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Amnesty International calls for action against Guantanamo detentions

The student group Amnesty International UCLA organized a performance in Bruin Plaza this afternoon in recognition of the National Day of Action Against Guantanamo.

This month marks the tenth anniversary of counter-terrorism detentions at Guantanamo. Similar demonstrations took place across the country on Wednesday.

The group members initially planned to stage a flash mob, but quickly changed the event to a small dance performance once they realized there were not enough volunteers, said the Amnesty International UCLA Chief of Staff Amy Chen, a fourth-year sociology student.

Currently, 171 people are still imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. Chen said the group wanted to highlight President Barack Obama’s recent signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows U.S. citizens to be charged or detained without bail in Guantanamo.

“It basically means Guantanamo Bay is open for business,” Chen said.

A small crowd formed in front of the Bruin Plaza stage while the group’s members performed a five-minute dance routine to the song “Where is the love?”, by the Black Eyed Peas.

The group is encouraging the UCLA community to continue the conversation through social media, specifically through the use of Twitter hashtags #closegitmo and #NDAA. Amnesty International UCLA also plans to post a video of the performance and various interviews with students on YouTube.

Check out the video above for a rough cut of the performance. What do you think of the event? Was it an effective way to mobilize action against Guantanamo? Leave a comment below or tweet us @dbmojo.

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