500 attend US Embassy vigil - photos

Campaign News | Wednesday, 8 October 2008

<img src="images/1vigil.jpg" alt="candlelit vigil" width="150" height="100" hspace="5" align="right" />

Five hundred people gathered for CSC’s annual candlelit vigil outside the US Embassy on Tuesday evening to call for freedom for the Miami Five and visiting rights for their wives.

The peaceful demonstration bought to a close a month of actions to mark the 10th anniversary of their arrests and step up the campaign for their freedom.

<img src="images/2.OlgaandAdrian.jpg" alt="Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez at the vigil" width="150" height="100" hspace="5" align="right" />

Present at the vigil were Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez, wives of prisoners Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernadez who have been denied visas to visit their husbands for 8 and 10 years.

A message from Olga and Adriana read out to the crowd stated:

“Dear Friends

In the name of the families of the Miami 5 we want to express our thanks one more time for all the activities that you are carrying out to

help us obtain visas to visit our husbands.”

<img src="images/3Woodley.jpg" alt="Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite on the platform with Olga and Adriana" width="150" height="100" hspace="5" align="right" />

This vigil is just one example of the value, persistence and unity of members of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign and British trade union movement on our behalf.”

The day that we are united with our husbands in Cuba and regain our happiness we will remember with gratitude all the efforts that you made to help us achieve that joy.”

We need the support you give us and one day, together with you

and with the Five, we will celebrate our victory.”

Freedom for the Five”

<img src="images/4Embassydelegation.jpg" alt="Mike Lazlett and Gerry Gonzales of the US unions SEIU and USW together with Len McCluskey joint general secretary Unite and Rob Miller CSC director leave the US Embassy after delivering the Miami 5 petition" width="150" height="100" hspace="5" align="right" />

Fourteen speakers including leading figures from British and US trade unions addressed the vigil, each one pledging to continue to work within their unions to bring justice for the five and their families.

Earlier, following a briefing at London’s Law Society in the afternoon, a delegation to the US Embassy presented 14,000 signatures calling for visiting rights for the wives to the US Political Counsellor and representatives of the US Justice Department.

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