|SOAW Activists Report to Prison Today - New Legislation - and more!|
SOA Watch Update
March 15, 2005
1. SOA Watch activists report to prisons today
2. New legislation introduced in Congress!
3. Families to Close the SOA/ WHINSEC this November
4. March 19th actions against the Occupation of Iraq
5. SOA Watch movement contact information
1. SOA WATCH ACTIVISTS REPORT TO PRISONS TODAY
Eleven SOA Watch activists ?- including a Maryknoll nun, a 79-year-old retiree, students, and a farmworker ?- will report to federal prisons around the country today to begin serving three- to six-month sentences for their acts of nonviolent civil disobedience opposing the School of the Americas/ WHINSEC. The eleven were arrested at Fort Benning in November of 2004 as part of the annual demonstration calling for the closure of the SOA/ WHINSEC.
We honor their witness, their action, and their spirits as they head off to prison! We also hold in our thoughts out two probationers who have already begun serving their time, the two SOA Watch activists sentenced to community service and the more than two million people currently incarcerated in the United States, most for nonviolent offenses.
Click here for prison addresses and more information about each of these activists.
Click here to read more about how you can support these peacemakers and other ?prisoners of conscience?.
Those reporting today are:
FCI DANBURY in Connecticut:
Sr. Lil Mattingly of Maryknoll, NY ? 6 months
Alice Gerard of Buffalo, NY ? 6 months
FCI PEKIN in Illinois:
Liz Deligio of Chicago, IL ? 3 months
Meagan Doty of St. Louis, MO ? 3 months
Elizabeth Nadeau of Minneapolis, MN ? 3 months
FCI BUTNER in North Carolina:
Dan Schwankl of Siler City, NC ? 3 months
USP ATWATER in California:
Aaron Shuman of Oakland, CA ? 4 months
TAFT FCI in California:
Brian DeRouen of Fairfield, CA ? 4 months
FCI YAZOO CITY in Mississippi:
Nashua Chantal of Americus, GA ? 3 months
FCI OTISVILLE in New York:
Tom MacLean of Greenfield, MA ? 3 months
FCI OXFORD in Wisconsin:
Ron Durham of Chicago, IL ? 3 months
There is no jail that can contain the truth!
2. NEW LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS!
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) has reintroduced legislation in the 109th Congress to suspend operations of the School of the Americas/ WHINSEC. HR 1217, "The Latin America Military Training Review Act of 2005," has 78 bi-partisan introductory co-sponsors -- thanks to YOUR determined efforts during our February Lobby Day and National Call-in Day!
To determine if your representative has signed on as a sponsor of this bill, visit http://thomas.loc.gov/, click on the link for "Search Bills and Resolutions" and search by bill number for HR 1217. By clicking on the "Bill Summary and Status" link, you can access information about the bill, including the list of current co-sponsors.
If your representative has yet to sign on, take the time to call their DC office by calling the Capitol Hill Switchboard (202-224-3121). Here is a suggested message for you to convey:
"I am calling Congressman/woman ________ to remind him/her that Rep. Jim McGovern has introduced HR 1217, The Latin America Military Training Review Act of 2005, which would suspend and investigate the School of the Americas, which now uses the acronym WHINSEC. I urge the Congressman/woman to contact Rep. McGovern's office to become a cosponsor of this bill. This would be one very concrete step to support human rights and promote peace and justice for the people of Latin America."
3. FAMILIES TO CLOSE THE SOA AT THE NOVEMBER VIGIL
Some SOA Watch activists are beginning to work on strategies to encourage and facilitate family participation in the annual Vigil to Close the SOA/ WHINSEC. Some of their ideas include a hospitality room for parents with babies, an area in front of the stage for kids, a time for teaching songs to close the SOA to children, an art time for making symbols kids can carry in the Sunday procession and a teach-in for middle school folks.
Have you brought kids to the Vigil in the past and had ideas about how to make their experience better? Are you interested in working with children at the Vigil in November? Consider contacting Nancy Jones and getting involved in this exciting process! Nancy can be contacted at njones48(at)yahoo.com.
4. MARCH 19th ACTIONS AGAINST THE OCCUPATION OF IRAQ
On Saturday, March 19, the second anniversary of the most recent war in Iraq, people around the world will be demonstrating to call for an end to the occupation. Just a few of the planned demonstrations in the US include:
FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, home of Fort Bragg -? www.Ncpeacejustice.org
NEW YORK CITY -- http://www.troopsoutnow.org/
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA -- http://www.indybay.org/antiwar/
Check out www.indymedia.org and the United for Peace and Justice calendar at http://www.unitedforpeace.org/index.php?option=com_content&list=type&type=28 for other events in your area.
5. SOA WATCH MOVEMENT CONTACT INFORMATION
You will receive another email shortly after this email that contains important contact information for the SOA Watch office in DC, SOA Watch regional representatives and SOA Watch working groups. Please use this valuable resource and save it for your records.
5525 Illinois Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20011