|Victory in Court for Two SOA Watch Activists|
May 20, 2005
The government dropped charges in federal court this morning against Judith Williams and Betsy Lamb for an action they took during SOA Watch?s February Lobby Day. Early in the morning of February 22, 2005, dozens of peace activists who traveled to Washington D.C. for SOA Watch Lobby Day events gathered for a vigil at the Pentagon calling for the closure of the SOA/ WHINSEC. Judith and Betsy were arrested after they knelt down in peaceful protest and blocked the entrance to the Pentagon. Christine Lavallee was also arrested and will go on trial in July.
This was not the first arrest for either woman. In November of 1997, Judith Williams, 66, a professor of music therapy in Waukesha, WI, was arrested for crossing onto Fort Benning during the annual SOA Watch demonstration. She was convicted, served six months in federal prison and paid a $3,000 fine. Betsy was arrested for crossing onto the base during the 2003 demonstration and also served six months. Betsy ("Frances Elizabeth") Lamb, 67, lives in Jonah House in Baltimore and is a member of the national Board of Directors of Witness for Peace. She has done pastoral work in Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Monterey and the Archdioceses of San Francisco and Baltimore, and is nationally known for her workshops and materials for and about small church communities, in both English and Spanish.
Currently, eleven SOA Watch activists are serving time in federal prison for crossing onto Fort Benning last November. They need to know that you stand in solidarity with them and will work to close the SOA/ WHINSEC! You can show your support for these prisoners of conscience by writing to them in prison and by helping to spread the word about the SOA/ WHINSEC. Click here for a list of the prisoners and their addresses, and click here to learn more about other actions you can take to support those in prison today.
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