Join CRLN for the Annual SOA Vigil!

Join the CRLN Delegation to Fort Benning Georgia Nov. 19 - 21, 2010

Please join with thousands of others at the gates of the SOA/WHINSEC at Fort Benning for the vigil to commemorate the thousands of lives lost as a consequence of this military training program. The weekend of events at the gates include music, speakers, protests, and a somber liturgical procession and remembrance of those killed in Latin America by militaries and para-militaries trained at the SOA. Some participants also choose to engage in civil disobedience by entering the base and being arrested.

If you would like more information or would like to participate, send us a note by clicking here. Or call us at 773-293-2964.

What is the SOA?

The Ft. Benning, Georgia based School of the Americas (SOA), renamed in 2001 the "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation" (WHINSEC), is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers. The SOA, frequently dubbed the "School of Assassins," has left a trail of blood and suffering in every country where its graduates have returned. The SOA/WHINSEC has trained over 64,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. Graduates of the school have been consistently linked to human rights violations against educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor. Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated, "disappeared," massacred, and forced into refugee status by those trained at the School of Assassins.  

Most recently, the military-backed coup in Honduras was led by several SOA graduates, indicating that the concerns regarding human rights abuses and the school are still valid and strong.

What is the November Vigil and Direct Action to Close the SOA?

Thirty years have passed since Maryknoll missioners Maura Clark, Jean Donovan, Ita Ford, and Dorothy Kazel were brutally killed by graduates of the SOA in El Salvador. They are four among thousands of victims and survivors of the ongoing SOA / WHINSEC violence. In 2009, SOA graduates overthrew the democratically elected government of Honduras and unleased brutal repression against the pro-democracy resistance. This year saw the release of a human rights report that links SOA graduates to extrajudicial killings in Colombia. The SOA / WHINSEC has remained open throughout too many years of terror and violence in Latin America, and no formal investigation of the school has ever taken place. Enough is enough! Shut it down!

From November 19-21, 2010, thousands will gather at the gates of Fort Benning to stand up for justice, to shut down the School of the Americas and to end the oppressive U.S. foreign policy that the school represents. We invite you to join us this November as we remember, in solemnity, the victims, and as we grow stronger than ever before in our resistance. 

Refer to http://www.soaw.org/ for complete schedule.

Travel and Accomodations

Hotel accomodations at the Hampton Inn- Columbus Airport arranged by CRLN.  The cost for lodging based on double oocupancy is $51.18 per person per night.  Please contact us if you are interested in making arrangements through CRLN.

Each person is responsible for arranging their own travel to Columbus, GA.  Carpooling will be available from the Hartsfield International Airport- Atlanta.  If you would like to participate in the CRLN carpool please plan to arrive to the airport early afternoon on November 19, 2010, and inform CRLN of your flight information by November 10, 2010.

Please check back for more information regarding bus travel from Chicago to Columbus, GA.   

For more information about the Vigil and CRLN's delegation, contact Corinthian Davis at cdavis@crln.org, 773-293-2964, or click here.