Trial Update - Remembering Jolie Rickman Print
SOA Watch Update
Trial Log #1
January 21, 2005

1. Trial Update from Columbus, Georgia
2. In Remembrance of Jolie Rickman



1. TRIAL UPDATE FROM COLUMBUS, GEORGIA

Those arrested during the November 2004 Vigil to Close the SOA/ WHINSEC have gathered together here in Columbus with the SOA Watch Legal Collective and many supporters for several days of sharing, media outreach and trial preparation.

On Monday, January 24 fourteen people ? including two high school students ? will begin federal trials for their acts of nonviolent civil disobedience calling for closure of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly SOA). The fourteen were among the more than 16,000 of you who gathered on November 20-21 at Fort Benning to say no to the repression that WHINSEC represents.

Fifteen people crossed onto Fort Benning that Sunday; they were quickly arrested and charged with trespass. [One ?repeat? line crosser, Ed Lewinson, was not charged]. Many of you witnessed some of these brave peacemakers negotiating a 10-foot-high barbed-wire fence to enter the base. The fifteen took this action despite knowing they likely face three to six months in federal prison. Since protests against the SOA/ WHINSEC began fourteen years ago, more than 170 people have served prison sentences of up to two years for civil disobedience.

The defendants will appear on Monday before Judge G. Mallon Faircloth. Judge Faircloth is known for handing down stiff sentences to opponents of the SOA/ WHINSEC, often imposing the maximum of six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

In addition, two of the three people arrested on state charges during the November vigil appeared in court today. Roger Scholl, arrested for wearing a mask, pled no contest and was released with a fine. Another, John Redmond, arrested for violating the barricades, entered a plea of not guilty and will soon be notified of a trial date. The third Columbus arrestee, Patrick O?Neill, will appear in court next Friday.

Continue to check the SOA Watch website, www.SOAW.org, for updated information and check your email for Trial Logs over the next week. Click here for ideas about actions you can take today to support those facing prison!



2. IN REMEMBRANCE OF JOLIE RICKMAN

SOA Watch was saddened this week to learn of the death of longtime SOA Watch activist and musician Jolie Rickman. Jolie passed away on Wednesday, January 19 in New York City. The New York Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) sent out the following letter today:

?We are writing today to share some very sad news regarding the passing of our dear friend, longtime activist and musician Jolie Rickman. She died peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, on Wednesday, January 19th, after a valiant year fighting an extremely aggressive strain of cancer.

?Jolie was the New York CISPES Chapter Coordinator from 2001-2003, where she brought her creative mind and positive energy to our struggles for justice and peace. It was Jolie's inspiration to launch the New York City People's Referendum on Free Trade, in order to give voice to the excluded and build a stronger community around economic fairness. Her dedication to making the world better for the downtrodden and to promoting true democracy were genuine and remarkable.

?For those of us who knew Jolie, her expressive music, angelic voice, and beautiful spirit will always continue to inspire and rejuvenate our
lives. Our love is with you, Jolie, as you move on to your next adventure.

?P.S. In Jolie's honor, we would like to compile a memoir with thoughts, recollections, prayers, photos, etc., and we'd like to ask all of you to contribute. If you have any anecdotes, stories, or other remembrances, you may send them to LaDawn Haglund at ladawn.haglund(at)nyu.edu for inclusion.?