Report from the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia: November 19-21, 2004 Print
Over 16,000 people from across the Americas ? including actors Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon and George Wendt and musician Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls ? gathered this weekend outside the gates of Ft. Benning, Georgia in the largest and most diverse demonstration yet of opposition to the School of the Americas/ WHINSEC!

The gathering culminated on Sunday with a solemn funeral procession to the gates of Fort Benning. Fifteen people were arrested in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience, many negotiating a 10-foot-high barbed-wire fence to enter the base. They took this action despite knowing they likely face 3-6 months in federal prison. Since protests against the SOA/WHINSEC began fourteen years ago, 170 people have served prison sentences of up to 2 years for civil disobedience.

?Prison will not deter us,? said Elizabeth Nadeau, who was among those arrested today. ?We will be here until we close the school and change the foreign policy that it represents.? Nadeau, 27, is a student and member of the Steelworkers Union in Minneapolis, MN.

Check out a short film of the 2004 Vigil -- including incredible testimony from torture survivors, music, Susan Sarandon and more. (Click on image at left to watch film).

Legislative Activities During the Vigil 2004

This year the legislative training was expanded and diversified to prepare to lobby smart and hard for the vote in 2005. All weekend there was presentations to caucuses/group meetings, legislative trainings and information/ action tables available. Being informed, connected and inspired are vital to our ability to win, and create a huge victory for all of the peace-loving people of this world.

Take a look at photos from the November 2004 Vigil!

<~~ Photos by Wendy Edwards

<~~Slideshow by Wendy Edwards

Photos by Linda Panetta and SOAW Northeast! ~~>

Click here for more photos by The Media Gallery at Atlanta Indymedia!