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Home About Us Prisoners of Conscience
Prisoners of Conscience

ImagePrison witness has been a core element of the SOA Watch movement since its beginning. In the tradition of Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr., Aung San Suu Kyi and countless others, SOA Watch activists have used peaceful, nonviolent resistance to expose the horrors of the SOA/ WHINSEC and to express solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Latin America.

As a result, 245 SOA Watch human rights defenders have collectively spent over 100 years in prison. Fifty-one people have served probation sentences. Their sacrifice and steadfastness in the struggle for peace and justice provide an extraordinary example of love in action and have given tremendous momentum to the effort to change oppressive US foreign policy and to close the SOA/ WHINSEC.

SOA Watch is proud to be a movement of people who speak out for justice!  With our minds and our bodies we will close the SOA and put an end to US militarization in the Americas!

328 acts of civil disobedience that drew sentences
300 different people sentenced for CD
Over 101.5 years of prison time sentenced
53.5 years of probation and home confinement time sentenced
$223,150 of fines issued
6,900+ community service hours sentenced

274 prison sentences served by 245 different individuals
51 probation sentences served by 51 different individuals
4 home confinement sentences served by 4 different individuals

Writing to Prisoners of Conscience is a great way to express your solidarity and learn about why we continue to go to jail for justice - click here for some tips on how to write to prisoners of conscience.

  • 2012   ( 9 Articles )

    On Sunday, November 18, 2012, Nashua Chantal, of Americus, Georgia, used a ladder to cross onto Ft Benning property to protest the continued training os soldiers at the School of the Americas. This is Nashua's second time crossing; he first crossed in 2004 and spent 3 months in prison.

    On March 13, Nashua was sentenced to 6 months in federal prison by Judge Stephen Hyles, highlighting the political nature of the trials with the imposition of the maximum allowable sentence. We will continue to speak out for justice!

    Nash was transferred to FCI Jesup in his home state of Georgia in May of 2013. He was released on September 11, 2013.

  • 2011 Prisoner of Conscience   ( 5 Articles )
    On Sunday, November 20, 2011, Theresa Cusimano of Kissimmee; Florida, carried on the nonviolent direct action campaign by crossing onto Fort Benning. She was sentenced on January 13 to 6 months in prison by Judge Stephen Hyles. On July 11, 2012, she was released from FMC Carswell in Texas.

  • 2010 - SOA 4   ( 12 Articles )

    On Saturday, November 20th, 2010, two human rights activists - Nancy Smith and Fr. Louis Vitale - crossed the line onto Ft. Benning via a highway ramp to call attention to the continued atrocities of US-funded graduates of the SOA/WHINSEC.

    The next day, November 21st, two more activists, Michael David Omondi and Christopher Spicer, jumped over the barbed-wire fence containing the SOA/WHINSEC.

  • 2009 - SOA 4   ( 6 Articles )
    Nancy Gwin, Ken Hayes, Fr. Louis Vitale and Michael Walli - the 2009 ‘SOA 4’ - were arrested by the military during the 2009 November Vigil, when they crossed onto Fort Benning to carry our message that the School of the Americas must be closed onto the base.
  • 2008 - SOA 6   ( 6 Articles )
    On January 26, 2009, six human rights advocates appeared in a federal courthouse in Georgia. The "SOA 6," ranging in age from 21 to 68, were found "guilty" of carrying the protest against the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) onto the Fort Benning military base in November of 2008.
  • 2007 - SOA 11   ( 14 Articles )
    On November 18, 2007, eleven human rights activists were arrested after carrying the protest to close the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) onto the Fort Benning Military Reservation.
  • 2006 - SOA 16   ( 28 Articles )
    On November 19, 2006, sixteen human rights activists were arrested after carrying the protest to close the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) onto the Fort Benning Military Reservation.
  • 2005 - SOA 37   ( 2 Articles )
    On November 21, 2005, 40 people were arrested for acts of civil disobedience calling for the closure of the School of the Americas. Three of these people, Donna Coustantineau, Wendy Dwyer and Mike Murphy, were arrested by Columbus City Police, held overnight in jail, charged with "failure to disperse," found guilty and sentenced to time served and a $200 fine. Thirty-seven were arrested by military police.
  • 2004 - SOA 14   ( 3 Articles )
    On November 21, 2004, fifteen people took nonviolent action to close the SOA/ WHINSEC by crossing onto Fort Benning.
  • 2003 - SOA 45   ( 8 Articles )
    Forty-five people were arrested for crossing the line into Ft. Benning to protest the SOA/WHINSEC.
  • 2002 - SOA 86   ( 15 Articles )
    Most of the eighty-six non-violent social justice activists who were arrested during the protest against the School of the Americas/WHISC in November, 2002 went to trial from January 21st - February 12th, 2003.
  • 2001 - SOA 43   ( 24 Articles )
    A federal prosecutor filed charge against 43 SOA Watch activists who were among 10,000 who gathered in November 2001 to call for the closure to the School of the Americas/Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Charges against six of the 43 were dropped. Thirty-seven stood trial. one defendant was found not guilty, while all others received sentences ranging from six months of probation to six month in prison.
  • Pre-2001 info   ( 1 Article )
    Starting from August, 1983, when three activists - Fr. Roy Bourgeois, Linda Ventimiglia and Fr. Larry Rosenbaugh - scaled a tree next to the El Salvadoran troop barracks at the SOA and with a boombox blasted Archbishop Oscar Romero’s last homily into the night.
  • Articles   ( 48 Articles )
  • Court Statements   ( 63 Articles )

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SOA Watch
733 Euclid Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

phone: 202-234-3440
email: info@soaw.org