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

 

Activists Begin Prison Term for Civil Disobedience

Activists to Begin Prison Term for Civil Disobedience at SOA


School of the Americas Watch
http://www.soaw.org/newsroom

Human Rights Activists to Begin Federal Prison Term Sept 10 for Civil Disobedience at School of the Americas

Send-Off Rallies Planned Across the Country ­ Interviews Available

Twenty-three human rights activists will report to federal prison on Tuesday, September 10. They were among 37 who went to trial in July for civil disobedience at the School of the Americas (renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) in Columbus, Georgia. The 37 were among 10,000 who gathered last November to call for the closure of the notorious school. The defendants peacefully crossed onto Ft. Benning, site of the school. Thirty-six of the defendants were convicted of trespass, with sentences ranging from six months probation to six months in federal prison and $5,000 in fines. Five reported to prison immediately following sentencing, and 23 will report on Tuesday.

Judge G. Mallon Faircloth is known for giving the maximum sentence for a misdemeanor to nonviolent opponents of the SOA/WHISC. Seventy-one people have served a total of over forty years in prison for engaging in nonviolent resistance in a broad-based campaign to close the school. Last year 26 people were prosecuted, including Dorothy Hennessey, an 88 year-old Franciscan nun who was sentenced to six months in federal prison.

³It¹s ironic that at a time when the country is reflecting on how terrorism has impacted our lives, dedicated people who took direct action to stop terrorism throughout the Americas are on their way into prison,² said Sr. Dorothy Hennessey.

The SOA/WHISC is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers. Its graduates are consistently involved in documented human rights atrocities. 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 the WHISC to replace the SOA. The renaming of the school was widely viewed as an attempt to diffuse public criticism and to 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 aiding and influencing Latin American militaries, remains the same.

³The SOA is the terrorist training camp in our own backyard,² said Fr. Roy Bourgeois.

SOA Watch works to stand in solidarity with people of Latin America, to change oppressive US foreign policy, and to close the SOA/WHISC.

# # #

September 5, 2002 for immediate release Contact: Matthew Smucker, media@soaw.org 202.234.3440, 202.903.7257


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Weather: Pacific Likely To Experience Double Dip La Niña Episode

The Pacific is likely to experience a rare occurrence of what is called a double dip La Niña in the coming months, Climate models and predictions tools used by Pacific National Meteorological and Hydrological services (NMHSs) show...
More>>

CNS: Will India's 1 Billion Vaccination-dose-milestone Be Catalytic For Vaccinating All?

On 21 October 2021, India crossed its milestone of administering over 1 billion (100 crores) doses within 278 days since it began the vaccination rollout (on 16th January 2021)... More>>

UN: UNHCR Chief Urges Better Support For 13 Million 'Exhausted' And Displaced Syrians
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has urged greater international support for the more than 13 million Syrians who’ve been displaced in the past 10 years...More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


Pacific: Young Climate Leaders Call For Urgent Climate Action Ahead Of COP26

Eight Pacific Young Climate Leaders shared their experiences of climate resilience and activism in an inaugural dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Mr Henry Puna on 21 October 2021... More>>

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>


COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>