Protest action against Guantanamo:
ethecon-Prize laureate Diane Wilson climbs over the fence of the White House
The first positive prize of ethecon - Foundation Ethics & Economics, International ethecon Blue Planet Award was awarded to the U.S. environmental and political activist Diane Wilson in 2006. Now the co-founder of the organization, „Code Pink - Women for Peace,“ has climbed over the White House fence after 57 days on hunger strike to urge President Obama to close the prison camp at Guantanamo and end U.S. torture.
With this act of civil disobedience on June 26, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the 63-year-old Wilson focused public attention on a campaign promise Barack Obama has still not fulfilled: to close Guantanamo within a year of taking office and to put an end to the intolerable conditions on the site. Since 2002 prisoners in the „war on terror“ have been held there as „enemy combatants“ without charges brought against them or due process. This detention violates both the Geneva Conventions and the Constitution of the United States. Several prisoners have now been classified as „not dangerous,“ but have still not yet been released. Also, the detention conditions themselves violate human rights. Some prisoners are held in permanent solitary confinement. The practice of torture methods range from sleep deprivation to „waterboarding“, an „interrogation technique“ in which the tortured person feels like they are drowning. Since April, many of the prisoners have been on hunger strike in protest.
When Diane Wilson, as a Guantánamo detainee dressed in an orange jumpsuit, following a joint protest of Code Pink, Amnesty International and other organizations, climbed over the fence of Obama‚s official residence, she was immediately arrested by the Secret Service. Since then she was released and has ended her own hunger strike. On 23 July, she will be charged with „trespassing.“ Because of the wide range of protest actions she has participated in, she has been put on trial several times already. Among other things, because as a fourth-generation fisher living on the Gulf of Mexico, Wilson loudly demanded during the Senate hearing of the former British Petroleum CEO Tony Hayward in 2010, accusing him of responsibility for the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
„On June 26, 2013, in Washington Diane Wilson proved that she had justly received the International ethecon Blue Planet Award. Without regard to her personal safety and comfort she has taken a position against the blatant injustice at Guantánamo,“ explained ethecon officer Axel Köhler Schnura. „Her tireless and selfless commitment to human rights, environmental protection, peace and social justice compels us offer her new respect. What she has done, she has done in our name. We thank her for her bold and courageous action.“
ethecon is primarily known for the annual award of the International ethecon Blue or Black Planet Award in Berlin. With the positive prizes, ethecon in recent years honored Diane Wilson / USA (2006), Vandana Shiva / India (2007), José Abreu and Hugo Chávez / Venezuela (2008), Uri Avnery / Israel (2009), Elias Bierdel / Austria ( 2010), Angela Davis / USA (2011) and Jean Ziegler / Switzerland (2012). The ethecon negative prizes, however, each reviled individually named managers and shareholders of the corporations MONSANTO / USA (2006), NESTLÉ / Switzerland (2007), BLACKWATER (XE) / USA (2008), FORMOSA PLASTICS GROUP / Taiwan (2009), BP / Great Britain (2010), TEPCO / Japan (2011) and GLENCORE / Switzerland (2012).
This year‘s award ceremony of the positive and negative prizes will take place at an ethecon meeting on November 16, 2013, in Berlin.
In contrast to the many corporate, family, church, party and state foundations, ethecon is one of the few foundations run „from below,“ which with its current 38 supporters and the motto „For a world without exploitation and oppression,“ sees its responsibility towards future generations. The fledgling foundation is financed through donations, donations and memberships.