|Stop the Racist Terror: State Sponsored Violence at Home and Abroad|
In our work to close the School of the Americas (SOA) and to change oppressive US foreign policy, SOA Watch recognizes the SOA as part of a tradition and system of white supremacy.
The purpose of the School is to maintain US hegemony over the Western Hemisphere. It is also a tool to maintain white supremacy over the non-white populations of this hemisphere. Working for justice for the people of the Americas in a principled way means that we have to address white supremacy as one of the root causes of oppression.
SOA Watch started out in opposition to the School of the Americas and US militarization in Latin America, but has come to focus on the militarization of police, and the epidemic of police brutality within the US as well. The same racist mindset that promotes military solutions in Latin America, is at work when it comes to domestic policing.
Last year, US police officers killed 1,149 people, according to the research collaborative Mapping Police Violence. The likelihood that a black person killed by police will be unarmed is twice as high as for a white person killed by police.
SOA Watch has helped to organize encounters between people who lost loved ones to state violence in Latin America and the US, and works to unmask the history of systematic racist police violence against Black communities in the US. The militarization of local US police has turned communities into war zones, and civilians into “enemy forces.”
As a grassroots movement committed to justice and accountability, we must resist the “Drug War” and other excuses to clamp down on communities. Join us in pushing back. Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) reintroduced a bill to demilitarize police. HR 1232 - the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act - is one step towards resisting state sponsored violence at home.
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The Spring issue contains mobilizing information for the SOA Watch Border Convergence, which is taking place from October 7-10, 2016 at the US/Mexico border in Nogales, and also focuses on recent developments in Latin America and within the SOA Watch movement.
Click here to download a PDF version of the Spring 2016 issue.
As this issue of Presente went to print, our hearts were heavy. The assassination of our dear friend and comrade Berta Cáceres, and the increased repression against social movement groups, have left us shocked and saddened. SOA Watch Latin America liaison Brigitte Gynther traveled to Honduras the morning after she learned about the assassination and has been coordinating SOA Watch’s response together with our partner groups on the ground. If you do not already receive Urgent Action emails from us, please click here to sign up now.
The recent decision by the U.S. judge in North Carolina to extradite one of the perpetrators of the 1989 massacre at the University of San Salvador gives us hope that justice will prevail in the end. It will take all of us to create change! Please join us as we mobilize to the U.S./Mexico border from October 7-10, 2016!
Other articles in this issue cover a protest by SOA Watch in Chile against US bases in Latin America, the FBI surveillance of SOA Watch, updates from Colombia and Mexico, news about the first Border Patrol agent to receive training at WHINSEC, background information about Direct Action, the Youth Encuentro in Guatemala, and more.
Download this issue of Presente here.
Interview with Father Fausto Mila in Honduras
SOA Watch participated in the International Human Rights Encuentro in Honduras in February 2012. Laura Jung spoke with Father Fausto Milla, a religious leader in the Honduran movement who has been persecuted by the State of Honduras.
By Pablo Ruiz, Equipo Latinoamericano of SOA Watch
SOAW Chile achieved an important victory; to declassify the names of over 760 Chilean soldiers who took courses at the School of the Americas/WHINSEC during the past decade.
For more info about ¡Presente!, go to About US.
Now is the moment to build barriers, to build walls and to fight against intolerance, against racism, sexism and globalisation, to fight vigorously against that. And to re-unite people.
- Augusto Boal
A challenging new documentary has quickly become one of the
widest-reaching films to encapsulate the history of the SOA Watch
An in-depth look at the torture practices of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, focusing on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed in 2002.