rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

My heart aches for Omar Khadr

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

My heart was breaking this morning reading the report on Omar Khadr's decision to fire his lawyers in protest over the horrors he is being subject to in what he considers to be a rigged trial. "He is a young man who has lost all faith in the process," said Dennis Edney, one of his Canadian lawyers. And no wonder. Tortured as a teenager, imprisoned without conviction for years, the sole remaining prisoner in the disgraced Guantanamo Bay prison camp, and still there even after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that his rights were violated. And now the ultimate indignity of being faced by his torturers, one of whom boasted to the court "that he terrified teenage prisoners by telling them they would be gang-raped to death by 'four big black guys' unless they confessed."

Omar Khadr is using the only power he has to resist, the power of refusal. After the nightmarish testimony of his abusers, he refused to attend the trial any further and now he has fired his lawyers not so much to delay the process as to shine a light on the injustices being heaped upon him. His action reminds me of the heroine of the novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo who is massively and brutally abused by every level of the system only to emerge so strong and skillful she is practically a super hero.

I am hopeful that Omar Khadr will emerge from this nightmare as a strong and powerful figure along the lines of Nelson Mandela. On Saturday, I will MC a rally for civil liberties in Canada in face of the police state established to protect the G20 rulers. There is no single Canadian whose civil liberties have been more violated than Omar Khadr. Let's add his name to the demands of the mobilizations around the G20. In any case I will give a shout out for him on Saturday, for his suffering and for his courage and dignity in face of the most unimaginable abuse and horror.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.