Vigil to Close SOA/WHINSEC

The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship will join thousands of solidarity activists, torture survivors, union workers, people of faith, students, immigrants, veterans and others this November at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia to take a stand for justice, to close the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) and to resist U.S. militarization.

Time (Again) for Presbyterians to Go to Ft. Benning

by Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Director of Colombia Programs

Fellowship of Reconciliation’s John Lindsay-Poland has written a new and excellent article in NACLA, the North American Congress on Latin America: Beyond the Drug War: The Pentagon’s Other Operations in Latin America. In it he details data from the Global Commission on Drug Policy which has found in their latest report that the US military continues to use the language of “War on Drugs” to mask ongoing and increasing training programs, base building operations, and deployments, some of which would not be legally permitted on US soil.

Take Action to close SOA/WHINSEC

Urge your representative to sign onto the "Dear Colleague" letter to close the SOA/WHINSEC:

Click here to learn more

27 Human Rights Activists Arrested at the White House for Nonviolent Direct Action

Kevin Moran arrested as part of Nonviolent action calling for Closure of SOA/WHINSEC.
(Photo by Ted Majdosz)

Nonviolent action calls for Closure of the School of the Americas and an End to U.S. Militarization

By Hendrik Voss, SOA Watch

White House, Washington, D.C. - On Sunday, April 10, 27 human rights activists were arrested in front of the White House when they staged a die-in on the White House sidewalk to call attention to thousands of Latin Americans who were murdered by graduates of the U.S. Army School of the Americas. Kevin Moran, a Presbyterian Peace Fellowship National Committee member from Atlanta, Georgia, was among those arrested, as was Father Roy Bourgeois, founder of SOA Watch. The die-in followed a march of hundreds of human rights activists to the White House. The march included torture survivors, union workers, educators and students from across the Americas. Marchers carried banners, flags and large puppets, including a 14-foot tall Mother of the Disappeared with them to the White House.

Photos of the march, the nonviolent direct action and the arrests will be available on the SOA Watch webpage www.SOAW.org soon.

Federal Judge sentences SOA Watch activists to six months in prison

Two more activists, Nancy Smith and Chris Spicer, were given maximum sentences by a Federal Judge for trespassing onto the grounds of Fort Benning, home of WHINSEC, during the SOA protest last November.

The following announcement is from SOA Watch:

Once again, the justice system's complicity with the abuses taught at the School of the Americas was exposed yesterday at the trial of anti-militarization activists Nancy Smith and Chris Spicer. Nancy, from New York, changed her plea to no contest and was immediately sentenced to 6 months in prison by Magistrate Judge Stephen Hyles. In the SOA Watch tradition of using the court to put a spotlight on the SOA/WHINSEC, Nancy affirmed that she “felt a strong moral imperative” to carry out her nonviolent act of civil disobedience “on behalf of those who have suffered so terribly”.

Reflection on the 2010 SOA Witness

by Rick Ufford-Chase

There are a number of reasons that I’ve returned to Columbus, GA, so many times over the last fifteen years to participate in the witness and vigil to close the School of the Americas.

26 People Arrested and Held in County Jail on Mulitple Charges

Thousands Converge at the gates of Fort Benning for 20th Anniversary of November Vigil to Close the SOA

From SOA Watch

Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Action Followed by Indiscriminate Arrests and Targeting of Journalists. Among those arrested by Columbus Police were three Journalists, including TV News Crew from RT America and Unrelated Bystanders.

Vigil to Close SOA/WHINSEC

On November 19 - 21, thousands of people will converge on Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia to pressure Congress and the White House to close the "School of Americas" training facility.

The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship will be there! Plan to join us for educational (and fun!) workshops and the deeply moving Sunday morning vigil. We have reserved a block of rooms, and are arranging transportation from the Atlanta airport for those arriving Friday morning and leaving Monday afternoon.

Plan to attend the Presbyterian Breakfast on Saturday, November 20, from 7 - 9 a.m. at the Holiday Inn North, where we will enjoy fellowship with Presbyterians from around the country. The cost is $10 for a full breakfast ($5 students), and reservations are required.

Give Now to Help Presbyterian College Students’ Peacemaking Efforts

A group of college students from the PCUSA’s College of Wooster need financial help to attend the national November Vigil to Close the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly known as the School of the Americas) in Georgia. Two PCUSA General Assemblies have called for the closing of the school because of its sad history of training officers who have led military coups, death squads, assassination of religious leaders and other human rights abuses. The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship (PPF) has established a fund to assist these college students’ travel and lodging expenses to participate in this peacemaking action.