Anonymous, the international collective of hacker activists, says it will launch a “Twitter Storm” protest during President Barack Obama’s speech concerning Guantanamo Bay and drone strikes Thursday. The protest is the latest in a campaign known as #opGTMO, a social media protest promoted by Anonymous in conjunction with advocacy groups like CODEPINK and ANSWER Coalition.
Anonymous and its followers will use the hashtag #GitmObama to send a flurry of messages about U.S. drone attacks and the Guantanamo Bay prison. Anonymous will also include the #obama hashtag that CNN will be monitoring to get Anonymous tweets shown on national television. Obama is scheduled to start the speech at 2 p.m. EST, and Anonymous plans to begin the Twitter Storm at that time.
The goal of the protest, according to the Twitter Storm package, is to “raise awareness in social media of the human rights violations going on at Guantanamo, the indefinite detention of prisoners, many of whom have been cleared for release years ago, and for irresponsible drone strikes.”
The package provides several sample tweets for users to send, such as:
Of the 4 US citizens the US admitted to killing with #drones, only one of them, Anwar al-Awlaki, was targeted. #obama
9 Myths about #drones and #Guantanamo http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/22/opinion/bergen-nine-myths-drones-gitmo/index.html #obama #gitmobama #closegitmo
Who's being tube-fed at Guantanamo -- some of them are cleared for transfer. hrld.us/10Md6U5 #GitmObama
Anonymous will also tweet several phone numbers at the White House and Pentagon, urging people to voice concerns about Guantanamo Bay and drones.
Anonymous launched #opGTMO last weekend in solidarity with a White House protest that marked 100 days of a hunger strike by prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Members of Anonymous say many groups are joining the protest, and they are simply using their online influence for “signal amplification.” Anonymous successfully got Friday’s protest as the No. 1 worldwide trend on Twitter, and Saturday’s was No . 1 In U.S. trends and No. 3 worldwide, reaching millions of people.
Obama’s speech comes a day after his administration formally acknowledged that it killed four American citizens in drone strikes outside of battlefields. In addition to addressing drones, Obama is expected to provide an update on his effort to close Guantanamo Bay amid the lengthening hunger strike that has raised human rights concerns.
Originally from Northern California, Ryan W. Neal came to New York to earn his master's in journalism from Columbia University. He joined IB Times April 2013, and is a writer...