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QUIT Consultation Meeting -Nov 11 & 12 Durham NC Envision the Future

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Dear Friend,

Can Quakers help end US-sponsored torture, and bring accountability for such practices?

Did we make a difference on slavery? The rights of women?

Yes.

But as with abolition and suffrage, ending torture won't be easy or quick.

And as this history shows, a quality Quaker contribution depends ultimately on whether a small, dedicated group of Friends will take up this concern and stick with it.

Are you one of those Friends? Do you think you might be?

If so, please join a special consultation on November 11-12, sponsored by QUIT, the Quaker Initiative to end Torture. There we will work together to find out, and continue the work.

The situation with official torture today is that it is rampant in US prisons, and very likely going on overseas behind a veil of military & intelligence secrecy. It's also being flaunted in "victory laps" by the architects of Abu Ghraib & the "black sites" -- and the American public is being told to accept and forget about all of it.

In Washington, Congress is silent. The White House backs impunity. The courts are closed to the victims. Stalemate.

In other countries afflicted by official torture (Chile, Argentina), a small, dogged opposition refused the forgetting and acceptance, until the wall of impunity finally cracked and accountability began in earnest.

Similarly, in the US today the few challenging voices are scattered and marginal. The dissenters are persistent "peculiar people" who decline to "go with the flow" of the manipulated mainstream.

People like Quakers.

QUIT has been at work since 2005. We've held several conferences, visited Monthly and Yearly Meetings, kept up a website, published an accountability pamphlet. All on a shoestring, all volunteer. We have refused to be silent, to forget, or accept.

And we haven't given up.

In the grand scheme of things, QUIT's efforts don't amount to much.

Yet compared with the deathly silences echoing through the halls of law and government, these few voices matter.

But to keep up this long work, QUIT needs more Friends to join its steering committee. Friends like you.

We'll gather on November 11 at Durham Friends Meeting in North Carolina to assess where we've been, and plan how to keep it going.

Will you join us?

For details, contact Chuck Fager at: chuckfager@aol.com, or call him at: 910-323-3912

Our current schedule:

Friday afternoon, November 11 -- Gather at Durham Friends Meeting

Dinner and a celebration with North Carolina Stop Torture Now of its six years of front-line anti-torture work (Find out more about NCSTN at: http://ncstoptorturenow.org/ ) NCSTN has set the pace for local-regional accountability work; there is literally no other group that compares. We will have a special opportunity to learn about what they've been doing, and how they've kept going.

Saturday we'll spend some time learning more about Stop Torture Now's work, then turn to QUIT's efforts, and undertake focused discernment on how we can move forward. The session will finish by late afternoon Saturday November 12.

This consultation will be a simple, no-frills event. We'll be arranging hospitality for attenders from a distance; we'll ask for a $25 donation to cover meals and incidentals.

Friends from the Durham area are welcome to sit in on the sessions; but please note that it will be a working meeting, and those who attend will likely be asked to take up various tasks.

- - - - - - - - - -

Here's the Things to Do list -- By All Means Add to it

Quaker House
Front-Line Peace Witness Since 1969
223 Hillside Avenue 910-323-3912 Fayetteville NC 28301
qpr@quaker.org www.quakerhouse.org



Some Suggestions for Torture Accountability Work
For Asheville Stop Torture Now -- September 6, 2009

-- STUDY! There's much to learn about the American "Torture Industrial Complex" (TIC), its extent, history, and danger to our lives and community (as well as the world). Also, equip yourselves to refute apologists for torture, who are noisy and active. A beginning reading-links list is at: http://www.ncstoptorturenow.net/resourcesreading.html

-- Get familiar with the many NC torture connections.

-- Learn about how psychologists and health care professionals have been complicit; call for accountability in these professions.

-- Keep the issue in the public eye and community discussion. Some ways to do this:

-- Write OpEds for area papers. (700 words max).

-- Letters to the Editors of area papers: keep a steady stream of them coming!

-- Arrange interviews for visiting accountability activists with are media.

-- Make presentations to area church and other groups.

-- Gather signatures on petitions for accountability to pass on to officials.

-- Periodic public vigils (E.g., for ìTorture Migration Day,î Sept. 16),

-- If a notorious torture supporter comes to town, protest!

-- Do research to uncover TIC connections in your area. Publicize your findings.

-- Work with other groups: e.g., western NC ACLU chapter.

-- "Adopt" a Gitmo prisoner.

-- Pester public officials about taking ACTION on accountability, including:

-- State officials, governor, Attorney General, SBI.

-- Members of Congress from Western NC. (They probably won't do much -- but get it on their agendas! Show up for public appearances.)

-- US Senators Hagan & Burr. (Ditto!)

-- Monitor accountability work at the national/international levels.

-- When torture defenders come to or near your town, protest!

-- Be Creative! Think of new things to do!

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