Prisoners Released - Legislative Update - November Organizing - RNC Print
SOA Watch Update
July 14, 2004

1. Legislative ? it?s not too late!
2. Eight SOA Watch prisoners released while two report to prison
3. Exciting work continues for the November vigil and direct action
4. Protest the Republican National Convention in NYC
5. Help to support SOA Watch
6. Father Roy?s speaking schedule


1. IT?S NOT TOO LATE TO CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE!

The Foreign Operations Appropriations bill will most likely go to the floor of the House for a vote at the end of this week. So, we only have a
few days left to lobby our Representatives to support human rights in Latin America! Take the time to call your Representative, right now, and ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor of HR 1258, a bill calling for the closure and investigation of the SOA/WHINSEC. Visit the SOA Watch website for a full synopsis of strategy and tips on phone calls at www.SOAW.org.

For more information, background, tips and ideas, visit the Legislative Action Center.

Keep alert for an update from SOA Watch in the event of a vote.


2. EIGHT SOA WATCH PRISONERS RELEASED FROM FEDERAL PRISON

We celebrated on Friday, July 2, as eight SOA Watch prisoners of conscience were released from various federal prisons after completing their
three-month sentences! The eight are: Leisa Barnes, Scott Diehl, Faith Fippinger, Alice Gerard, Kathy Kelly, Peg Morton, Greg Poferl and Bernie Survil. These eight are among the more than 175 people who have collectively served over 78 years in prison for their nonviolent witnesses calling for the closure of the SOA/WHINSEC. Many of them have already called to tell us they?ll be seeing us this November at the gates of Ft. Benning!

Ten SOA Watch activists remain in prison. Craig Adams and Shirley Way both began their three-month sentences at Duluth and Danbury, respectively, on
June 22nd. To write to these courageous folks, click here for addresses.


3. EXCITEMENT BUILDS FOR THE NOVEMBER 19 ? 21 VIGIL AND DIRECT ACTION

We are hearing from SOA Watch activists from all over the country who aremobilizing people in their communities to travel to Ft. Benning this November 19-21 to join with thousands to STAND UP FOR JUSTICE! Excitement is building in local groups and regions, and everything indicates that this
year?s vigil and direct action will be incredible events.

The Stage and Program Working Group is already hard at work and has invited Sr. Helen Prejean, Susan Sarandon, Bishop Gambino Savala, radio journalist Amy Goodman, Sr. Diana Ortiz, long-time social and political activist Betita Martinez and
numerous musicians and artists to be with us at the gates of Ft. Benning this November. US political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal has recorded a
compelling and powerful new statement for SOA Watch to be played from the stage this November. The current political climate in the US makes it more important than ever for all of us to take a stand for justice and to speak out against militaristic foreign policy!

Working groups are composed of individuals who dedicate their time to work on a specific area of the SOA Watch mission. Chances are, there?s an area that?ll fit your skills or interests. As a grassroots movement, the power is in the people involved! Click here to find out more about working groups.

Click here for more information and to download a November organizing packet and Vigil flyer or call us at 202-234-3440.


4. REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION ~ NEW YORK CITY ~ AUG 29 - SEPT 4, 2004

The Republicans are descending on New York City this August and September in a shameless effort to exploit the tragedy of 9-11. Be among the hundreds of thousands converging to stand together in the streets of New York City this August 29 ? September 4 to demand an end to empire and to call forth the possibilities we envision for the future!

Join other SOA Watchers in New York before and during the RNC to learn and share organizing skills and how to offer nonviolence trainings to prepare members of your local group or community for direct action at Ft. Benning. We will organize a visible CLOSE THE SOA presence during the Republican convention. To get involved in this exciting opportunity, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call us here at the office at 202-234-3440.

Click here to read more about the RNC and all the activities planned for this historic week of resistance.


5. HELP SUPPORT SOA WATCH!

SOA Watch is moving into its busiest organizing time of the year. The November vigil and nonviolent direct action will be a powerful and moving event, but only with your help! Please consider taking any of the following actions:

SEND A DONATION:
We need to raise $50,000 by November 1 to pay for expenses related to the vigil action. This money is used for renting of spaces for meetings,
logistics and orientation sessions, caucuses, and media and legal offices. It is also needed to pay for the sound system and raised stage that allow
thousands of people to see and hear the speakers. There are many other expenses as well, such as setting up fax and phone lines and having other
equipment and resources for fully staffed media, legal, and staff offices; portable toilets; and making copies of materials, especially the programs for Saturday and Sunday events.

Please consider making a donation now, as many of these expenses come due before November. Make checks payable to "SOA Watch" or visit www.SOAW.org and click ?Make a Donation? to donate online. (Because SOA Watch does not have 501(c)(3) status, donations are not tax deductible.)

VOLUNTEER:
We also need hundreds of volunteers to make the vigil go smoothly. Please email info at soaw.org or contact John Stith in the office at 202-234-3440 if you would like to be put on the volunteer list.


6. CHECK OUT FATHER ROY'S FALL SPEAKING SCHEDULE

Every fall, Father Roy Bourgeois, SOA Watch Georgia office staff person and founder of the movement, travels across the country to speak to audiences about the School of the Americas/WHINSEC and why it should be shut down. A charismatic, energizing public speaker, Father Roy continues to inspire thousands to come to Ft. Benning each year and participate in the vigil and nonviolent direct action. Clike here to check his schedule to see if he will visit a city near you.