Coss endorsed, and the rest of the Santa Fe City Council supported, a resolution in support of the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, which falls tomorrow, June 26.
So light a candle.
Better yet, go to some of this weekend's anti-torture events, organized by a coalition of groups including the New Mexico Conference Churches, Santa Fe Veterans for Peace, Temple Beth Shalom, local Quakers and the ACLU-NM.
On Saturday evening, June 27, they'll screen Taxi to the Dark Side, a must-see documentary about "extraordinary rendition" and torture, at the CCA Cinematheque. Showtime is 8:15 pm. Investigative journalist and author Mark Danner will introduce the film. It'll be worth going just to hear what he has to say.
Then on Sunday at 5 pm, anti-torture activist, author and former New Mexican Charlie Clements will speak at the Unitarian church in Santa Fe.
Press release and more event details after the cut.
National, state, local groups mark Torture Awareness Month with demand for end to U.S.-sponsored torture
An interfaith group of local, state, and national organizations is sponsoring a series of events this weekend to highlight the international commemoration of Torture Awareness Month and to support the nationwide call for an end to U.S.-sponsored torture.
The featured events are:
On Saturday, June 27, beginning at 8:15 p.m., a special screening of the award-winning documentary Taxi to the Dark Side will be held at the Center for Contemporary Arts Cinematheque, 1050 Old Pecos Trail (behind the Armory for the Arts).
On Sunday, June 28, beginning at 5 p.m., Charlie Clements, a prominent anti-torture advocate, will be the keynote speaker at a special Community Gathering at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe, 107 Barcelona Road (corner of Barcelona and Galisteo). Clements is president of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, an international human rights organization based in Cambridge, Mass.
The weekend events are being organized by leading anti-torture organizations that include the New Mexico Conference of Churches (NMCC) in partnership with Santa Fe Veterans for Peace, Temple Beth Shalom, Santa Fe Friends Meeting, ACLU-NM, and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC).
Santa Fe's observance is part the nationwide commemoration of United Nations Torture Awareness Month and Survivors' Week, June 23-29, that includes a number of vigils, demonstrations, and other events in Washington, D.C. The weekend events are being conducted in collaboration with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), of which UUSC is a founding member and NMCC is its New Mexico affiliate.
To kick off the month the Santa Fe City Council unanimously approved a Resolution Supporting June 26 as the United Nations International Day In Support of Victims of Torture. The resolution was sponsored by Mayor David Coss.
The Saturday film showing in Santa Fe will include an introduction by Mark Danner, a nationally recognized investigative journalist and author who has written extensively on the use of torture during the Bush administration. His books include The Secret Way to War: The Downing Street Memo and the Iraq War's Buried History (2006), Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib and the War on Terror (2004).
Following the screening there will be a discussion with the audience on how they can get involved with the local and national efforts of Veterans for Peace, ACLU, UUSC, and NRCAT on the call for a Commission of Inquiry.
The Sunday event will begin with a showing of the 1985 Academy Award-winning short subject documentary Witness to War, based on Clements' book by the same title. U.S. Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico and Mayor Coss have been invited to attend or issue statements.
Dr. Clements, who also is a public health physician, is president of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, an international human rights organization based in Cambridge, Mass. UUSC is one of more than 25 leading interfaith religious groups that have endorsed NRCAT's call for a Commission of Inquiry into the authorization of torture by the Bush administration.
“As we move to help restore our nation's reputation, we urge all of our political leaders to take strong measure to ensure a thorough and independent investigation marked by Truth, full disclosure, and accountability,” said Clements. “It is not enough simply to promise to stop doing what we know is immoral and illegal. We must show that we mean it when we say ‘never again' by making public the full story.”
Clements' book Witness to War and the documentary film covers his life-transforming experiences as a U.S. Air Force officer in Vietnam. He was discharged in 1970 after refusing to fly combat missions in support of the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, and he subsequently worked in the early 1980s as a physician in El Salvador during that country's civil war. He lived and worked in New Mexico from 1993 to 2003 assisting rural communities without running water or sewer to construct such badly needed infrastructure.