This year’s Vigil and set of events will mark the biggest anti-militarization gathering after the November presidential elections
Columbus, Georgia – During the 16th-18th of November, thousands of people will gather in Fort Benning, Georgia, to demand the closing of the School of the Americas (WHINSEC) and to put a stop to U.S. militarization of Latin America. Human rights activists, union workers, immigrants, people of faith, anarchists, pacifists, students, torture survivors, veterans, and many others, will come together in solidarity with the people and communities of Latin America that, since 1946, have been devastated by the actions of SOA graduates. The 3-day vigil will consist of rallies, music, speakers, and workshops on Friday and Saturday, and the solemn funeral procession with the names of the victims of SOA graduates on Sunday.
This year’s theme for the Vigil will be “520 Years of Oppression… 520 Years of Resistance!”
Marking this year as the 520th year since Columbus’ arrival to the Americas, the Vigil will represent how Latin America has been affected by different imperialist agendas for centuries up to this date. As people converge each year at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, a strong community and a powerful force is being created that will close the SOA, end U.S. militarization in the Americas, and dismantle the broader system of oppression of which the SOA is a part.
SOAWatch stands with the prison abolitionists, as so many of the prisoners of conscience have come to understand the criminal injustice system through harsh prison sentences. It stands with immigrants fighting deportation, many of whom have fled the repression in their own countries. For 520 years, the indigenous peoples of the Americas have resisted the many manifestations of economic and military violence perpetrated against their communities.
The SOA, repressive police forces, coups and economic slavery are the continuations of those policies – in Latin America and right here at home. This year, as SOAWatch demands money for human needs and not for military repression, thousands will converge at Fort Benning in the largest demonstration following the November elections. The movement knows that not politicians but only continuous and consistent grassroots organizing will bring about the change we need in the world.
If you want to find out more about the Vigil, are planning on going and need a ride/willing to drive to Columbus, GA, or just have basic questions about the School of the Americas, please visithttp://SOAW.org, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call the DC office at 202.234.3440