With the forcing of the closure of detention facility Guantanamo Bay within a year by the Obama administration, the Two Sides One Story tour currently travelling across the UK (reports from Sheffield, Leeds, and London), has been in the media. While Guantanamo being closed down is a very good thing, there are other similar facilities. As former detainee Moazzam Begg points out:
I was held at Bagram detention facility before Guantanamo. I witnessed some terrible things there. If that place is closed too, we’re doing well. If it isn’t, we’ll see more of the same.
In the same way, though we give our total support to initiatives like the Campaign to Close Campsfield, simply closing this single detention centre by itself would be a hollow victory. We wish to see the end of the practice of detention as a means of social control, but we are not satisfied by that as an end in itself. The concepts of freedom and equality are so alien to our rulers, that the struggle for a better society cannot be delivered by such a simple reform.
The tour, featuring ex-Guantanamo detainees Sami al Haj amd Moazzam Begg, along with ex-Guantanamo guard Chris Arendt comes to Cardiff‘s Student Union Great Hall on Wednesday 4th February. (you can download the leaflet to print out and distribute). Entry is totally free, and the great hall is very large, so tell everyone you know and bring all your friends along, this is an event not to be missed. We’ll be having a stall there too, come over and say hello.
Here’s some footage of Chris Arendt from the first night of the tour: