In a show of coalition-building and campus unity, on May 7th the YAL chapter at UCLA decided to bring attention to our Generation of War by joining forces with Amnesty International.
Earlier this month, the Guantanamo Bay prisoners’ hunger strike was brought to our attention, and immediately we found a willing group in Amnesty International to hold an event together. Using our activism grant and Amnesty’s own resources, we made signs highlighting the costs and injustices of the status quo at Guantanamo Bay, informed interested passersby about the lack of fair trials and force-feeding of detainees at the prison, and even sported orange jumpsuits for enhanced visual effect!
After briefing them on the stories of some individuals being held without trial, we found that most, if not all, of the students we talked to were more than willing to sign our petitions to fairly try these prisoners. In the end, the event was a great success: by working with another on-campus group on a issue that many agree on, our chapter not only reached out to more people through engaged activism, but also spread the word about our own organization as well.
Overall, a win for human rights and a win for YAL!