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SOA Watch: Meet Us at the Gates!

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2010 10:45:57 -0500
Subject: Meet Us at the Gates!

SOA Watch News & Updates
Nov.19-21: Memoria y Resistencia
Twenty Years of Convergence at the Gates of Ft. Benning
It's that time again! Only 4 days until thousands from across the hemisphere and beyond join together with one common goal of shutting down the School of Americas. As we reach the 20th anniversary of converging at the gates of Ft. Benning, we acknowledge the strength of the School of Americas Watch movement is due to the many of you who work year round to change the system that creates injustice and militarization across the globe.

This year, like many others before, we come together in memoria y resistencia at the gates of Ft. Benning in Georgia to let our voices be heard loud and clear: SOMOS UNA SOLA AMERICA.

Before we come together for a weekend of celebration and solidarity with workshops, speakers, musicians and more, it is important that we remember why we strategically gather at the gates of Fort Benning.

We gather to resist the growing U.S. militarization of the Americas and to affirm the promotion of a culture of peace. We come to insist that the doors of this School of Assassins close and that doors of peace in the Americas open. As we perceive that the SOA has "jumped the gates" and is multiplying in U.S. military bases, troops, ships and fleets in the Americas, we come to say: NO MAS. We come to build bridges with our compatriots of this UNA SOLA AMERICA.

Many who have entered these gates with dignity have returned to their countries to commit atrocities that are beyond any adjective with may choose, becoming stripped of their very own dignity. The legacy of destruction of the SOA continues today.

  • The majority of those responsible for the gravest abuses of human rights in Latin America are graduates of the School of the Americas.
  • 65,000 troops have been trained at the School of America's to view their own communities as enemies when they stand up for their rights.
  • Teachers, union leaders, artists, students and others working for social justice and the affirmation of their nation's sovereignty have been targeted as terrorists, threatened and killed.
  • U.S. military presence in Latin America has multiplied in recent years, including the leasing of numerous military and naval bases by the US and NATO in numerous countries of the Americas, the relaunching of the Fourth Naval Fleet in the Atlantic and the militarization of "humanitarian" aid/ and emergency relief.
  • Coup d'etats are not a thing of the past. In this past decade, three coup attempts in Latin American have been led by SOA graduates, including the 2009 coup in Honduras that ushered in a repressive government supported by the U.S.

    But our anger can also lead us to a constructive place of peace in which we come together to denounce the lies and complicity of those upholding a system of militarization. Building true solidarity means finding the connections between our struggles in order to be united in strength. The neoliberal policies that continue to create, this phenomenom of militarization is affecting all of our communities.

    It is clear to see that we cannot fight against such strong power on our own, we need your help. There are many different actions occurring across the globe in conjunction with SOA Watch vigil in Fort Benning. Please join in or create your action in your community through creative nonviolent tactics of educating and bringing awareness to others. There are many different ways that you can do this which include having a film screening, creating legislative pressure or holding a vigil on the main street of your town in honor of those who have been victim to the School of Assassins!

    There are also 15 simultaneous actions that we know about thus far in México, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Paraguay, El Salvador, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, and Ireland. For more information, click here.

    Stand up for justice:

  • Join us in Georgia this week!
    Please review before heading down to Georgia for everything you need to know.
    Here is a link of the weekend's events!

    Engage in Nonviolent Direct Action to Close the SOA/WHINSEC
  • Want to participate but can't risk federal arrest? Attend the Direct Action preparation: for all risk levels meeting on Friday night 7:30-9:30pm, Convention Center 207; or Saturday after the plenary at 10:45am.
  • Find out more about "crossing the line"?

    Attend a nonviolence training
  • Friday in the convention center 9am-12pm and 2-5pm
  • For last minute nonviolence training please meet on Saturday, November 20th, at 1:30pm near the entrance on Ft. Benning road.

    Things you don't want to miss!
  • Please make sure to attend the morning plenary. Click here to read the speakers bios!
  • Rally at the gates with speakers, musicians and more. Saturday November 20th 11:30-4:30pm & Sunday 8:30am-2pm.
  • Benefit concerts on both Friday and Saturday nights
  • Immigrant Rights Rally at the Stewart Detention Center Friday 10am-12pm in Lumpkin, Georgia (45 mins from Columbus). Meet at the Convention Center at 8:15AM to find a ride or join the caravan.
  • Job, Internship, Volunteer and Religious Vocational Fair, Saturday 8-10pm, CC Ballroom A

    Hotels, Motels and Camping around Columbus

    Your time, energy, and donations make this vigil possible. Our work depends on you!
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    Contact us.

    Our mailing address is:
    SOA Watch, PO Box 4566, Washington, D.C. 20017, USA

    Our telephone: (202) 234 3440

    Click here to fund the campaign to close the SOA.
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