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News ::
Nov.15-17: Close Down the School of Assassins! (english)
07 Oct 2002
Massive Rally and Nonviolent Civil Resistance Actions
Fort Benning, GA: November 15-17, 2002
Massive Rally and Nonviolent Civil Resistance Actions Fort Benning, GA: November 15-17, 2002


With the drums of war beating in Washington and plans for US military action in Iraq
intensify, while the fire of the Bush administration’s “war on terrorism”
flares with big oil and disregard for real domestic social problems, the surge of dissent
against U.S. hegemony and military and economic intervention in Latin America is being met
with violence and repression.

Not a month goes by in which we don’t learn about civil resistance actions and
massive demonstrations by campesin@s, union workers, students and others in Latin America.
The people are standing up against the selling out of their natural resources to US and
multinational corporations, to military repression, and to intimidation. Massive organizing has taken place in Ecuador, as the
people mobilize civil resistance actions against the Free Trade of the Americas Agreement
(FTAA) summit that is going to take place in Quito, the capital of Ecuador from October 27
– November 3. In Colombia, masses of women organized by the Organización
Femenina Popular (OFP) and others have taken to the streets in opposition to the deadly
US-funded war. In Argentina hundreds of thousands bang on their “caceroles”
(pots and pans) against the neoliberal order.

It is obvious and understood that the repression of the poor in order to maintain the
status quo-to keep the rich powerful and the poor silent - is unable to happen without the
military muscle trained at the SOA. The School of the Americas renamed the Western
Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation is playing a crucial part in this project.
If we really are serious about eliminating terrorism around the world, it is imperative
that we should begin in our own backyard and shut down our own terrorist training camp,

The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation/
School of the Americas is a US military training school established in Panama in 1946,
ostensibly "to bring stability to Latin America." Currently located at Fort
Benning, GA, the SOA, often dubbed the "School of Assassins," trains hundreds of
soldiers each year, at a cost to US tax payers of millions of dollars annually. Graduates
of the SOA training program have done little to promote stability in their countries. In
fact, hundreds have already been cited in the rape, "disappearance," torture,
and massacre of thousands of Latin Americans. Their primary targets have included
educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, indigenous communities
and those who speak out on behalf of the poor.

A Resistance movement to challenge and change corrupt and oppressive US foreign policy and
ultimately to close the School of the Americas/WHISC formed after the truth about the SOA
came to light. This movement, which began 10 years ago, is deeply rooted in the spirit of
nonviolence and has been able to educate and empower broad sectors of society. As a result
of uncompromising nonviolent civil resistance actions on the US Army base, Fort Benning,
70 SOA Watch human rights defenders have cumulatively spent 40 years in prison, serving
sentences ranging from one to 24 months. An additional 28 prisoners of conscience are
currently serving between 3 and 6 months in prison across the US.


On November 15-17 2002, thousands of people of faith and conscience will converge in
Georgia at the gates of the Fort Benning military base and engage in nonviolent direct
action to say NO to torture, rape and murder in our names and to shut down the School of
the Americas (SOA). We will walk along with the spirits of the martyred in remembrance and
to demand justice.

For more information about the November 2002 vigil and nonviolence civil resistance
actions, visit

See also:
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