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Caroline Collins
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Dramatic Ending for Global Day of Action Against Torture Waterboarding Challenge

COLUMBUS, OH – A collaborative protest against torture, the brainchild of The Anti-Media’s Derrick Broze, took place in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, January 31, 2015. This event was not just a protest; it included the waterboarding of two informed, consenting volunteers.

One of the volunteers was Justin King, a writer for The Anti-Media. A younger man known only as “Zach” went first, and managed to grin and give Justin a thumbs-up before it was Justin’s turn to lie on the inclined plank. Justin was to be subjected to a less contrived, more realistic session than Zach’s. In his own words:

I felt the wet cloth hit my face and tried to focus on remembering the sensations I was about to feel. The second the water filled my nose and mouth, all I could remember was wanting to get up. The instinctual desire to not drown is not something that can be overcome by mind over matter. Even though this was a controlled scenario, panic was at the edge of my mind.

The demonstration came to a halt when an Ohio State Police officer arrived. The officer yelled to those assembled that the demonstration was a danger to Justin’s life. To Justin, this was ironic. The US government and the governments of other nations consider waterboarding and other types of torture perfectly acceptable and fully legal, yet here was a police officer stating that it could be lethal and must be stopped.

Justin’s motivation for undergoing waterboarding was to keep the public eye focused on the torture program employed by the United States government. In his words, “The media seems to focus on waterboarding because the American people have already accepted it. The fact is that the program includes sodomy.” Prison conditions amounting to torture exist throughout the United States and around the world, as well; another purpose of Global Day of Action Against Torture was to draw attention to the treatment of incarcerated persons here and abroad.

Also present for the Global Day of Action Against Torture were Unite Ohio, PANDA (People Against the NDAA), and The Solutions Institute, the first no-cost consulting firm for activists, which held a roundtable discussion. Derrick Broze and Justin King are advisors to The Solutions Institute.

Justin King’s complete account of the experience can be found on The Anti-Media. The video can be seen here.

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