Orange Wednesday for Amnesty

Deputy News Editor 21 February 2008

Nearly 200 student volunteers donned orange jumpsuits yesterday afternoon to raise awareness of human rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay.

177 students and 11 academics took part in the event as part of Amnesty’s campaign on Terrorism, Security and Human Rights.

The jumpsuit-wearers were granted exclusive access to King’s College front lawn to assemble in the shape of the Amnesty International candle, a symbol of the protest against human rights violations in the war on terror.

National newspapers turned up to take photos of the protestors.

Mischa Foxell, the Chair of Cambridge University Amnesty International, told The Cambridge Student (TCS):

“We hope that every student in Cambridge saw one of our orange jumpsuit wearers and that this made them stop and think for a moment about the terrible abuses taking place in illegal detention centres all over the world.

“Forcing people into jumpsuits is just one of the ways their abusers try to dehumanise them.”

Participants also carried with them a petition addressed to American President, George Bush, asking for the closure of all illegal detention camps.

Molly Warrington, Fellow of Homerton College and Director of Studies for Geography, said: “That Bush can defend waterboarding and Guantanamo Bay, and still claim that the US still occupies the moral high ground, leaves me absolutely speechless.”

“I feel that the ‘war on terror’ has led to an erosion of human rights, which is deeply regrettable and urgently needs to be reversed” said Dr Lucy Delap, Fellow and Director of Studies for History at St. Catharine’s College.

And Lucy Johnson, member of the Campaign Organising Committee said:

“People are recognising what the participants are protesting against.

“As a result, we hope that more people are starting to think about civil and human rights.”

Noor Al-Bazzaz

Deputy News Editor