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Home News Organizing Updates Lobby Day Update - Peacemakers Headed to Prison - Nun, Activists Murdered in Brazil
Lobby Day Update - Peacemakers Headed to Prison - Nun, Activists Murdered in Brazil PDF Print E-mail
SOA WATCH UPDATE
February 17, 2005

1. Lobby day and national call-in day: Tuesday, Feb 22
2. SOA Watch activists headed to prison
3. Brutal death squad murders in Brazil

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1. LESS THAN ONE WEEK UNTIL LOBBY DAY AND NATIONAL CALL-IN DAY!

This Monday and Tuesday, February 21 and 22, join SOA Watch in Washington, DC to tell Congress that the time has come to make a real stand for human rights by closing the SOA/ WHINSEC.

Click here for INFORMATION, including schedules, location and housing information.

On Monday, February 21st, we'll gather at 1 pm at the George Washington University Law School at 20th and H Streets for a legislative teach-in and lobby trainings. On Tuesday, February 22nd, there will be an SOA Watch drop-in space at the Church of the Brethren on Capitol Hill, where you can stop by before, in between or after your Congressional visits to get a cup of coffee, eat lunch, pick up materials for Congressional offices and socialize with others working to close the SOA.

Click here for TRAVEL and TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION.

ACCESSIBILITY: If you have questions about accessibility at these events or if you need accessibility accommodations, please email Christy Pardew at cpardew(at)soaw.org or call her in the SOA Watch office at 202-234-3440.

CAN?T MAKE IT TO DC? You can still put pressure on Congress! Call your Representative and Senators on the SOA Watch National Call-in Day, Tuesday, February 22nd , and ask them to close the SOA/ WHINSEC. Look for more information in an email tomorrow.

Click here for more information on the CALL-IN DAY.

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2. SOA WATCH ACTIVISTS RECEIVE PRISON NOTICE ? ?BOOK THEM? NOW TO SPEAK IN YOUR COMMUNITY!

Most of the eleven peacemakers sentenced to prison in January have received notice that they are to report to a federal prison close to their homes on March 15 to begin serving their three to six month prison sentences.

Many of these folks are available for speaking to churches, peace and justice organizations, community groups and more. Chances are one of them lives close to you! Consider inviting one of these activists ? or someone else who?s been to prison in the past ? to speak about the SOA/ WHINSEC and their decision to put their bodies on the line to say, ?Not in our name!?


Click here to read more about those tried in January, the ?SOA 14.?
Click here to read about past prisoners of conscience.

To set up a speaking event in your community, contact Sarah Mertz in the DC office at smertz(at)soaw.org or 202-234-3440.

NEWS: Articles about people sentenced to prison for their nonviolent direct actions to close the SOA have been turning up all around the country lately. Click here to view all coverage.

?The Nation? magazine is featuring an article called ?Punishing the Wrong People? on its website. The article, written by Patrick Mulvaney, begins:

?In protest against the School of the Americas--a US-run training facility for Latin American soldiers that has earned a reputation for teaching torture, coercion and execution tactics--the eleven demonstrators entered the grounds of Fort Benning on November 21, in some cases by scaling a barbed-wire fence at the main gate. The sentences are not unlike those doled out to past SOA protesters, but they are, viewed from a broader perspective, strikingly harsh and excessive, especially in a year in which the use of torture has generated headlines...?

Click here to read the whole article.

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3. BRUTAL DEATH SQUAD MURDERS IN BRAZIL OF U.S. NUN, UNION ORGANIZER AND LAND RIGHTS ACTIVISTS

Sr. Dorothy Stang, a 73-year-old nun and prominent Amazon activist, was murdered in a remote section of Brazil on Saturday, February 12 trying to nonviolently defend the jungle where she had lived for decades. Stang was gunned down after she repeatedly warned the federal government ? including nine days before her death - that she and rural workers faced death threats.

Since Stang's death, two land rights workers have been killed in the Anapu area close to the Trans-Amazonian highway, where she was helping set up a sustainable farming project. Additionally, farmworkers union leader Daniel Soares de Costa Fiho was shot dead by gunmen on Tuesday near Parauapebas, around 210 miles south of where Stang died. Death squads have been blamed for the killings.

Stang and other activists have encouraged peasants to occupy areas set aside for creation of government settlement projects and to lobby for land to be demarcated as reserves. That puts the peasants in direct conflict with loggers, ranchers and land speculators who already claim the areas as their own, and there have been frequent killings.

Thousands of Brazilian troops have been sent to the area since Sr. Dorothy?s bullet-ridden body was buried this week. Activists fear more violence as rural workers in Anapu, near where Stang was gunned down, received new death threats. "The note said I was next," said Francisco de Assis Souza, leader of Anapu's rural workers union.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has called for a federal probe and sent troops amid international outrage at killings in Para. The government has promised to beef up its permanent presence in regions like Anapu and push ahead with sustainable development projects like the one Stang died defending.

Sr. Dorothy Stang, a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, had lived in the region for 37 years. She is the most prominent Amazon activist slain since environmental campaigner Chico Mendes was killed in 1988.
 

Contact us

SOA Watch
733 Euclid Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

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