SOA Watch Floods Congress: Call Today! Print
2006 Lobby Days Update, April 25, 2006


Contact Congress today!

2006 Lobby Days Update

April 25 marks the second day that torture survivors, students, nuns, veterans and other SOA Watch activists flood the halls of Congress in Washington, DC to knock on doors for hundreds of meetings with staffers, Representatives and Senators. You can make their efforts stronger with phone calls and emails to your Congressperson: tell them to close the SOA/ WHINSEC - support HR 1217! See box at right for telephone and email contact info.

Capitol Hill papers are reporting very favorably about the advocacy offensive. Read an article from ?The Hill?.

Reportback from Sunday and Monday:

The SOA Watch Lobby Days were preceded by workshops and trainings at American University that included a terrific panel that spelled out the connections between the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC) and Immigration/Labor (Luis Fernando Gomez, Coalition of Immokalee Workers), Neoliberalism (Natalia Cardona, American Friends Service Committee?s Latin American Caribbean Program), Resistance in Latin America (Carlos Mauricio, Stop Impunity Project) and Militarization, the War on Drugs/Terror (Adam Isacson, Center for International Policy).

Hector Aristizábal, the co-founder of the Center for Theater of the Oppressed in Los Angeles, performed Nightwind, the solo show about his arrest and torture by the US-supported military in Colombia. Cristina Espinel, the co-founder of the Colombia Human Rights Committee, and Erik Manuel Giblin from the RFK Memorial Center for Human Rights provided in-depth information about the SOA and Colombia in a workshop that also featured "Operation Dragon," a case in which SOA graduates were involved in a terrorist plan to assassinate opponents of the current Colombian administration.

Kim Dresler of Vermont SOA Watch gave a presentation about the Leahy Law to prevent known human rights abusers from receiving U.S. military training. Hidden in Plain Sight, the full-length documentary about the SOA/ WHINSEC, was screened in the afternoon before Father Roy Bourgeois gave an update on the Latin America Project, the effort to build closer ties with Latin American social movements and to meet with popular governments in Latin America about withdrawing their troops from the SOA (read more).

Lobbying began in full force on Monday following a spirited march to Upper Senate Park, where musicians performed and speakers from the Torture Abolition Survivors and Support Coalition, the Nicaragua Network and others addressed the crowd.

Keep the pressure on Congress! Demand that your Representatives adhere to the will of the people in their districts who want the SOA to be shut down. Take five minutes out of your day today to call and email Congress. It makes a difference!

In Solidarity,
The SOA Watch staff

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