|Close the SOA Fast|
Hungry for Justice, Starving for Change - Join Father Roy Bourgeois this April 4-10, 2011 for a liquids-only Fast for Peace and Justice and Against Militarization. Father Roy is looking for a "few good people" to stand with him during his 7-day fast - will you come to DC and fast for justice?
Fast locations in Washington, DC
Monday, April 4 - 9am to 5pm at the White House
Click here to view a map of fasts and actions throughout the hemisphere.
SOLIDARITY WITH THE SOA FAST
During the first four days of our fast, we will dedicate each day to a different group that has been involved in the movement to close the School of the Americas. We are aware of the importance of learning from and connecting with other struggles. Each day, from 12-2, we will invite representatives of specific groups to come and stand with the fasters and teach us about their struggles.
Monday, April 4 - Day With Unionists - 12-2pm at the White House. The School of the Americas has long targeted trade-unionists in Latin America who have demanded better wages, collective bargaining and opposing free trade agreements which only benefit the wealthy and the corporations. Colombia is the country with the highest rate of union killings in the world, and coincidentally has sent the most soldiers to the School of the Americas. When indigenous peoples in Mexico started a rebellion in 1994, in part to protest the increasing neo-liberal trade policies being implemented under the coming NAFTA, we saw a spike in human rights violations and an increase in the numbers of Mexican soldiers trained at the SOA. The soldiers trained at the SOA are the muscle behind the unfair trade policies being carried out. Now in Honduras, under the SOA-led security apparatus, teachers are being killed and detained and neoliberal megaprojects are being imposed from above.
Here in the United States, the fight started in Wisconsin to protect collective bargaining and unions calls to mind the attacks on unionists in Latin America. Our fight for a culture of peace and justice must link arms with our sisters and brothers in the unions.
Tuesday, April 5 - Day With Religious Workers And Torture Survivors - 12-2pm on the Capitol Grounds (location to be determined). During the wars in Central America of the 70s and 80s, some of the most vocal opponents to the violence in those countries were clergy and religious workers, driven by the sense of justice and siding with the poor. Indeed, people like Monsignor Oscar Romero (El Salvador), who was killed by SOA graduates, and Monsignor Juan Gerardi (Guatemala), were killed for speaking the truth. Clergy and religious workers who defend the poor have typically been targeted by SOA graduates.
Torture survivors have been some of the most vocal activists in the movement to close the SOA. The Pentagon Manuals released in 1996 were clear in their suggested use of torture as a means of suppressing social movements. During the November vigil at the gates of Ft. Benning, torture survivors have always taken a lead in standing for justice and closing the SOA.
Wednesday, April 6 - Day With Immigrants - 12-2 at the White House. The violence exacted upon the peoples of Latin America has typically been in the name of protecting access to markets and resource extraction. This belief that goods are more valuable than human life has fueled the displacement of millions of people throughout the Americas. The increased militarization that the US is currently pushing in the Americas will only serve to deepen the devastation, tearing apart the social fabric of communities, and forcing people to leave their homes. From El Salvador, at least 700 people leave that country every day as economic and political refugees. As people are torn from their homelands and forced to find work and security in countries like the United States, they are then scapegoated and marginalized and submitted to further repression, through police brutality and deportations.
The US deports close to 400,000 Latin American immigrants each year. Given that their countries are only being further militarized to stop social movements and extract resources, we must continue to stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters, resist deportation and end US militarization of immigration policies.
Thursday, April 7 - Day With Veterans - 12-2pm at the White House. Veterans have been some of the key players in the peace and justice movement, and more exactly within the SOA Watch movement. They have seen the horrors of war, and have decided to take a moral stance and speak out against the military machine. Since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq started, hundred of veterans have spoken out against militarization of our world and risked arrest. Many of those who have crossed the line at Ft. Benning, and spent months in prison, have been veterans.
At a time when endless war seems always on the horizon, we must continue to support those who speak out against the military machine.
______________________________________________Fasting has been present in all the world's spiritual traditions. Fasts help focus an individual or a group and have often been used as an effective nonviolent tool for achieving social change.
SOA Watch is calling on people to engage in a 6-day juice fast from April 4-10, during which participants will abstain from food and only drink water and juices. Juice fasts are less intensive than water-only fasts. The advantage of juice fasts is that fruit and vegetable drinks can supply extra energy and nutrients. People can fit three days of juice fasting into their normal schedules without significant drops in energy.
Fasts longer than 3 days require medical supervision as well as a thorough assessment to ensure that nutrient deficiencies do not result.
Consult a qualified health professional before you begin your fast. Some people shouldn't fast without professional supervision. For example:
Juice fasts must be entered and exited with care. To enter a juice fast, the diet should be gradually lightened over a few days. First, heavy foods such as meats and dairy products should be eliminated for a day or two. Grains, nuts, and beans should then be reduced for several days. The day before a juice fast, only easily digested foods like fruits, light salads, and soups should be eaten. During the fast, only raw vegetable and fruit juices, pure water and occasional herbal teas should be drunk.
Juice fasts should be ended as gradually as they are entered, going from lighter to heavier foods progressively. The diet after a fast should emphasize fresh, wholesome foods. Fasters should particularly take care not to overeat when they complete a fast.
Here is an example on how to gradually introduce solid foods back into the diet:
Day 1: Two pieces of fruit. Each piece of fruit is divided in half so there are four servings.
Day 2: Lightly steamed non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach.
Day 3: Brown rice, fresh salad.
Day 4: Organic yogurt, unflavored and unsweetened. Eggs.
Day 5: Meat, chicken, fish, tofu, if eaten.
Day 6: Beans, other grains may be introduced, if eaten.
Day 7: Other foods, as desired.
What does a typical juice fast involve?
Fasting can reduce blood proteins and change the way medications react in the body. People taking medication should consult a health professional before starting a juice fast, and should never discontinue or reduce their medications on their own.
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