Statement from Women Solidarity Prisoners Print
And ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free.
--John 8:32

Your Honor,

The mayor, police department, and the city of Columbus were gracious and hospitable in accommodating the thousands of people who came to protest the WHISC, formerly known as the School of the Americas, and we are aware that the military base and the city are separate entities. However, we believe that we have a particular duty to demonstrate our rights to speak out against terror and oppression and to speak up for those who no longer have voices.

We would like you to know who we are: We are students, musicians, athletes, environmentalists, childcare workers, teachers, widows, grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, and nieces. We are also farmers, church workers, waitresses, journalists, tree-sitters, artists, union workers, gardeners, knitters, and victims of violence. We are all spiritual beings and women of conscience. We are builders of the global village, a village of peace and family and healing that stands as an alternative to the atrocities represented by Ft. Benning and the SOA. Like Martin Luther King Jr.'s beloved community, it is a village that is based on our vision of a future where everyone can live without fear, torture, poverty, and oppression.

As people of conscience from all walks of life, we cannot back down from the truth that people are being tortured and killed everyday. Because of this, we are prepared to make whatever sacrifices we need to make in order to stand up for the rights of all beings. As one of the women here said:
I believe that we are all involved in this terrible atrocity that must be addressed at any and all levels mandated by the Gospel and other spiritual traditions.

We believe that it is our duty and responsibility as U.S. citizens, whether we are mothers, students, workers, or judges to hold our government institutions accountable.

Like Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, and Jesus, we are all here to defend the truth, our rights as citizens and our rights as human beings.

Therefore, we cannot plead guilty to unlawful assembly essentially admitting that our 1st Amendment rights are null and void. Nor can we plead guilty to obstructing an officer when our actions were so grounded in nonviolence and our presence in front of the road was grounded in the U.S. constitution.

We understand that the officers involved were only following orders and we respect them and their position. However, we cannot respect the position of the larger legal system that put us and them in this institution.

Inspired by the risks that the people of the world take everyday to stand up for their human rights, we and those in solidarity with us outside the gates will continue to fast as long as necessary for justice to be served.

In consideration of the other women in this jail and the difficulties our presence has created, together with the concern for the fasting men and women, we would like to resolve this as quickly as possible. But we are not willing to sacrifice our constitutional rights and moral obligations just for our own comfort.

Thank you for your consideration. We hope this letter has given you a better understanding of who we are, why we are here, and what we are prepared to do for our beliefs. We hope this will help you make a more informed decision. Thank you again for your kindness and thoughtfulness.

In Solidarity,

Peaceful Resistance,
Passionate existence,
Dedicated to a better world.
Long live the Global Village