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A federal prosecutor filed charge against 43 SOA Watch activists in late April. Two months later charges against six of the 43 were dropped. The group was among 10,000 who gathered last November to call for the closure to the School of the Americas/Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. 13 were arraigned on the base, and 37 stood trial. one defendant was found not guilty, while all others received sentences ranging from six months of probation to six month in prison. Those who speak out for justice and human rights should not be forced to stand trial, let alone go to jail. Many of the perpetrators of massacres and all of the aiding and abetting SOA officials who are responsible for the death and suffering of thousands of innocent victims throughout Latin America have not spent a single day in jail; conversely, 70 SOA Watch activists have collectively been incarcerated for over 40 years in federal prisons across the US. Nonviolent SOA Watch activists have been fined thousands and thousands of dollars while the families of victims of SOA violence haven?t received one dime of reparations for their loss. We cannot allow this injustice to continue.

The truth cannot be silenced!

The SOA 43: Rev. Charles Booker-Hirsch Ann Arbor, MI 41, Presbyterian minister at Northside Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor. Married (to UCC pastor). One child, age 4. Works with Central American refugees. Member of Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and PNAODA (Presbyterian Network of Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse).

Jonna Cohen Denver, CO 20, MacAllister College student. Student of Maharaji, an Indian spiritual teacher.

Brigid Conarchy Grayslake, IL 23, Originally from Waukegan, IL. Degree in Theology and Philosophy from St Norberts College. Catholic worker with Little Flower CW in Goochland, VA.

Kenneth Crowley Houston, TX 60, Parent educator. Catholic. Member of Pax Christi.

Sue Daniels Pembroke, VA 41, a doctoral student in avian conservation biology, currently forming a local chapter of the Colombia Support Network, also active with AWOL (go-awol.org), the Coalition for Justice, Amnesty International, the New River Valley Greens, and the Living Wage Campaign. A participant in a beautiful Reclaim the Streets action in NYC during the WEF (the World Economic [Exploitation] Forum). Lead organizer to bring Vandana Shiva, Ed Herman, and Cecelia Zarate-Laun of the Colombia Support Network to Blacksburg and the Virginia Tech community this Spring.

Mary Dean Chicago, IL 37, Former husband tortured by G-2 (SOA grads) in Guatemala. Affiliated with Catholic Worker, IL, Peace Action and SOAW IL.

Kathleen Desautels Chicago, IL 64, A Sister of Providence of St. Mary of the Woods IA for 42 years. Ministry includes education, prison ministry and 8th Day Center for Justice for past 16 years.

Janice Sevre-Duszynska Nicholasville, KY 52, English as a Second Language teacher to high school students. Activist for Women’s Ordination. Mother of two. Affiliated with Women’s Ordination Conference, Catholic Action Center, Central Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice, Newman Center for University of Kentucky.

Toni Flynn Valyermo, CA 56, High Desert Catholic Worker member and a Benedictine Oblate at St. Andrew's Abbey, also in Valyermo. Mother of four grown children. Expecting first grandchild in October. Has been participating in SOA Watch protests since 1998.

Kate Fontanazza Milwaukee, WI 53, Teacher. Catholic. Member of Pax Christi, Peace Action and Pledge of Resistance.

Chani Geigle-Teller Salem, OR 19, Student. Works with Oregon Peace Works mobilizing youth for social justice work in their communities.

Peter Gelderloos Harrisonburg, VA 19, Activist and ex-student involved in community and national organizing around environmental, anti-war, anti-captalist and anarchist issues. Currently trying to write professionally.

Nancy Gowen Richmond, VA 68, Mother of seven, grandmother to four. Two months ago I buried my son, Chuck, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I am a member of Pax Christi Richmond and Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation. Thirteen of the last fifteen years I have worked with the homeless population in Richmond, Virginia as a mental health counselor. Have co-faciliated alternative to violence workshops in the prison system for the Richmond Peace Education Center. Spent time living with followers of Gandhi and working at Mother Teresa's in India.

John Heid Luck, WI 47, Quaker. Catholic Worker living and working on social justice issues in the Anathoth Farm Community. Member of Veterans for Peace. Handyman.

Linda Holzbaur Ithaca, NY 45, Mother of 4 (3 school age). Peace activist. Part time journalist. Catholic worker. Member of “Keep Space for Peace”.

Lisa Hughes W. Hartford, VT 36, Catholic background/Mennonite affinity. Raised in Midwest, spent 5 years in El Salvador as a nurse. Moved to Vermont, to begin war tax resistance and organic farming, from Oregon and hospice nursing. Member of War Resisters League.

Rev. Erik Johnson Maryville, TN 57, Presbyterian Church(U.S.A.) minister, Interim Pastor at Church of the Savior UCC, Knoxville. Married with 5 grown children, 3 grandchildren. 1984 Witness for Peace to Nicaragua. Member of Knoxville Area Committee on Central America, Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance.

Niklan Jones-Lezama Blacksburg, VA 38, married to Nicaraguan Sandinista, Claudia; two sons, Emilio Jose and Omar Eli. A past co-coordinator for the Coalition for Justice in Central America; 1987 Witness for Peace/Fellowship of Reconciliation/Buddhist Peace Fellowship delegate to Nicaragua and Honduras. Also part of fact-finding delegation to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala. An intern with Global Issues Project in Haiti. Currently helping to build a local chapter of the Colombia Support Network. A Re-evaluation counselor, studying and practicing healing touch and reiki energy therapies for the past four years.

Rae Kramer Syracuse, NY 55, Domestic violence activist. Member of Syracuse Peace Council and Jewish Peace Fellowship.

Palmer Legare Springfield, MA Student at Springfield College. From Cabett, VT. Community organizer on low income housing issues.

Laura MacDonald Syracuse, NY 23, Works with children with disabilities. Member of Syracuse Peace Council.

Shannon McManimon Philadelphia, PA 26, Catholic Worker at Martha House CW in Philadelphia.

Ralph Madsen Newtonville, MA 68, Retired elementary school teacher. Married, with two grown children. Grandfather. Stationed at Ft. Benning in 1956. Affiliated with Neighbor to Neighbor and Buddhist Peace Fellowship.

Tom Mahedy Wall, NJ 39, Married with two children, 5 and 7. Former Navy ROTC. Traveled to Central America with Pastors for Peace. Member of Pax Christi.

Abi Miller Harrisonburg, VA 23, Degree in Biology from James Madison University. Works at a restaurant in the process of collectivizing. Involved in a community center project, community garden organizing, and tutoring english as a second language.

Summer Nelson Missoula, MT 26, Environmental and social justice activist working with the Buffalo Field Campaign and Wild Rockies Earth First. Visual artist who uses art in activism. Aspiring wilderness survivalist and sustainable community builder doing trail work, organic farming and wilderness therapy programs.

Fr. William O’Donnell Berkeley, CA 72, member of the San Carlos Foundation

David O'Neil Elkton, VA

Mike Pasquale Syracuse, NY 33, Catholic. Program Director at Family Center. Director of International House at LeMoyne College.

Leone Reinbold Oakland, CA

Rich Ring is 33 years old and lives in Atlanta, where he is a human rights investigator. He grew up in Washington County, New York, and went to Earlham College. He has been an ecologist with The Nature Conservancy, and a Catholic Worker at St. Martin de Porres House in Harrisburg, PA. He is a member of Pax Cristi USA, Pennsylvania Abolitionists, and Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. He learned about the SOA in 2001 from travels in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala and the Autonomous Zones of Chiapas, Mexico.

Maxwell Sadler Edwards Waterville, ME

Kathy Shields Boylan Washington DC 58, Catholic Worker with Dorothy Day CW in Washington DC. Plowshares activist. Mother of 5. Grandmother of 3.

Michael Sobol Golden, CO 18, Graduates HS in May. Plans to defer college for a year to work in Guatemala with street children.

Lee Sturgis Elkton, VA

Fr. Louis Vitale, San Francisco, CA Franciscan priest. Pastor of an inner city parish in San Francisco. Working with marginated children and the homeless.

Fr. Jerry Zawada Cedar Lake, IN 65, Franciscan priest and Ecumenical. Just back from Palestine. Affiliated with Voices in the Wilderness.

Charges were dismissed against:

Sr. Rufina Cordova San Ysidro, CA 68, Dominican nun. Preschool teacher in Tijuana. Entered base because of invitation by SOA/WHISC for protesters to attend a presentation at the SOA/WHISC.

Anna Lisa Gross N. Manchester, IN 19, Student at Earlham. Member of Church of the Brethren. Arrested when she, and other Earlham students, accidentally drove on base.

Brook Kramer Richmond, KY 22, Student at Earlham College. Member of St. Thomas Lutheran Church and Jubilee Partners. Arrested when she, and other Earlham students, accidentally drove on base.

Peg Morton Eugene, OR 71, Three grown daughters, three grandchildren. Quaker with a faith based nonviolent philosophy. Spent time in Guatemala doing accompaniment of returned refugees. Member of CISCAP and War Resiters League. Entered base because of invitation by SOA/WHISC for protesters to attend a presentation at the SOA/WHISC.

Jesse Rutschman Chicago, IL 20, Mennonite. Student at Earlham College. Arrested when he, and other Earlham students, accidentally drove on base.

Ned Smith Wilkes-Barre, PA Catholic Worker from Harrisburg, VA CW. Massage therapist.


Contact us

SOA Watch
733 Euclid Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

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