Monday, November 30, 2009

Poems from Guantanamo - Thurs., Dec. 3

The MCC Student Peace Action Network, Pax Christi and the McHenry County Peace Coalition will sponsor a program this week, featuring Marc Falkoff, professor of criminal law at Northern Illinois University. The program will be Thursday, December 3rd, 7:00PM, at the MCC Conference Center.

POEMS FROM GUANTANAMO: "Where is the world to save us from torture?"

SPEAKER: MARC D. FALKOFF, Ph.D., Brandeis University, American Literature; J.D., Columbia Law School

Professor Falkoff teaches criminal law at NIU. Since 2004 he has been a principal lawyer in the habeas representation of seventeen prisoners being held by the U.S. military at Guantánamo Bay on suspicion of involvement with terrorism. For this work, he was named the Charles F. C. Ruff Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year in 2005. He received the Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award in 2007 from the Southern Center for Human Rights and in 2008 was the recipient of the Bill of Rights in Action Award from the Constitutional Rights Foundation in Chicago.

Dr. Falkoff writes and speaks frequently about the rule of law in the context of the war on terror. The book of prisoner poetry he edited, "Poems from Guantánamo: The Detainees Speak", was a bestselling anthology translated into a dozen languages. Abused, desperate and isolated, Guantánamo prisoners turned to writing poetry as a way to preserve their humanity. Despite the Pentagon's efforts to suppress the poems, Marc Falkoff and a dedicated group of pro bono lawyers succeeded in giving the detainees a voice. He will discuss the torture the prisoners suffered, the false information elicited, the disarray of evidentiary files, and the telling resignations of key military prosecutors. According to Dr. Falkoff, a very real problem exists, "politics rather than principle reigns at Guantánamo." As concerned American citizens, we can learn what action we can take to demand accountability and redress of grievances. Following the program, he will be available to sign books.

For further information contact Molly at or at 815.943.7611

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