Tag Archives | SOA

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

26 PEOPLE ARRESTED AND HELD IN THE COUNTY JAIL ON MULTIPLE CHARGES

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.

Thousands of human rights activists, torture survivors, veterans, faith-based communities, union workers, students, musicians and others from across the Americas are gathered today at the gates of the U.S. military base Fort Benning to call for the closure of the School of the Americas (renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation).

Following the SOA Watch rally, human rights activists brought their nonviolent witness to close the SOA into the street leading onto the military base. The activists briefly shut down the road with a large sign that said, “Stop: This is the End of the Road for the SOA.” Their action is part of a longstanding tradition of creative civil disobedience to call attention to the atrocities committed by graduates of the School of the Americas. 10-12 people were arrested, and others charged, including the 90-year old Jesuit priest Bill Brennan, and ordained Catholic priest Janice Sevre-Duszynska.

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Congress Approves Release of SOA/WHINSEC Names But Serious Concerns Remain

Close the SOA Partial Legislative Victory!

by SOA Watch
October 8, 2009

For the first time in the history of the SOA Watch Legislative Campaign, the U.S. Congress has approved legislative language opposing the negative practices and secrecy at the School of the Americas (SOA), now renamed WHINSEC. Congratulations and thanks go to all who worked so hard this year to achieve victory! SOA Watch is encouraged and hopeful about the outcome, however serious concerns remain.

On June 25, 2009, the House of Representatives approved an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill by a vote of 224 – 190 that required the Pentagon to release information about students and instructors at the SOA/ WHINSEC. This language was not passed by the Senate, so for the past three months, human rights advocates embarked on a multi-level pressure campaign to ensure the House-Senate conference committee included the amendment language in the final version of the bill. It was the second year in a row that the House passed this amendment by a wide margin, giving hope to many that the practice of secrecy at the SOA/WHINSEC would finally end this year.

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