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Home About Us Working Groups
Get Involved with SOA Watch Working Groups PDF Print E-mail


Do you want to be more active with School of the Americas Watch? We need your involvement in working groups! Working groups are composed of individuals who dedicate their time to work on a specific area of the SOA Watch campaign. As a grassroots movement, the power is in the people involved! Consider signing up for one or more of the following working groups and let your voice be heard.


YEARLY WORKING GROUPS

Development Working Group: The Development Working Group is looking for folks who have interest in doing short term fundraising and planning long term development to be part of a working group to meet periodically and help out at events as able. Welcome persons with passion or talent or experience in fundraising/development. To join, contact Katherine Henao at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or at (202) 234-3440.

Legislative Working Group: The Legislative Working Group is an on-going working group of SOA Watch. We include representatives of various local SOA groups throughout the country, members of the SOA Watch grassroots council, and the Legislative Coordinator staff person from the DC office. Together we make decisions by consensus about the overall legislative strategy of the movement incorporating feedback and participation from the SOA Watch grassroots council (the decision-making body) as well as from the DC staff who give us logistical and financial support. Through our monthly conference calls we additionally give updates about our work across the country in various congressional districts. We are always open to new members. To join, contact Arturo Viscarra at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or at 202-234-3440.

Student/Youth Working Group: Since the beginning of the SOA Watch movement, students have been instrumental in the growth and increased strength of the movement to shut down the SOA. A growing number of high school and colleges across the U.S. and Canada sponsor trips to Ft. Benning for the November Vigil.

The Student/Youth Working Group seeks to further organize the collective strength of students working to close the SOA/ WHINSEC. To get involved in the planning of this year's student/youth caucus, or to mobilize with other schools in your area, contact María Luisa Rosal at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Research Working Group: The SOA Watch Research Working Group is forming now! We have a vision of growing into an international network of scholars, students, academics, and researchers working together to add fuel to the legislative, media, and public education fires to close the SOA/WHINSEC and to stop torture. If you thirst for knowledge and are interested doing research we can use to shut the SOA/WHINSEC, email María Luisa Rosal at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


NOVEMBER COORDINATING TEAM

(includes yearly working groups)

Conference Working Group: The Conference Working Group will help to structure the conference at the November vigil, including themes, plenaries and coordinating workshop spaces. Some of the goals are to focus on making the conference space inclusive and accessible, as well as an interactive space for people to connect on militarization issues and beyond. Contact Hendrik at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or at 202-234-3440.

Families to Close the SOA Working Group: We are beginning to work on strategies to encourage and facilitate family participation in the annual Vigil to Close the SOA/WHINSEC. Some of our ideas include a hospitality room for parents with babies, an area in front of the stage for kids, a time for teaching songs to close the SOA to children, an art time for making symbols kids can carry in the Sunday procession and a teach-in for middle school folks. Have you brought kids to the Vigil in the past and had ideas about how to make their experience better? Contact Nancy Jones at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Legal Collective Working Group: The Legal Collective is a group of activists, lawyers, law students and paralegals who offer legal trainings and support during the November vigils and subsequent trials. The legal collective sets up and staffs a legal office and hotline during the vigil weekend, and we follow up on any vigil attendees arrested during that time. To get involved, contact Alison McCrary ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

Logistics Working Group: This group handles various construction and supply projects at the November vigil. If you are handy and eager to help, contact the national office at 202-234-3440 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Media Working Group:
The media working group is in the process of becoming an ongoing working group. Our mission is to spread the word far and wide about the SOA via the mainstream and alternative media, and to empower more folks in this grassroots movement to do the same. This work can include pitching reporters and news outlets to cover the issue, writing and placing opinion pieces and letters to the editor, arranging interviews, answering phones, editing and coaching local groups. All experience levels welcome! To get involved, contact Hendrik at 202-234-3440 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Puppet/Street Theater Working Group: The Puppet/Street Theater working group is a dynamic group that comes together to create puppets and a street theater piece for the November vigil. To get involved, contact Jake Weinstein (203)843-7444 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and visit the Puppetista website.

Spanish Language Media Working Group:
This newly-formed, ongoing working group works to outreach to Spanish-language media across the Americas. We welcome new folks who speak Spanish to get involved! For more information, contact Marcos Rubinstein at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Sara Koopman at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Grupo de Trabajo de Traducción: El grupo de trabajo de traducción es un grupo en curso de SOA Watch. Traducimos documentos y interpretamos para las vigilias en Ft. Benning los noviembres y en eventos todo el año. Todavía estamos aceptando miembros nuevos. Contáctese a Marcos Rubinstein a This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it o Sara Koopman a This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Stage and Program Working Group: Beginning in the early spring of each year, the stage and program working group works to contact speakers, musicians and performers for the November vigil at the gates of Ft. Benning. We create the programs used at the vigil and coordinate music and musicians for all trainings and caucuses. We work closely with many other working groups, including translation, anti-oppression, puppets, POC's, peacekeepers and development, at the November vigil. To get involved, contact Hendrik at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Tabling Working Group:
This group organizes the tables at the November Vigil. Many SOA Watch Working Groups, local and regional SOA Watch groups, and other progressive organizations table at the Vigil. Serving on the Tabling Working Group is an excellent way to get to know many different activists in the SOA Watch movement! To get involved, contact Tom Bottolene at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Constituency Group Caucuses:

Labor Caucus: From its beginning, the mission of the SOA has been to train soldiers to protect the interests of multinational corporations and maintain the economic status quo for the few rich and powerful in the US and their cohorts in Latin America. Labor leaders and union organizers have always been among the primary targets of SOA violence.

Organized labor in North America has played a crucial role in the struggle to close the SOA/ WHINSEC. Local and national unions have passed resolutions for the closure of the school and sponsored educational events around the issue. An organized labor caucus takes place annually in Georgia before the November vigil action. To get involved, contact Rebecca at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .