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Sample Local News Release

The following model should be tailored from a local angle. While it is focused on your commmunity traveling to the vigil in November, the basic layout can be adapted to many situations, including an event in your town or city or your group traveling to DC for Lobby Days and Actions. It's important to try to keep your release to one page.

Feel free to contact the DC office of SOA Watch with any questions. You can reach us at media(at)soaw.org or at 202-234-3440.

Find contact information for local and national media.

Click here to download the release as a Word document.

Template for Local Press Release
Fill in the [areas in brackets] with your local info.

for immediate release
[Date], 2008

Local contact: [Name and phone number (cell phone, if possible)]
SOA Watch contact: Hendrik Voss, 202.234.3440

[Your Town] Residents to Join Thousands in Georgia Calling for Closure of Controversial Training Facility for Latin Americans

Human Rights Advocates Rally to Demand Closure of U.S. Army's School of the Americas

[Your Town] This weekend residents of the [your town] community will join thousands from across the nation at Fort Benning, Georgia to demand a dramatic shift in U.S. foreign policy and the closure of the controversial U.S. Army's School of the Americas (SOA).

"Despite a shocking human rights record, this school continues to operate with US taxpayer money," said [local person going to Georgia]. "Closing the SOA would send a strong human rights message to Latin America and the world."

The SOA, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, made headlines in 1996 when the Pentagon released training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, extortion and execution. Despite this admission and hundreds of documented human rights abuses connected to soldiers trained at the school, no independent investigation into the facility has ever taken place.

Support for the SOA/ WHINSEC continues to erode. In 2007, Presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia and Oscar Arias of Costa Rica announced that their countries would end all military and police training at the school, becoming the fourth and fifth countries after Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela to announce a cessation of training.

[Person's name] and [number of others traveling] others will leave for Georgia on [date of departure]. [Sentence about your local group]. Last November, 25,000 people gathered at the gates of Ft. Benning to call for the closure of the school, the largest demonstration yet in a 17-year history of opposition to the school.

["Insert quote here connecting struggle to close the SOA with a local struggle in your community," person going to Georgia.] OR [One or two closing sentences about your group: how many years you've traveled, how big you are, who's in it, etc].

# # #

Actions to take in solidarity with those in prison
Current SOA Watch Prisoners of Conscience
Legislative Action Index
Take Action Index
Talking Points to close the SOA/WHINSEC
Background Info
Public Access Television Stations and Media Centers
7 Steps to Local Media Coverage
Media Basics
Media Guide for Activists
Working With the Media
Sample News Release
background footage available in DV format
November 2008 Public Service Announcement
Sample Press Releases
Sample Relese for Defendants Going to Trial in 2008
Sample Press Release for July 2nd Release of Prisoners of Conscience
Sample Local News Release for Defendants Sentenced on 2/10
Sample Local News Release for Defendants Going to Trial Starting February 10
Letters to the Editor
Sample Letter to the Editor about Upcoming Trials
Recent Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor: The Basics

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