Thousands of people converged outside Fort Benning for the Anniversary of a November Vigil to Close the Schools Of the Americas or SOA (renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation and called by some “School Of Assassins”), last Sunday, according to SOA Watch. Also in attendance were 14 people from
Wichita, and McPherson. Newton
Some of those present committed non violent civil disobedience action and there were 26 people arrested. Of those arrests included three journalists, including TV news Crews from RT America.
SOA Watch is a non-violent grassroots organization that works for the closing the
School of the
Americas and a change in foreign policy. The crowd that gathered include human rights activists, torture survivors, veterans, faith-based communities, union workers, students, musicians and others from across the U.S. . Americas
School of the
This school is for military training for personnel in countries who are considered to be in the interest of the U.S. Government. Activist have charged SOA with teaching terrorist methods to deal with suspected opponents of military governments, torture and human rights abuses in general.
The schools is designed to protect governments in the Western hemisphere from organized opposition groups, whether political or para-military. During the 1980s, the school was believed responsible for the training of right-wing death squads in
When the rally participants tried to leave the vigil area, the police blocked off all exit points. After a few minutes, the police allowed people to leave on the sidewalk, only to follow them, indiscriminately arresting people who had neither committed any crimes nor engaged in civil disobedience.
In this era of “war on terrorism” it is not surprising that the government is coming down harder on those who protest against
foreign policy. They can now charge non-violent disobedience as if they are contributing to terrorism which in this case would be ridiculous. So far there has been little of this news in the mainstream press. So it is up to bloggers as my self to make sure people realize that this country no longer respects dissent. US