Due to the movement to close the School of the America's commitment and constitutent pressure during our April Lobby Days and after, we have secured 22 original co-sponsors for the Latin America Military Training Review Act (LAMTRA) - the bill to suspend and investigate the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) - including a Republican! (The list of original co-sponsors is below, with Republicans italicized.)
It's a great start, but we need to keep the pressure on other Members of Congress to let them know that they have no excuse not to support the upcoming bill. Stress to them that this is not a partisan issue, but one of peace, human rights, and accountability.
Email your Representative today and urge them to join their colleagues and become an ORIGINAL co-sponsor of LAMTRA using this link! AND/OR
Call the Capitol Switchboard TOLL FREE at 866-338-1015 and ask to be connected to your Representative (if you're unsure who your Representative is, the Capitol switchboard will let you know based on your ZIP code). Talk to the office of your Representative and ask that they become an ORIGINAL co-sponsor of the Latin America Military Training Review Act (LAMTRA), which will soon be introduced by Repsresentatives McGovern & Lewis. If your Representative is one of the 22 listed below, please thank them for taking a stand for human rights.
P.S. Check out these two videos from the April Lobby Days street theater action in front of the Capitol South Metro station:Video by Eddie Becker
Video by Luke
Flexing Our Grassroots Muscle!
Now is your moment to step up and be heard.
On April 7-10, 2013, SOA Watch activists traveled to Washington, DC, to lobby Representatives and Senators, urging them to close the SOA/WHINSEC. At the November 2012 Vigil, we had representation from 37 states (and 10 Latin American countries!). We need to continue to build on that and put pressure on Congres!
Although our April Lobby Days are over, we need you to continue to pressure your Member of Congress. Getting a group of friends, family, community members, church leaders, schoolmates, etc. and taking the time to talk about the issue with the local district office makes a big impression.
You can click here for some helpful hints for setting up a meeting with your Congress member
Also, provide your Congress member and their staffer with information they can use to make their decision:
2. SOA/WHINSEC Graduates in the News (print out some of the latest information about SOA/WHINSEC grads)
Has your Representative taken a stand against the SOA/WHINSEC in the past?
Here is a copy of HR3368 (from the 112th Congress), which will be the same text as the new bill to suspend and investigate the SOA in the 113th Congress: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr3368ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr3368ih.pdf
There is still time to order SOA Watch Advocacy postcards! These postcards are great to get members of your community to sign and send in to your Representatives and Senators. Every time they get a postcard, it keeps the issue on their desk. So when times comes for a bill, they will know that people in their district care about closing the SOA/WHINSEC.
As justice and peace activists, and specifically anti-militarization activists working to close down the SOA/WHINSEC, we have a duty to encourage our representatives to choose the right path. An anti-militarization struggle, in our times, will NEVER be easy, but since we know that our actions today will lead to gains tomorrow, we must persevere and work on multiple fronts. Our lobbying efforts should be interconnected with our mass mobilizing efforts, our research efforts, and efforts from Latin America to fight imperialism and intervention.
PO Box 4566
Washington, DC 20017