National Catholic Reporter SOA blog
School of the Americas Watch
SOA Petition to President Barack Obama
HR 3368 (112th Congress 2011-2012)
THOMAS.loc.gov and SOAW.org
Representative James McGovern (MA) reintroduced the Latin America Military Training Review Act as HR 3368 on November 4, 2011 along with 21 original co-sponsors. This legislation would suspend operations at the SOA/ WHINSEC, investigate torture manuals and human rights abuses associated with the school, and conduct an assessment of military training in Latin America.Across the country, grassroots activists are working to add their Member of Congress as a cosponsor, or supporter, of this bill. Has your Representative cosponsored this bill? Check this list of HR 3368 to find out.If they are not on the list, be a part of the campaign and take action! If your representative is a co-sponsor, be sure to thank them for their support.
What You Can Do
- Call or write your Representative and ask them to cosponsor HR 3368 (If they are a co-sponsor, call to say thank you!)
- Contact the DC office of your Representative by calling the Capitol Hill Switchboard toll free at 1-800-473-6711, (or 202-224-3121). Ask to speak with the foreign affairs legislative assistant and here is a suggested message for you to convey:
"As a constituent living in _________, I am calling Congressman/ woman ________ to urge him/her to contact Rep. McGovern and ask to be a cosponsor of the Latin America Military Training Review Act, also known as HR 3368. This legislation would suspend operations at the School of the Americas, renamed WHINSEC (Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), and investigate the history of human rights abuses and failed policies of the institution.
Despite demands by Congress to have oversight over the curriculum and promote human rights, the Pentagon is now denying all requests to provide information to human rights organizations and the public about students and graduates of the school.
I urge you to contact Cindy Buhl in Representative McGovern's office and ask that your boss be added as a cosponsor of this legislation. I hope you will represent my views and support this bill."
Co-Sponsors of HR 3368
James P. McGovern (MA)
John Lewis (GA)
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (IL)
Rush Holt (NJ)
Barney Frank (MA)
Lynn Woolsey (CA)
David Price (NC)
Yvette Clarke (NY)
Michael Capuano (MA)
Barbara Lee (CA)
Jim McDermott (WA)
Russ Carnahan (MO)
Gwen Moore (WI)
Raúl Grijalva (AZ)
Jan Schakowsky (IL)
Michael Honda (CA)
Ed Markey (MA)
Peter Welch (VT)
José Serrano (NY)
Sam Farr (CA)
Jared Polis (CO)
Lloyd Doggett (TX)
Rosa DeLauro (CT)
Lacy Clay (MO)
Watch a video of the performance by Jarochicanos, a youth Son Jarocho group from Chicago, on stage at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia during the November Vigil:
Watch a slide show on the School of Americas Watch Rally and Procession at Fort Benning, Georgia November 19 and 20, 2011. For a description of each slide, read the information in the description box.
On Sunday, November 20, 2011, SOA Watch activist Theresa Cusimano climbed over the barbed wired fence at the main gates of Fort Benning, Georgia - home to the School of the Americas. Theresa was arrested by military police and is facing up to six months in federal prison.
Click here to watch video footage of Theresa's nonviolent direct action to close the SOA and to change U.S. foreign policy.
What is the SOA/WHINSEC?
SOA 2012 • Nov 16-18
To Register for the annual protest, go to:
Video from Fr. Roy Bourgeois, founder of SOA Watch
House of Representatives Votes to Force the Pentagon to Release Information to SOA Watch and HR 2567
Click HERE for the campaign (Word doc)
New Legislative Resource
Report from 2009
Protest at the School of the Americas teaches lessons in human rights Nov 17, 2008 article in St Louis Beacon
Report from 2008
November Vigil to Close the SOA
The spirit at the annual November Vigil to Close the SOA was tremendously high. The movement is fired up to finally make the School of the Americas history. The November 4 election saw at least 35 supporters of the notorious institution lose their seats in the House of Representatives. Times are changing and we will put an end to oppressive U.S. foreign policy!
We know that the United States government won't shut down the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) on its own. It will take people power and grassroots organizing to create a climate and culture that will make the existence of institutions like the SOA/WHINSEC impossible.
We have the power to hold the Obama administration to its promises of a new direction in U.S.-Latin America relations and we are calling for the closing of the SOA/WHINSEC as a first step in the right direction.
Photos from Saturday: http://www.flickr.com/photos/opticalrealities/show
Photos from Sunday:
Report from 2007
Close the SOA 2007
of the Americas Watch
November 18, 2007
Arrested for Nonviolent Civil Disobedience
18th annual Vigil to Close the SOA was one of the largest
and most vibrant yet. As early as 7 am, Veterans for Peace
and supporters began marching along Victory Drive to the gates
of Fort Benning where Gennaro Jacinto Calel from the International
Mayan League offered a Mayan Blessing.
1999, Rufina traveled from El Salvador to the gates of Fort Benning,
Georgia, where 19 of the 26 people found responsible for the massacre
had been trained at the School of the Americas. She told the story
of the massacre and worked for justice until her death of a heart
illness earlier this year. Rufina
Linda Panetta of SOA Watch NE has created this beautiful
18x26 poster (image on left) in memory of Rufina which is
available for $10 plus s/h through Optical Realities, to
order please contact Linda at Linda(at)opticalrealities(dot)org |
thousands commemorated the martyrs in a solemn funeral procession
at the main gate, 10 SOA Watch
activists entered the Fort Benning military base through
a side entrance in an attempt to carry the protest to the site
of the SOA/WHINSEC: Le Ann
Lopez Hughes, Stephen
Roddy, Ozone Bhaguan,
Ed Lewinson, and
Joan Anderson were
arrested by military police.
Rainelli, climbed the barbed wire fence at the main
gate of Fort Benning during the funeral procession, raising the
number of arrested to 11. Three
more SOA Watch activists face charges from the city
for refusing to relinquish crosses at the vigil site whose size
exceeded Columbus police regulations.