Actions throughout the Americas Print
While thousands were gathered at the gates of Fort Benning, simultaneous actions to close the SOA, to resist militarization and to create a culture of justice and peace took place throughout the Americas. SOA Watch continues to build and strengthen our relationships with social justice movements throughout the Hemisphere. The video message below from the SOA Watch Latin America office was screened during the opening plenary in the Columbus Convention Center.

Pushing the Boundaries at Fort Benning: Is This “The End of the Road for the SOA?”
By Clare Hanrahan

It all comes down to how you react
Now you're face to face, seeing it all
Dispersal warnings, they're making the call
They got buses to pack, with people like you
When they did that in the 50's the movement grew

--Ryan Harvey, lyrics from “See it Through”

Federal, City and State authorities were busy in Columbus, Ga., on the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. Arrests of people from 17 to 90 years old included stilt walkers and puppetistas, four credentialed press, local barber Curtis Thornton, a dozen participants in a planned road blockade, priests, veterans and students, along with many others attempting simply to make it back to their cars outside the “permitted protest area” following the 2010 vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia.

At least five undercover police infiltrated the action.

Read the full article by former prisoner of conscience Clare Hanrahan here:

From SOA Vigil to Jail to Court

On Saturday after the rally some members of the School of the Americas Watch community took action within the city of Columbus. They chose to take their message to Columbus instead of the military base. They chose a different space but the reasons for the action were the same: to close the SOA and bring justice to its victims. The police had a strong reaction to what they felt was the abuse of the permit. As people were attempting to leave the vigil site the police responded by arresting more than seventeen individuals who were doing nothing more than leaving the space – all together 26 folks were arrested.

I have attended the vigil for six years and never have I seen anything like what happened on Saturday. The police were directing people to leave and then accusing them of refusing to disperse and placing cuffs on them. They picked up journalists, high schoolers, and even a member of their own Columbus community who simply stepped out of a barber shop near the road.

Read the full article here:

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 December 2010 15:54