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Home About Us Prisoners of Conscience Articles WAR RESISTERS LEAGUE SUPPORTS THE SOA 26
November 19, 2000, more than 3,600 people "crossed the line" at the former School of the Americas in Ft. Benning, Georgia, to honor the victims of SOA violence. More than 2,100 were arrested and issued five-year "ban-and-bar" letters. This was a powerful day for nonviolence, and we celebrate those many strong souls who risked arrest to end the SOA's reign of death in Latin America. (The institution's name has been changed; its purpose, training for torture and assassination, remains the same.)

Of the two thousand-plus arrestees, 26 were indicted for defying previous ban-and-bar letters. At their trial in Columbus on May 22, 2001, they will each face up to six months imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine.

The War Resisters League is proud to have been represented in Ft. Benning and proud that at least seven of the SOA 26 are active members of the League, including local activists and present and former members of the League's National Committee: David Corcoran of Illinois, Clare Hanrahan of North Carolina, Rebecca Kanner of Michigan, Joel Kilgour of Minnesota, Karl Meyer of Tennessee, and Hazel Tulecke and William Houston of Ohio. They stood up in good nonviolent tradition against the death squads and torturers, against the perpetuation of the ways of killing. They stood up to speak truth in society that wants to ignore the ugly details of injustice and death. They show by their example that Gandhi's ideal of noncooperation with injustice is very much alive in our midst, ready to unravel the fabric of government deceit. We wholeheartedly support this action and those who participated in it, and will be with them in spirit at the trial if we are not able to be there ourselves.

We encourage you to find out more about the School of the Americas Watch, which initiated the campaign to close this school of torture and death. SOA Watch can be reached at 202/234-3440 or www.soawatch.org. They can tell you more about how to get involved in this work-they can also give you information about the upcoming trial on May 22.

You can also sign onto a statement of support for those facing trial; those signing it sever their names from the indictment of "fellow citizens who by their actions … have carried forward our concerns that the U.S. Army counterinsurgency training school … should be finally and forever closed and that all other taxpayer funded institutions that train and promote military activities in violation of human rights cease operation."

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