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Home News Press Releases Human Rights Advocates Rally at Park, Flood Capitol Hill in Support of Suspension of Training at School of the Americas
Human Rights Advocates Rally at Park, Flood Capitol Hill in Support of Suspension of Training at School of the Americas PDF Print E-mail
WHAT: Procession and rally in support of HR 1217, a bill that would suspend training and investigate the School of the Americas, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/ WHINSEC)

WHEN: Monday, April 24
Procession begins at 8:30 am; Rally 9:15 ? 11 am

WHERE: Procession begins at Lutheran Church of the Reformation (212 East Capitol St NE)
Rally will be at Upper Senate Park (Constitution Avenue between New Jersey and Delaware Avenues)

WHO: Torture survivors, clergy, grassroots human rights activists from around the country
School of the Americas Watch

WHY: Torture, foreign military training and Pentagon accountability are on the agenda of grassroots human rights advocates from around the United States who will travel to Washington, DC to lobby on Monday and Tuesday in support of a bill that would suspend training and investigate the notorious School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC).

SOA Watch, the organization coordinating efforts to close the training facility, expects constituents from hundreds of Congressional districts to gather in Washington for trainings and workshops on Sunday, April 23 and a procession and rally at Upper Senate Park on Monday, April 24, as well as meetings with Representatives.

Support for the School of the Americas, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, continues to erode. In March, two South American countries sent a strong message of support for human rights and military accountability by ceasing all military training of their troops at the controversial U.S. Army?s School of the Americas. Argentina and Uruguay announced that they would no longer send soldiers to train at the military school based at Fort Benning.

The SOA/ WHINSEC made headlines in 1996 when the Pentagon released training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, extortion and execution. Despite this shocking admission and hundreds of documented human rights abuses connected to soldiers trained at the school, no independent investigation into the training facility has ever taken place.

Congress is set to decide the fate of the school soon. Legislation introduced last year by Rep. McGovern (D-MA) that would suspend activities at the SOA/ WHINSEC and call for a review of foreign military training in Latin America currently has 128 bi-partisan co-sponsors.
 

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phone: 202-234-3440
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