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SOA WATCH: Justice Denied



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: SOA Watch <info@soaw.org>
Date: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:51 AM
Subject: Justice Denied
To: david.chirot@gmail.com



SOA Watch News & Updates
Justice Denied: Activists Imprisoned, SOA Remains Open
Federal Judge sentences SOA Watch activists to six months in prison

Once again, the justice system's complicity with the abuses taught at the School of the Americas was exposed yesterday at the trial of anti-militarization activists Nancy Smith and Chris Spicer. Nancy, from New York, changed her plea to no contest and was immediately sentenced to 6 months in prison by Magistrate Judge Stephen Hyles. In the SOA Watch tradition of using the court to put a spotlight on the SOA/WHINSEC, Nancy affirmed that she "felt a strong moral imperative" to carry out her nonviolent act of civil disobedience "on behalf of those who have suffered so terribly".

Chris, from Illinois, plead not guilty but was declared guilty by Judge Hyles and sentenced likewise to 6 months. In his closing statement before sentencing, Chris addressed the ongoing human rights abuses in Latin America carried out by graduates of the School of the Americas, and his need to confront the "paralysis of fear" that has gripped the country in recent times.

In November, Franciscan priest Fr. Louis Vitale, OFM and David Omondi of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker Community both pled no contest and were sentenced to the maximum 6 months in jail.

The decision by Judge Hyles to impose the maximum penalty for a nonviolent act of civil disobedience exposes the political nature of the trials and the justice system. However, we take the energy of Nancy, Christopher, David and Louis, along with the thousands of our brothers and sisters who have been massacred, raped, tortured and disappeared in their fight for a culture of peace with justice, and we will continue to move forward. We hope to see you all in Washington, DC, in April to bring the fight to close the SOA and end US militarism to the doorsteps of our policy makers.

The struggle is long, but we will prevail!
Nancy Smith gave an interview to Tamar Sharabi following Father Louis' trial in November in front of the courthouse in Georgia:


Current Updates on Nancy and Chris:
Nancy and Chris have now been transferred to the Irwin County, GA detention center where they will remain until further notice. Nancy can be written at the following address:

Nancy H. Smith
#7059
Irwin County Detention Center
132 Cotton Drive
Ocilla, GA 31774

Chris can be written at the following address:
Christopher Spicer
#7060
Irwin County Detention Center
132 Cotton Drive
Ocilla, GA 31774

Click here for tips about how to write to prisoners of conscience.
We are not sure how long they will be there or when they will be transferred. Please be sure to check the webpage for the current addresses of Nancy and Chris.
April Action DC


In order to successfully combat the repressive foreign policy employed by the US government, we must make our voices heard. Join us in April, when we will converge in DC to resist militarization and promote a culture of peace! Join us in fasting, music, direct action, lobbying congress, the 5th Latin American Solidarity Conference and art among many other things!

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