|At Trials' End, Eleven Peacemakers Are Headed to Federal Prison|
SOA Watch Update
Trial Log #3 ? from Columbus, GA
January 26, 2005
Judge Faircloth sentenced six more of the ?SOA 14? yesterday and today, bringing to 11 the total number of activists ordered to serve prison terms of three to six months and to pay fines of up to $500. Each of the defendants was on trial for acts of nonviolent civil disobedience calling for the closure of the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC). The two high school students in the group were given deferred sentences, and another defendant was sentenced to one year of probation with a $1,000 fine.
The fourteen people that were on trial before Judge G. Mallon Faircloth this week range in age from 16 to 79. The group includes a chaplain, a farmworker, a Maryknoll nun, a Steelworker, two retirees and several students. They were all arrested on Sunday, November 21 for ?crossing the line? onto Fort Benning, Georgia to call for the closure of SOA/ WHINSEC, a combat training facility for Latin American security personnel.
Each defendant opted to self-report to prison and will now wait for a letter from the Bureau of Prisons notifying them of the date when and prison to which they must report. Past defendants have received notice from the BoP anywhere from six to twelve weeks after their trials.
These defendants will spend the next months spreading the word about the School of the Americas by doing media outreach, speaking to churches, synagogues and peace and justice organizations in their communities and lobbying their Members of Congress.
Many are already making their plans to be in DC on February 21-22 for the SOA Watch Legislative Action Days. One of the most important ways that you can support the SOA 14 is to join them in DC! Meet with your Member of Congress, tell them about these peacemakers headed to prison and ask them to support legislation to close the SOA/ WHINSEC.
Click here to read more about this year?s defendants and how you can support them.
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