By Ray Beckerman
Man's inhumanity to man and other living things threatens the whole human experiment. Let's fight it, and try to build a future.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
SOA Watch, we won't stop until they do #humanrights
13 arrested for taking the demand for the closure of SOA into the streets on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC We Won't Stop Until They Do!
Yesterday, human rights activists took to the streets around Capitol Hill in a spirited parade, culminating a week of trainings, workshops, music and lobbying to close the School of the Americas. Police on foot, bicycle, motorcycle and in vehicles prohibited free passage of the march, limiting SOA Watch activists abilities to be heard and seen by Congressional staff. Thirteen were arrested as they tried to lead the march down Independence Avenue in front of the Congressional buildings, but were impeded by dozens of police who blockaded their passage and expression of free speech.
The 13 were released over 6 hours later and ironically charged with "blocking passage". Read their statements here.
Inside Congress, students, teachers, labor leaders and activists pressed their Representatives to cosponsor HR3368, the bill to suspend and investigate the SOA/WHINSEC. Amplify the voices of those who are meeting with their Members of Congress today, by calling your Representative's office in Washington, DC. Just call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (the phone number is (202) 224-3121), provide the zip code of the place where you live, and the operator will connect you to your Representatives' office. Click here for a call script.
The weekend's conference, strategy sessions and concert brought organizers together around issues of de-militarization, joining the thousands in Cartagena, Colombia, who attended the People's Summit of the Americas.
We will not be silenced. Despite police censorship of our message, the movement to close the SOA/WHINSEC will continue to demand a closure of the School of Assassins and an end to militarization. Our efforts are fueled with the knowledge that we will prevail!
PS: Don't forget to send a message to SOA Watch Prisoner of Conscience Theresa Cusimano!
La lucha sigue... con alegría!
Pablo Ruíz en Cartagena: "We Need to De-Militarize Our Way of Life"
SOA Watch Latin America Coordinator Pablo Ruíz was in Cartagena this week for the People's Summit of the Americas. In the lead up to the official Summit of the Americas, where US 'big brother' policies were rejected and Latin American unity was strengthened, the city of Cartagena was militarized though activist organizers had called for nonviolent demonstrations and meetings.
"Today [April 14] is the opening assembly of the People's Summit, in Cartagena, and the opportunity to hear the voice of the people who want to speak. In the declaration that we are preparing from the Summit, special attention has been given to the theme of militarization that affects all the people of the South, and within this concern, the training at the School of the Americas... I think that Gandhi states this well: 'there is no path without peace, peace is the path'."