From: "Reclaim The Streets" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2001 00:35:08 -0400
Subject: [ColoVig] SOA - Nov.16-18 Fort Benning, GA
November 2001 Mobilization! Mark Your Calendars Now!
Fort Benning, GA: November 16-18, 2001
SHUT DOWN THE SCHOOL OF ASSASSINS!
While the right-wing agenda of the Bush administration becomes more obvious every day and the U.S. policy towards Latin America is driven by corporate interest, the repression against growing dissent tightens.
No month passes by in which we don't learn about resistance actions and massive demonstrations by compesinos, union workers, students and others in Latin America. The people are standing up against the sell out of their natural resources to U.S. and multinational corporations.
Support for a fundamental social change is also spreading throughout North America. From Seattle to DC to Quebec City, activists have been mobilizing to end socioeconomic oppression and military repression, and to speak out for the rights of those who are the victims of economic greed.
The reaction of the elite to the threat against the status quo is violence and oppression. The School of the Americas (recently renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) is playing a crucial part in this project.
The School of the Americas (SOA) is a US military training school established in Panama in 1946, ostensibly "to bring stability to Latin America." Currently located at Fort Benning, GA, the SOA, often dubbed the "School of Assassins," trains hundereds of soldiers each year, at a cost to US tax payers of millions of dollars annually. Graduates of the SOA training program have done little to promote stability in their countries. In fact, hundreds have already been cited in the rape, "disappearance," torture, and massacre of thousands of Latin Americans. Their primary targets have included educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, indigenous communities and those who speak out on behalf of the poor.
Soldiers at the SOA are trained to protect corporate interests and to maintain a system in which the few powerful and rich in the U.S. and their cohorts in Latin America are profiteering at the expense of the vast majority of the people.
SOA graduates planned and executed the civilian targeted warfare campaigns against indigenous communities in Guatemala and Chiapas. As demonstrators took to the streets in Chocobamba, Bolivia to protest the privatization of the public water system, SOA graduates in key positions ordered the military to attack the civilians. The war in Colombia is the latest highpoint of SOA violence in Latin America. More than 10,000 Colombian soldiers have been trained at the school. They continue to be cited in human rights reports for their involvement in kidnappings, torture, murder and collaboration with paramilitary groups.
A Resistance movement to challenge and change corrupt and oppressive US foreign policy and ultimately to close the School of the Americas formed after the truth about the SOA came to light. This movement, which began 10 years ago, is deeply rooted in the spirit of nonviolence and has been able to educate and empower broad sectors of society. As a result of uncompromising nonviolent Civil Resistance Actions on the US Army base, Fort Benning, 50 people have collectively been sentenced to over 40 years in federal prisons.
In May 2001, an additional 26 SOA prisoners of conscience received sentences ranging from two years probation to one year in federal prison for acts of nonviolent civil disobedience conducted in November 2000. 21 accepted voluntary self-surrender and are currently awaiting notification to report to federal prison. Three of the 26 did not accept voluntary self-surrender and are already incarcerated.
The movement is strong but we are up against a giant. The Pentagon is fighting hard to keep the school alive; to use it as their ongoing means of controlling Latin America. We need your help to keep the pressure on so that justice will prevail and dignity and freedom for all people becomes reality.
For more information about this years vigil and nonviolent civil resistance actions on the base visit: www.soaw.org/presente.html.
Alto A La Represion / Stop The Repression
Shut Down the School of Assassins - End Economic Exploitation
and Corrupt and Oppressive US Foreign Policy
Release Jailed Protesters
For more info about the SOA, resources, to view photos of previous protests and more contact
School of the Americas Watch/NE
email: SOAWatch@riseup.net ~ phone: (215) 473-2162 / (215) 477-5892
SEND ON TO ALL WHO MAY BE INTERESTED!