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Help to make the vigil even better! PDF Print E-mail
SOA Watch is run by volunteers! Thousands of us volunteer at home, doing the main work of the movement -- organizing, lobbying, and publicizing the murderous record of the SOA/ WHINSEC. SOA Watch does not have large offices and lots of employees running everything. We are a grassroots movement, with only a few paid staff and a few small offices.

As a grassroots movement, when there is work to do, we pull together. As you well know, it takes a lot of work to hold our annual Vigil at Fort Benning. You already do some of that work, planning your group's trip to Georgia, always seeking to invite new people to come along with you. Have you ever considered trying a new type of work as well, by volunteering for a national Working Group?

There are more than twenty SOA Watch Working Groups, and it is these groups that do the planning and work to make national events happen. All of these groups come together to put on the November Vigil. The Working Groups meet by phone throughout the year, and then work together for a certain amount of time during the Vigil itself. We who volunteer on Working Groups are proud of the work we do, as our work has made the Vigil grow and be more inspiring each year!

Joining a Working Group is as easy as reading the messages below from each Working Group, and then contacting the person listed. Some Working Groups expect their members to help out during the entire Vigil weekend, while others only would need your help in Georgia for an hour or two. Some Working Groups are looking for individual volunteers, while others need the help of your entire local group! So talk with your local group, and then let us know how your energy and skills can make the Vigil even better! Working Groups are already building for this November?s Vigil, so now is the best time to contact the Working Group that interests you the most.

If you don't use e-mail and there is no phone number listed, call the SOA Watch DC Office at 202- 234-3440, and we will put you in phone contact with the Working Group of your choice.

DEVELOPMENT WORKING GROUP
The Development Working Group needs entire local groups -- vanloads and busloads -- to help collect donations at the Vigil! This task will take only an hour or two of your group's time. We also need volunteers to meet by phone throughout the year, doing short-term fundraising and long-term development.

DIRECT ACTION WORKING GROUP
We support SOA Watch Direct Action at the November Vigil, regionally, and around the country. To learn more about this group, please contact Charity at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Audrey at 607-277-8962 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

FAMILIES TO CLOSE THE SOA WORKING GROUP
We are beginning to work on strategies to encourage and facilitate family participation in the annual Vigil to Close the SOA/ WHINSEC. Some of our 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? Contact Nancy Jones at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

LEGAL COLLECTIVE WORKING GROUP
The Legal Collective is a group of activists, lawyers, law students and paralegals who offer legal trainings and support during the November vigils and subsequent trials. Contact Audrey at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

LEGISLATIVE WORKING GROUP
We include representatives of various local SOA groups throughout the country, members of the SOA Watch Council, and the Legislative Coordinator staff person from the DC office. We make decisions by consensus about the overall legislative strategy of the movement, incorporating feedback and participation from the SOA Watch Council as well as from the DC staff. Contact Pam at 202-234-3440 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

LOGISTICS WORKING GROUP
We handle various construction and supply projects at the November Vigil. We run many errands before, during, and after the Vigil. We hang banners, run sound and light equipment, and build the stage!

MEDIA WORKING GROUP
We work to spread the word about the SOA/ WHINSEC and the movement to close it down via the mainstream and alternative media and to empower more folks in this grassroots movement to do the same. We set up and staff a media office for the November vigil, and we work year round to craft press releases and messaging for SOA Watch. Contact 202-234-3440.

MEDICS WORKING GROUP
We provide basic care to people experiencing minor ailments or injuries at the Vigil. Whether you have medical training or not, we can use your help! Contact MaryJo Osowski at 708-352-2998 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

NONVIOLENCE TRAINERS NETWORK
This Network provides nonviolence trainings around the country and at the November Vigil to close the SOA. If you are a trainer and would like to join the network, or if you want to learn how to facilitate trainings, contact Joanne at 860-889-5337 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

PEACEMAKERS (see below for a larger call for Peacemaker volunteers)
Peacemakers act as a communication network, provide emergency communication, and act as mediators between authorities and demonstrators. We need hundreds of Peacemakers to make our event a success. Specific training is offered and required. To join the Peacemakers, contact Kathleen at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

RESEARCH WORKING GROUP
We have a vision of growing into an international network of scholars, students, academics and researchers working together to add fuel to the legislative, media and public education fires to close the School and to stop torture. If you thirst for knowledge and are interested doing research we can use to shut the SOA/ WHINSEC, contact Pam Bowman at 202-234-3440 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

PUPPET/ STREET THEATER WORKING GROUP
The Puppet/Street Theater Working Group is a dynamic group that comes together to create puppets and a street theater piece for the November Vigil. Contact Jake Weinstein at 203-562-1471.

SPANISH LANGUAGE MEDIA WORKING GROUP
This newly formed, ongoing Working Group works to outreach to Spanish-language media across the Americas. Contact 202-234-3440.

STAGE AND PROGRAM WORKING GROUP
We create the programs used at the November Vigil and coordinate music and musicians for all trainings and caucuses. Contact Hendrik Voss at 202-234-3440 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

TABLING WORKING GROUP
This group organizes the tables at the November Vigil. We host 100 organizations so they can meet other SOA Watch activists and spread their ideas for peace and justice. We need volunteers to register organizations, set up tables, and welcome tablers as they arrive.

TRANSLATION & INTERPRETATION WORKING GROUP
The Translation and Interpretation Working Group is an on-going Working Group of SOA Watch. In addition to providing interpretation at the November vigil in Ft. Benning, we also provide translation services throughout the year, from press releases to web pages and more. Contact 202-234-3440.

GRUPO DE TRABAJO DE TRADUCCION Y INTERPRETACION:
Traducimos documentos y interpretamos para las vigilias en Ft. Benning los noviembres: 202-234-3440.

CONSTITUENCY GROUP CAUCUSES:

Labor Caucus: Organized labor in North America has played a crucial role in the struggle to close the SOA. Local and national unions have passed resolutions for the closure of the SOA and sponsored educational events around the issue. We hold a caucus at the Vigil and seek to be active throughout the year. Contact Rebecca at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Student/Youth Caucus: The Student/Youth Caucus seeks to further organize the collective strength of students working to close the SOA. We communicate throughout the year and hold a caucus meeting at the Vigil. Contact the SOA Watch office at 202-234-3440.



A Call for Peacemaker Volunteers . . .

We welcome you as a Peacemaker at our November vigil at the gates of Ft. Benning. We are looking for persons committed to a leadership role in Peacemaking.

Specifically, Peacemaker responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining by their own demeanor a nonviolent presence among the participants.

  • Establishing a mode of conduct that is purposeful, positive, and instrumental in contributing to the general spirit of the vigil and action.

  • Offering help with communication in the event of a medical emergency.

  • Helping apply de-escalation strategies in the event of a potentially violent situation.


  • SOA Watch Peacemaker requirements:

    1) to have participated in at least one prior SOA Watch weekend at Ft. Benning, Georgia, thus knowing the logistics of the vigil event
    2) to have nonviolence training prior to the November vigil
    3) to be present at Peacemaker training at the vigil weekend.


     

    Contact us

    SOA Watch
    733 Euclid Street NW
    Washington, DC 20001

    phone: 202-234-3440
    email: info@soaw.org