your support in trying to get the new UK government to take up his case with the urgency and determination the labour party so cynically failed to display. Shaker has great standing among the prisoners in Guantanamo , and those now released. They elected him as a spokesman so long ago when the Americans tried, too briefly, to improve relations between guards and prisoners. But Shaker's prestige, and the knowledge he has of the very darkest history of Guantanamo , have made him be considered as a threat to those responsible for this appalling slice of recent history, in which Britain - lets not forget -  has been so complicit. It is time for the british government to show that it cares enough about justice to bring an end to this family's suffering, by announcing the sending of a high level legal and medical team to see Shaker in Guantanamo , and to bring him home."

Media report (extract)

"Mr Aamer remains in solitary confinement in the US detention centre after eight years of imprisonment without trial. He has taken part in several hungerstrikes in protest at the conditions faced by prisoners at the base and suffered force feeding and torture. The previous government had claimed it had attempted to use its influence to have Mr Aamer freed but that the US had refused to do so. Campaigners are now urging the coalition government to call for his release. The Save Shaker Aamer campaign (SSAC) has invited a number of individuals and organisations to participate in the protest including CND, Stop The War Coalition and newly-elected Green MP Caroline Lucas. The SSAC welcomed a pledge by new foreign secretary William Hague to establish an inquiry into allegations of British complicity in the torture of a number of individuals including Mr Aamer. They argue however that any such inquiry would be incomplete if Mr Aamer was not able to participate. A SSAC spokesman said: "Shaker Aamer is a victim and witness to torture and rendition. There is very strong evidence in documents recently released to his US lawyers that Shaker was tortured in Afghanistan in the presence and with the complicity of British intelligence agents. "It would be a travesty of justice if an inquiry into UK complicity in torture takes place while at the same time, Shaker Aamer continues to be subjected to torture in Guantanamo." The demonstration will begin at 10am in Parliament Square."