For 25 Years the SOA Watch Movement has been on a Journey
A journey to live into the radical hope that marked the lives of  14-year-old Celina Ramos, her mother Elba, and Jesuit priest dissidents Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J., Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J., Segundo Montes, S.J., Juan Ramón Moreno, S.J., Joaquín López y López, S.J., Amando López, SJ. Through the years we have felt the heart break of the people and the lands devastated by the SOA, destroyed by our economic agenda and denied self –determination through our  geo-political interests in Latin America.

We have been uplifted, educated, inspired, and humbled by the movements of the Americas as we have fought together against, coups, trade agreements, environmental devastation, military training, and human rights violations.

We have seen that the infamous SOA is not just a building; it is not just a policy. The School is a mindset with roots as old as the colonization of the Americas. It is the belief that land, resources and human rights are commodities that can be bought, stolen and destroyed. In that mindset there are no ancestors, no memory, and no imagination. Inside that set of beliefs Celina, Elba and the six Jesuits were dangerous enough to assassinate but not human enough to have a right to live.

The School is in the wall being erected at the border. The SOA is in the cruel logic of Plan Colombia and Plan Mérida. The School is in NAFTA and CAFTA. The School does not stay in Columbus, Georgia, it travels far and wide in its attempt to prevent the dreams of Celina, Elba and the six Jesuits to take root and flourish, overturning a 500 year old empire.

As social movement organization with roots on both sides of the border, we have come to see that we too must be able to move. That
we too must follow the SOA as it devastates, controls and forcibly disappears. For we carry the ancestors, the memory and the imagination as antidote to empire in our voices, our songs, our direct action, our legislation, our Vigil, our Puppetistas and our hearts.

Over the past 25 years, the SOA Watch movement has grown and evolved from a handful of people who gathered at the gates of Fort Benning, to a hemisphere-wide movement. Thousands have been educated and mobilized to take a stand against empire and militarization, and against all that the SOA represents. New activists are joining long-term SOA Watch members, including many youth and students from multinational and working-class communities.  Together, we can bring the antidote of the Vigil, the challenge to the SOA, to a new place.

As we inherited the dreams and strength of all those that the SOA has tried to silence, we seek your voice in planning how to move forward together. Let us know your vision for the November Vigil in 2016 at
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