Education Through Action!
It's that time of year again to gather at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia. For more than 20 years we've come together as a community to close the School of the Americas (WHINSEC) and to resist the culture of militarization through teach-ins, music, memory and direct actions. Be one of thousands who will mobilize this year to fight oppression and stand up for justice and self-determination!
Read the October 17 Time Magazine article about the SOA. Some of us are called to put our bodies on the line and engage in civil disobedience. Direct action is one of the pillars of our resistance. It is an opportunity for all those who seek peace with justice to bring their grievances to the place where the killers are being trained to protect the policies that benefit the world's richest 1%, at the expense of the 99% throughout the Americas.
Federal Line Crossing
Over the years, hundreds of activists have risked federal prison time because they "cross the line" onto Fort Benning, in order to draw attention to the US militarization of Latin America. If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn more about the SOA Watch Prisoners of Conscience here.
For those who cannot risk serving federal prison time but have the desire to bear witness, there is the opportunity for other creative actions (in the past, SOA Watch activists have employed tactics such as leaf-letting, banner hanging and visiting local church groups - see more ideas here). But don't feel limited to these actions alone - GET CREATIVE! Groups or individuals considering direct action should prepare ahead of time (please see these materials) and contact email@example.com.
The witness of the occupation of Wall Street, the Summer of Human Rights in Georgia, and the Arab Spring reminds us of the possibilities that flow from disrupting business as usual. Join with human rights activists around the globe in making the Vigil this year another forum of speaking truth to power.
Schedule of Events, November 18-20
Friday, November 18
10-12pm Stewart Detention Center Rally and Vigil V *Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate transportation.
2-5pm Nonviolence Training (note: this is not preparation for the weekend, if you are considering civil disobedience at the vigil, you should contact email@example.com ahead of time)
7:30-8:30pm Direct Action Meeting (for people who are interested in learning more about possible creative nonviolent educational actions)
2-5pm Peacemakers Training
8:30-11pm Dreams of Peace Benefit Show
Saturday, November 19
9-10:30am SOA Watch Plenary
10:30am Women's Peace Convergence on Columbus
11:30am-4pm Rally at the gates of Ft. Benning
5pm to 11pm Workshops
5:45-6:45pm Interfaith Service
7-8:15pm Panel: Somos Una America! Connecting Our Struggles Across the Hemisphere
8:30-11pm Benefit Concert: Canta mi pueblo!
Sunday, November 20
7:45am Veterans for Peace March to the gates, meet at the Columbus Inn (formerly the Days Inn)
8:45am Vigil at the Gates, followed to funeral procession, speakers, puppetistas pageantry and more!
...and finally: WE NEED YOUR HELP!
The November Vigil is made possible by the help of hundreds of dedicated volunteers from across the country. Please let us know if you can help with: Volunteering: We need people throughout the weekend to help set up tables, unload equipment, clean-up, and more! Contact Nico at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-234-3440. Peacemakers: We need twenty-five committed people to help direct Saturday and Sunday's rally and procession. Contact Kathleen at email@example.com to find out more. Medics: We need trained medical personnel to help provide any necessary first aid. Please contact Larry Egbert at egbertL4pj@yahoo.com.
Don't Miss Out! Catch a Ride to Columbus!
There is still time to get to Columbus, Georgia! If the workshops piqued your curiosity, or now you're thinking about crossing the line, but you don't know how to get there, we've got an answer for you! Log in to our November Vigil Rideboard, where you can offer a ride, or ask around for one!
Wanted: Guatemalan Genocide Generals
Our partners at NISGUA yesterday alerted us that Guatemalan authorities issued arrest warrants for former Minister of Defense and former President Oscar Humberto Mejía Víctores, and former military intelligence officials José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez and Luis Enrique Mendoza García. While Rodríguez Sánchez is awaiting trial, Mejía Víctores and Mendoza Garcia have been declared fugitives. Mendoza Garcia is a graduate of the School of the Americas.
As we suggested earlier in this email, direct action and arts are effective tools for social change. Consider printing out the wanted poster below for Mejía Víctores and Mendoza Garcia to bring with you to Georgia, or to display in your communities. Or find out about other notorious SOA/WHINSEC grads in the news and make your own!
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