|HR 3368 (112th Congress 2011-2012)|
Representative James McGovern (MA) reintroduced the Latin America Military Training Review Act as HR 3368 on November 4, 2011 along with 21 other original co-sponsors. This legislation would suspend operations at the SOA/ WHINSEC, investigate torture manuals and human rights abuses associated with the school, and conduct an assessment of military training in Latin America.
Across the country, grassroots activists are working to add their Member of Congress as a cosponsor, or supporter, of this bill. Has your Representative cosponsored this bill? Check this list of HR 3368 cosponsors to find out.
If they are not on the list, be a part of the campaign and take action! If your Representative is a co-sponsor, be sure to thank them for their support.
(You can also check your Representative's record on this issues by seeing if s/he was one of 69 Representatives to sign a letter to President Obama asking him to close the SOA and/or one of 103 Representatives who co-sponsored HR 2567 in the 111th Congress)
What You Can Do
1. Set up a meeting with your Representative in your district or in Washington, DC. SOA Watch activists working hard to get Members of the House of Representatives to co-sponsor HR 3368, The Latin America Military Training Review Act. We need a strong showing in order to keep the issue of the SOA/WHINSEC and militarization on the national agenda. Your phone calls and meetings with your Representative will be a HUGE boost for the movement, and you get the chance to really make your voice heard!
Click here for tips on setting up a meeting with your Representative. There is always strength in numbers! Put together a delegation of students, workers, friends, family, community leaders and other constituents to join you.
3. Include a 5 Minute Lobby Action at every event. During your meetings and events, take a few minutes to take action. Provide postcards or paper and envelopes, pens, and the name(s) of the Representative(s) in your area. Ask people present to sign and address the postcards or to write a brief letter (including their name and address). Then collect the postcards or letters and mail or take them to your Representative. (The letter does not have to be long, one or two sentences is enough. For example, I am writing to urge you to co-sponsor HR 3368, the Latin America Military Training Review Act. This legislation would suspend operations at the School of the Americas, renamed WHINSEC (Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation). *Make sure to include your address so the Representative knows you are a constituent.
4. Call or write your Representative and ask them to cosponsor HR 3368. (If they are a co-sponsor, call to say thank you!) You can contact the DC office of your Representative by calling the Capitol Hill Switchboard toll free at 1-800-473-6711, (or 202-224-3121). You can also look up your Representative's contact information on the House of Representatives website. Ask to speak with the foreign affairs legislative aide. Here is a suggested message for you to convey:
"As a constituent living in _________, I am calling Congressman/woman ________ to urge him/her to contact Rep. McGovern and ask to be a cosponsor of the Latin America Military Training Review Act, also known as HR 3368. This legislation would suspend operations at the School of the Americas, renamed WHINSEC (Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), and investigate the history of human rights abuses and failed policies of the institution.
Despite demands by Congress to have oversight over the curriculum and promote human rights, the Pentagon is now denying all requests to provide information to human rights organizations and the public about students and graduates of the school.
I urge you to contact Cindy Buhl in Congressman McGovern's office and ask that your boss be added as a cosponsor of this legislation. I hope you will represent my views and support this bill."
*name followed by district and date when they became a co-sponsor.
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