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Reflections of an SOA Prisoner of Conscience PDF Print E-mail
Despite two days of bitter cold rain the number of SOA watchers dwarfed those of the early years of this struggle.

I remember crossing the line with sixty the year after the thirteen crossed and were imprisoned. We thought at the time that was a good number. Twenty-five of us went on to serve six months in federal prisons for our peacemaking that year.

This year more than 3600 crossed. Again more than twenty face probable prosecution. More than 2100 were arrested, processed, and threatened with imprisonment if they return next fall.

The Sunday following this action I was in worship when a person, who had been arrested for the first time in her more than 70 years, challenged her worshiping congregation with the news that she would be going back. I have to decide whether or not to risk prison, she told us, but, whatever my decision, I expect at least five of you to go with me next time.

The soul of the movement was palpable among those of us present at the gates of Fort Benning. In every measurable way we were a more diverse and creative community of peacemakers. A single-hearted persistence and commitment to non-violent action pervaded the spirited scene. It seemed to be in the very air we breathed. We kept our discipline despite our opponent?s ratcheting up the all too familiar fear and intimidation.

For those of us who have been in this movement for many years the 2000 SOA Watch experience in Georgia was deeply moving. We dared to remember what has been done, and continues to be done, in our name. We called our nation to accountability once again.

This awesome experience stirred me. It brought tears to my eyes and more hope to my heart. I am convinced the people will persist. This dreadful military institution, whatever they call it, will be shut down. The people will win the peace by non-violent action.

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