Students protest treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo

Jenna Staul

Protest nets only a dozen students in prisoner garb

Lauren Strohl, sophomore international relations major, participates in a demonstration against Guantanamo Bay yesterday. Strohl said she took part because it is a situation that needs attention and to raise awareness. “Action is necessary,” Strohl said.

Credit: DKS Editors

Students from Kent State’s chapter of Amnesty International briefly protested outside of the M.A.C. Center yesterday in an attempt to raise awareness about the U.S. military-operated prison Guantanamo Bay.

Though more participation was expected, a dozen members of the organization donned orange jump suits, some also cloaked in black hoods, and handed out literature about the controversial detention center to interested students. The group also took signatures for a petition that it will send to President Bush regarding Guantanamo Bay.

“It’s a detention center in Cuba where we’re holding all of these people and not giving them access to lawyers,” Sarah O’Connell, junior international relations major, said. “We’re spending all of these tax dollars and breaking all kinds of international laws and national laws.”

O’Connell, who was obtaining signatures from students, said many students do not understand the nature of what goes on in Guantanamo Bay.

“There are a lot of misconceptions,” O’Connell said. “It’s a complicated issue to understand, but this is the first step.”

Protester Michelle Luscre, a sophomore English major, crafted a hand-written sign that featured the name of each prisoner who has served time in Guantanamo.

“One of the things I learned when I was doing it was that only one person who has served there has actually been charged,” Luscre said.

Luscre said that despite receiving some negative responses from onlookers, she felt that the event went smoothly.

“This morning people were heckling us,” Luscre said. “Unfortunately, you can’t expect everyone to take you seriously.”

Contact student politics reporter Jenna Staul at [email protected].