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Monday, Nov. 17, 2003 at 5:20 PM
Close the SOA and remember the Prisoners Of Conscience! Jim Toren and Jon Blickenstaff from FootPrints For Peace are leading the way to Ft. Benning to honor those who have volunteered to go to prison in order to bring public awareness to the "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation" formerly known as the "School Of Americas".
In the dark cold hours of this morning, November 16th, 2003 a small group of dedicated people have awakened early, eaten breakfast, gotten dressed and gathered in Lexington Kentucky at the Federal Medical Center, a Federal prison, to begin a run to the SOAW protest at Ft. Benning Georgia.
Their purpose is to honor and support the people in prison who are known as Prisoners Of Conscience. These people are in prison because they performed acts of civil disobedience at Ft. Benning as witness to the wrong doings of their government and were willing to suffer the wrath of their government in order to bring awareness to all America and indeed the world, that something is wrong and needs to be changed! They are all volunteers and patriots in the truest sense of the word.
Ft. Benning is the home of the School Of Americas now known euphemistically as "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation".
Every mile between Lexington Kentucky and Ft. Benning, located in Columbus Georgia, will feel the footprints of a runner. "Every step is a prayer, every mile is a ceremony" is the creed of the running group which is known as "FootPrints For Peace". They carry a banner with the names of those still in prison for actions at Ft. Benning last year. The banner also has the names of all the past prisoners to whom prior runs were dedicated.
On Wednesday the 19th a group of students from Earlham College in Richmond Indiana will be joining the run.
Upon arrival at Ft. Benning the running group will join the annual SOAW protest along with many thousands of others who believe that the government of the United States should close the SOA.
And so they are off, through the cold and rain along the roads of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia walking, running and praying for the prisoners and for peace and justice. Please pause for a moment and pray with them as they run. Join with them if you see them and support all those willing to give of themselves for the cause of peace and justice. It may seem like a small step but in the words of another great peacemaker:
"Not a single word, cry, smile, prayer, run, walk, kiss, embrace, vigil, or act of civil resistance offered out of love for peace is lost in the struggle for justice and the renewal of this sacred earth and space". Erik Johnson - 12/08/2002, FCI Manchester
Americans do care!
Peacehq reporting - 11/16/03
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