World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


1000s to Expose Double Standard in War on Terror

School of the Americas Watch

November 16, 2002 Contact: Matthew Smucker 706.221.1672,

Thousands to Expose Double Standard in War on Terrorism: Massive Convergence at Ft. Benning, Georgia, November 15-17 to Close the School of the Americas

ACLU and SOA Watch Go to Court TODAY to Challenge Plan to Search Every Participant

NEWS CONFERENCE Saturday, November 16,9:30AM Directly outside of base, in front of stage Ft. Benning Rd., Columbus, GA

background footage available in DV format at

Columbus, GA ­ As President Bush expands the “war on terrorism”, thousands are planning to take nonviolent direct action to close what they call a terrorist training camp on U.S. soil ­ the School of the Americas, renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/WHISC), a combat training school for Latin American soldiers. This weekend thousands will gather at the gates of Ft. Benning, Georgia, site of the school, to expose a double standard. SOA grads continue to be implicated in egregious acts designed to terrorize and coerce civilian populations throughout Latin America.

“Bush said we must uproot every known terrorist training camp,” said Abi Miller of Harrisonburg, VA. “We’re shining a light on one operating with impunity in our backyard.” Miller is among 26 human rights activists serving three to six-month prison sentences for their part in last November's peaceful procession.

Today at 1PM the ACLU of Georgia and SOA Watch will go to court challenging last minute plans by the City of Columbus to conduct unprecedented mass searches of each of the anticipated thousands of participants in the vigil. Gerry Weber of the ACLU said, “We have monitored protests for decades and this is the first time we’ve ever heard of a plan to conduct mass searches of all demonstrators.”

SOA Watch founder, Fr. Roy Bourgeois added, “We must be vigilant in defending civil liberties when they are threatened, both here and in Latin America.”

SOA Watch has a twelve-year history of disciplined nonviolent direct action to challenge oppressive U.S. foreign policy in Latin America and to close the SOA. The weekend’s program will feature music and speakers from Latin and North America, including The Indigo Girls. The gathering marks the anniversary of the 1989 assassination of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in El Salvador by SOA grads. In 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release training manuals used at the school that advocated the use of torture, extortion and execution. In December 2000 Congress authorized WHISC to replace SOA. The renaming was widely viewed as an attempt to diffuse criticism and disassociate the school from its reputation. SOA Watch maintains that the underlying purpose of the school, to control the economic and political systems of Latin America by training and influencing Latin American militaries, remains the same.

# # #

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news