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Home News Organizing Updates Denial of 1st Amendment Rights will not halt Nonviolent Resistance on 25th Anniversary Vigil
Denial of 1st Amendment Rights will not halt Nonviolent Resistance on 25th Anniversary Vigil PDF Print E-mail
Dear Friends, Father Roy Bourgeois

Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren is messing with the wrong movement.

This year, as we prepare to gather for the 25th Vigil to Close the School of the Americas, he is trying to stop us from speaking truth to power at the main gates of Fort Benning as we have done since the first anniversary of the brutal massacre at the University of Central America in 1989.

In the protest permit “approval” he sent me, he’s denied our right to set up a stage and speakers so the messages from survivors of ongoing SOA-graduate violence in Colombia and Honduras can share with us their stories. And he’s said we cannot be in the street, and no more than 200 protesters at a time can be on the sidewalks of Fort Benning Road.

This political attack on our First Amendment rights cannot stand. I give you my word, we will fight this, and ensure a safe and legal space for all who wish to attend this year’s 25th anniversary Vigil (November 21-23). SOA Watch organizers and attorneys from the SOA Watch Legal Collective are working on the case, and we know that justice is on our side.

Will you stand with me, and sign this petition to Police Chief Boren urging him to reconsider his unjust denial of our right to peaceably assemble at the main gates of Fort Benning?

By standing together, our power cannot be denied, and we will raise our voices in solidarity with those struggling on the ground in Latin America against the violence and oppression wreaked by this infamous institute and corrupt US foreign policies. The vigil weekend will also include a march to the nearby Stewart Detention Center, a privately-run, for-profit immigrant prison, where thousands of our brothers are being held simply for seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Many of those who are incarcerated there had to escape the devastating consequences of past and present U.S. foreign policy in the region.

Thank you for your courage and solidarity, and keep an eye out for further updates as we prepare for what will be a Vigil to remember. Make your travel plans!

Yours in struggle,
Father Roy Bourgeois
Father Roy Bourgeois
 

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