Schedule a meeting with your Member of Congress Print
April 4-11, 2011 - SOA Watch Days of Action in Washington, DC!
Monday, April 11: Lobby Day to Close the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC)

SOA Watch's Lobby Day is coming up on Monday, April 11, following the fast, conference, march and direct action in Washington, DC. It is critical that the Latin America solidarity community comes out in force.


The gathering in Washington, DC promises to be more exciting than ever. It will be a week of solidarity, learning, and action with a focus on closing the SOA/WHINSEC and ending U.S. militarization. On Monday, April 11, you can take what you have heard and learned to Congress. Take your passion, your anger, and your vision of a just world to your Representatives through a visit on Capitol Hill. Let them know there is another way to approach our relations with Latin America ~ and let them know we are not going away until the SOA/WHINSEC is shut down.

This year, we are collecting signatures from Members of Congress to a letter urging President Obama to issue an Executive Order closing the SOA/WHINSEC. At your meetings, ask your Representative to sign this letter so that it can be presented to President Obama with as broad Congressional support as possible.

We are also deeply concerned about the continued refusal of the Obama administration to release the names of those who study and teach at the SOA/ WHINSEC. While claiming to stress human rights and teach civilian authority over the military, WHINSEC and the Department of Defense routinely deny Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the names of graduates and instructors. Public access to these names is critical if we are to hold the graduates and the institution accountable. It is the only tool we as citizens have to pierce the veil of secrecy that surrounds the school and put an end to the impunity it now enjoys. Transparency is critical to the operation of democracy and must be restored with relation to the SOA/WHINSEC. This is an important issue to address with you Representatives.

The SOA/WHINSEC remains a flagship institution in US foreign policy and embodies the ever-increasing militarization of the region. This is one reason the military and corporate structures have fought so hard to keep it open. SOA/WHINSEC graduates continue to target labor organizers, human rights activists, anyone who for a more just and equitable system. Grassroots lobbying is using the collective power of our communities and coalitions to pressure legislators. It is one piece of a larger overall strategy to close the SOA and end US militarization. Join this effort by lobbying your congressional representatives on April 11.

Prepare for your visits now. Start by contacting your Representative to set up an appointment. Visit the SOA Watch April Lobbying page for information on planning and preparing for your visits and other lobbying resources. These pages will be updated regularly in the days before the Action Days, so check back often. You can download the lobby packet before you come. If you have any questions, call the office at 202-234-3440 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Finally, let us know you are coming! Email Alison Snow at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We can help put you in touch with other constituents who are coming to DC as well.

Monday, April 11 Lobbying and Call-In
We’ll kick off the day with a Lobby Training Workshop. It will include a brief history of SOA Watch legislative efforts, an update of current legislative strategy, an analysis of the new Congress with insights into positive and negative changes, and materials for your visits. You will a chance to practice lobbying skills and to meet with other constituents to plan your visits.

Time: 8:30 – 10:00
Place: Parish Hall,
Lutheran Church of the Reformation*
212 East Capitol Street
Washington, DC 20003

10:00- 4:00 Conference Room, Lutheran Church of the Reformation
We will be in the conference room all day to collect visit reports and provide materials

Will you be in DC from April 4–8 for the fast, but not for the Lobby Day on Monday, April 11?
You can still make your voice heard in Congress! Lobbying training and materials for visits will be available throughout the week of April 4–8, if you are unable to stay until Monday, April 11. Please contact Alison Snow at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to meet up or set up a lobby training for your group.