LennonOno Grant for Peace – Acceptance Speech Notes – PDF

2006 LennonOno Grant for Peace Acceptance Speech

Lennon ono peace award — 66 bday visa

—Yesterday evening saw the film US against John Lennon-

  1. Overwhelmed and had tears in my eyes for much of it—

Period I live thru and active in—

Partly for what we had and what we lost—and need to regain—

strong peace movement—in these difficult and dark times—here to begin that —

imagine peace—-

My daughter—here—ana—16—what she thought—

Made her want to do something big as protest—

Knows what I deal with every day—people in cages at gitmo—

Torture by our own govt—war—esp iraq—

Critical film for the young—to see—-

2—especially like seeing yoko at press conf and in the film—gave me hope—go from darkness to light—another world is possible—

words about apathy and germany in the 40s—it came so fast—must move quickly to stop it—

big picture—what the US does as most powerful country in the world affects all of us—example of light and dark—others follow—

today sadly—leading us into the dark—

if–US tortures people–how are we to stop other countries from doing so-­US disappears people– how are we to stop others —

US imprisons people indefinitely without trial—what say to other countries–­US makes aggressive war—what say to others–

It is happening fast—rights disappearing—and at some point irreversible—

Time now to end our apathy—–

  1. Tell you a little bit about why I am here and why i think we were chosen for this prize—

CCR—human rights lawyers-40 years—bill k the 60s south antiwar—

Post 9-11 took a stand when others did not—and at great risk—

Saw the dangers to fundamental rights by US administration—power it asserted-­—first people sent to gitmo we decided to represent them—called the worst of the worst—held without charges, in a human warehouse and ultimately tortured–­hate mail—pariahs—

Today, led by CCR hundreds of lawyers in the US are the lawyers for people in cages—hundreds of people, thousands of people in cages—

These are not regular prisoner—they have not had trials and sentences—-

They are the people in cages in gitmo—almost 500—law free zone—do what it wants

They are the people in cages in bagram-500 or more—where taken after gitmo—

They are the people in secret CIA detention facilities or other countries—-president insists needs—arar

They are people in cages in Iraq—

None have had trials—or been charged—

Most of their names are unknown–

Few have had lawyers—

And almost all have been tortured—

Shocked I first met my UK clients—kids–stories—all true

I am here because of my and CCR’s belief that every human being has fundamental human rights-

5 years—We are or thought we were making gains—Sisyphus–

–twice to court and twice won– cong gave — folded—

–president needs to torture people and hold without trial

–a few days ago—habeas corpus—abolishes the writ-1215—for any non-citizen—

tomorrow detain legal perm residents—john 1—disappear them—-

  1. in US at a tipping point—and if US is, so may be the world—

dark age—

our obligation is to move toward the light—-

our obligation is most of all to imagine peace—-