Protestors ask Missouri McCaskill, Blunt to close Guantanamo Bay

The protestors dressed in orange jumpsuits.

Jeff Stack noticed that the rain was letting up as he pulled a hood made from a gray jacket over his face and put on an orange jumpsuit with “jailbird” on the back.

Stack, coordinator for Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation, and three others dressed as Guantanamo Bay prisoners were led along the sidewalk to the office of Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

The group of 10 protestors gathered at the Wabash Bus Station on Thursday to ask that Guantanamo Bay be closed.

Guantanamo Bay is a U.S. prison in Cuba where detainees can be held indefinitely. Nearly 100 of its inmates began a hunger strike recently.

The protestors walked to McCaskill’s office, where they told an aide why the prison should be closed. Thursday marked the 91st day of the prisoners’ hunger strike. Steve Jacobs, who was also with the Fellowship of Reconciliation, said the government was failing to care for its prisoners.

“They just don’t care about the people who were put into prison,” Jacobs said.

He also believes the CIA paid warlords to round up those detained.

“We assume the warlords just picked up people because it was easy money,” Jacobs said.

Eighty-six prisoners have been cleared for release. However, they remain in prison. Jacobs said he wanted McCaskill to speak up about this.

“I’d love to see Senator McCaskill come out and talk about this and (Sen. Roy Blunt, R- Mo.), too,” Stack said.

There will be more incidents like the Times Square bombing and the Boston Marathon bombings if the prison is kept open, Jacobs said.

“We’re creating more enemies. At some point people are going to lash out,” Jacobs said.

The protestors also addressed the hunger strike. Participating prisoners are being kept alive with feeding tubes.

“To force feed them, to me, is torture,” Shari Korthuis said. “It’s wrong, and I can’t believe nobody has stood up against it. It’s unconstitutional. It’s unconstitutional to its core.”

The group said releasing the prisoners who have been cleared might end the hunger strike.

The protestors then walked to Sen. Roy Blunt’s office, where they repeated their argument to an aide.

“Our concern is that we do the right thing,” protestor Paul Lehmann, of Fayette, Mo., said.

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