SOA Vigil - Fort Benning

Event Dates: 
11/20/14 - 11/23/14

The voices of the martyrs and of our recently deceased friend, Fr. Bill Brennan S.J., are calling you to join the Peacemakers at the gates of Fort Benning the weekend of November 20-23. This year will mark the 25th anniversary of both the protest and one of the events that motivated the first nonviolent demonstration: the massacre of 16-year old Celina Ramos, her mother Elba Ramos and six Jesuit priests at the University of Central America in El Salvador. 

For 25 years, thousands of protesters have gathered nonviolently on Ft. Benning Rd, just outside Fort Benning located in Columbus, GA to demand the closing of what was once called the School of the Americas - now renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) - a Defense Department program that brings Latin American soldiers to the U.S. for military training (supported with U.S. tax dollars).

"SOA Watch calls for the closure of the institute which exports the militarization of police, perpetuates coups, torture and human rights abuses in the face of social and political problems. The SOA/WHINSEC made headlines in 1996 when the Pentagon released training manuals that advocated torture, extortion and execution. Among its graduates are at least 11 dictators as well as leaders of the infamous Central American Death Squads. SOA/WHINSEC graduates are currently linked to the Honduran military coup and the repression campaign against social movements there, among other humanitarian crises" - SOA Watch.

The good news - six countries have now announced they will no longer send their soldiers to the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC). This is a tremendous victory for the human rights community across the Americas! We are extremely happy about this development that adds momentum in our efforts to shut down the SOA for good and to end U.S. militarization in the Americas. 

Interested in joining us for the November Vigil? Fill out and return THIS form. For more information contact Joyce Ellwanger, 414-933-6157