- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Eric LeCompte
Tuesday, Nov. 01, 2005 at 9:53 AM
With legislation on the verge of passing to close the "School of the Assassins", the time has come this November to stand up against violence, torture, and war! This Nov. 18-20 we ask that all those who stand for justice and democracy join us at the gates of The U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC), in Fort Benning, Georgia. In November of 1989, 14-yr old Cecilia Ramos, her mother, and 6 Jesuit Priests were murdered by a Salvadoran Death Squad attempting to instill fear in anyone who raised their voice against El Salvador's military. This November - as the 15th anniversary of the SOA Watch movement and support for legislation HR 1217 on the verge of closing the school - we need YOU, your family and friends, to join us at the gates in Fort Benning to end the violence and demand justice and freedom.
We Can Win; Now When We Take a Stand for Human Rights It Means More. . .
By Eric LeCompte
Celina Ramos was fourteen years old when a Salvadoran death squad murdered her, her mother and six Jesuit Priests - professors at the University of Central America - in November of 1989. The death squads were trying to send a message of fear to those who would raise their voices against the military in El Salvador. The soldiers responsible for these horrendous murders were trained at the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA), based at Fort Benning, Georgia.
In November of 1990 a group of 10 people - Salvadorans, U.S. veterans and religious leaders gathered at the gates of Fort Benning and fasted to close the school that caused the death of Celina, her mom and the Jesuits. Every November, the number grew, first by hundreds and then by thousands. Last year over 16,000 people gathered and this year even more will gather at the gates as we celebrate 15 years of work to close this undemocratic institution.
YOU are needed at the gates of Fort Benning this November, and this year your body in front of those gates will mean more than ever before. This year is different than other years when we have gathered to end the violence because our legislation is pending in Congress - and we have MORE than a fighting chance to win. As soon as this spring, Congress will vote on whether or not they should close the School of the Americas and we have more Republican support than ever before. With the political climate rapidly leaning in our favor we believe we are close with the votes we need on HR 1217, our bill to close the SOA. Additionally - due to the work that many of you have done, we already have 122 co-sponsors on our bill to close this infamous school. We only need 150 co-sponsors to set the stage for a victory.
When we gather at the gates this year stronger than ever - we say we are not afraid and we send a message to this Congress that they must close this school down when they vote in the months after our vigil. This year is different, and it will take all of us, to vote with our feet by standing outside the gates of Fort Benning, November 18-20, 2005. We will not let Celina's death go unchallenged.
Our tax dollars funded the arming and training of the soldiers who killed Celina Ramos, her mother and six priests. The graduates of this school have been found responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the Americas. We've even found out that the school is still training known human rights abusers like Francisco Del Cid Diaz, who was back at the school in 2003 after being found responsible for the beating and execution of 16 people in the 1980s.
We've seen the school's infamous torture manuals that instructed SOA graduates to target union organizers and human rights advocates. We see the graduates bust unions organizing workers in U.S. corporate supported sweatshops in Mexico and see the graduates protecting the profitable oil pipelines of Colombia. Consistently the graduates are seen protecting the interests of the rich and attempting to instill fear in those who oppose the economic status quo.
In spite of the terror and policy of fear, our world is changing and in much of Latin America corrupt regimes are falling, and brothers and sisters are in the street singing songs of victory and building the world they knew was possible. Your presence at the gates signifies your membership in the greatest global struggle of our time.
We need YOU to bring your friends, parents, sisters and brothers, children and co-workers to transform a site of violence into a site of memory and community. If you've been to the gates before, you know that it is a life changing experience. The more people that you bring with you to the gates will be more people who are set on the road that journeys toward justice and freedom.
It is our time to be unafraid, to stand and be counted. This is the year of the vote to close the SOA. This is the time that we join in one global movement against war and for justice. This November is the moment that we choose to make our stand to say No to torture, No to violence and YES to the world that, with our hands joined, we are building.
(Eric LeCompte is the Event Coordinator for SOA Watch and the former National Council Chair for Pax Christi USA. He is a member of the Assisi Community in Washington DC where he lives with his partner Kate and son, Jonah. To make your plans to join us at the gates this November 18th through the 20th visit www.SOAW.org.)
Report this post as:
More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena
"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena
Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles
Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California
Change Links June 2018 posted
The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years
Unity Archive Project
Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi
CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police
Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies
California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings)
Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico
Change Links May 2018
Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
More Local News...
Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals.
Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries
The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally!
3 Essential Videos
The System Question as a Survival Question
“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen
Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control
Du pain et des jeux
Fbi joins with Facebook to remove this report
Paraphysique de martyrologie
Asian Countries:Cambodia, Vietnam, N. Korea do not permit unlawful immigration
Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator
Democratic Socialists of America
Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's
Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup
FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution?
Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians
The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally!
Social Policy as Social Infrastructure
Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud
Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner..
June 2018 Honduras coup update
Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support
New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients
Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation
Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why
Change Links 2018 July posted
More Breaking News...