Vigil to Close the School of the Americas

Join the CRLN Delegation to Fort Benning Georgia Nov. 21 - 24, 2008


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 rememberance 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.


To sign up online, click here.

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.


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

November marks the anniversary of the assassinations of 14-year-old Celina Ramos, her mother and six Jesuit priests in El Salvador in 1989. Nineteen of the 26 Salvadoran army officers cited by a UN Truth Commission as responsible for this atrocity were trained at the School of the Americas (SOA). Last year, more than 20,000 people gathered at the gates of Ft. Benning to memorialize those who have died at the hands of soldiers trained at the SOA as well as to take action in opposition to this training and the U.S. foreign policy it represents. Refer to for complete schedule.



CRLN's delegation includes hotel lodging at the Wyndham Inn (Nov. 21-24, 2008) with hot breakfast.

Hotel Costs ($107.16/night/room)
Cost including tax with 2 people for 3 nights: $160.74 each ($53.58/night/person)
Cost including tax with 4 people for 3 nights: $80.37 each ($26.79/night/person)
*Each participant will be responsible for their own lunch and dinner expenses*


CRLN encourages you to make your own travel arrangements to Atlanta. Airlines that fly to Atlanta include: American Airlines, Delta, AirTran, Continental, United, US Airways, & Northwest. Car rental from Atlanta to Columbus/Ft. Benning may be shared. Separately, an IL SOA Watch charter bus will leave Chicago Friday, Nov 21, at 5 pm, and return Sunday night. Contact Stephanie @ 312/641-5151

Fri. Nov. 21: Depart Chicago, Arrive Atlanta, Travel to Columbus, GA.
Sat. Nov. 22: Orientation, Training, Vigil and Rally at the Ft. Benning Gates
Sun. Nov. 23: Solemn Funeral Procession at Ft. Benning, CRLN Group Reflection/8 pm
Mon. Nov. 24: Depart Ft. Benning, Arrive in Chicago


For More Information . . .


For more information about the Vigil and CRLN's delegation, contact Danielle Wegman at or 773-293-2964. To signup on line, click here.