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Home News Organizing Updates Thousands Traveling to Ft Benning to Close the SOA Nov 18-20
Thousands Traveling to Ft Benning to Close the SOA Nov 18-20 PDF Print E-mail

Update from Fort Benning, Georgia

November 15, 2005

Vigil to Close the SOA this Weekend: November 18-20, 2005!

Journey for Justice & Vigil Information

This week, Salvadoran torture survivor and human rights activist Carlos Mauricio is making his way across the country as part of an inspiring Journey for Justice. Joined by other survivors and activists, Carlos left San Francisco on November 5 after a powerful send-off event with Dolores Huerta. Since then the Caravan has held events in Los Angeles, Tucson, Phoenix, El Paso, Austin and more, speaking to crowds about the School of the Americas, about Carlos? story and about impunity and justice. Excitement for the Vigil and the movement for accountability is growing as the Journey for Justice makes its way to the Nov 18-20 Vigil to Close the SOA. Read more about the tour.

The San Antonio Express-News ran a story yesterday about the Caravan, ?Victim of Torture Cites Army School.? It begins, ?The Army School of the Americas may have changed its name and added human rights course work, but to Carlos Mauricio it's the same place he blames for the men who blindfolded him, hung him by his hands and beat him until his ribs cracked." Read the whole story.

Will you join the Journey for Justice in traveling to Fort Benning for this weekend?s Vigil to Close the SOA? This Saturday and Sunday, will you stand for justice with Carlos and with others most affected by racist institutions like the SOA/ WHINSEC?

It's not too late to make plans to attend the vigil!

Find a ride with others in your community by visiting our ride board. If you have space in your vehicle, please post that information as well.

Activists from United Students against Sweatshops and Colombian Unionists are planning to stop on Friday at noon in Atlanta at the Coca-Cola Headquarters on their way to the SOA protest. They will be holding a press conference and a rally to demand accountability from Coca-Cola for the killing of unionists in Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia. Please join them if you are driving through Atlanta around that time.

Other Important Links:

Hotel info

Travel info

Schedule of events

Help support the vigil, even if you can?t attend.

Don?t forget to bring crosses, Stars of David and other commemorative symbols with you to the Vigil to remember those who have died at the hands of SOA graduates.

Legal Observers Needed this Weekend

The SOA Watch Legal Collective and the National Lawyers Guild will be training all people interested in being Legal Observers at the Vigil this year. Legal observers are the eyes and ears of vigils and mass mobilizations working to counter the criminalization of dissent by recording and documenting violations of civil and human rights. Throughout the weekend of the SOA vigil, we will document any arrests of bad behavior by police or other state actors.

No legal experience is necessary to be a legal observer, but the ability to act as an objective observer is important. If you would like to be a Legal Observer, please click here for more info and plan to attend the Legal Observer Training on Friday, November 18 at 8 pm in the Days Inn on Victory Drive.

Contact Sara Denny at sharvey3982(at)yahoo.com or Dan Gregor at djg92107(at)yahoo.com with questions.

SOA Grad and Former Pinochet Operative Heading Chilean Forces in Haiti

In late October, the Chilean Government admitted that Gen. Eduardo Aldunate, second in command of its military forces in Haiti, was linked to the disbanded National Intelligence Central (CNI), oppressive military forces that operated under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

SOA Watch records show that ?Herman Eduardo Aldunate? is an SOA graduate. To date, there are at least 10 other former high-ranking officials under Pinochet who attended or taught at the SOA. Among them are the former heads of the CNI and DINA secret police, the officers who tortured and murdered a U.N. official, those who participated in the assault on the residence of president Salvador Allende, and who operated the Villa Grimaldi, Tres Alamos and Cuatro Alamos concentration camps for political prisoners. Read more about this case.

Creative Scenario Actions for Sunday, November 20

Last year, several local SOA Watch groups from around the country enacted small memorial scenes during Sunday?s symbolic funeral procession. Some set up an altar to remember those killed, some performed a flag washing and others created other small street-theater scenes. These all take place within the permit area and are non-arrestable situations.

This year we again invite your group to create a memorial scene during the funeral procession on Sunday, November 20. This can be a unique way to add your voice and perspective to the gathering. If you?re interested in being a part of this, please plan on attending the Saturday night planning meeting from 8-9:30pm in the Convention Center?s Room 201.


Contact us

SOA Watch
733 Euclid Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

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