Time to Terminate the SOA

Every November since 1994, Central New Yorkers have gone to Ft. Benning, Georgia to demonstrate against the US Army's Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). That institute – formerly and popularly known as the School of the Americas (SOA) – is notorious for teaching Latin American military officers anti-insurgency tactics. The officers use such tactics to repress their own people in favor of the local oligarchies and US corporations doing lucrative business in their countries.

Since the early nineties, 294 people have been found guilty for "crossing the line" onto Ft. Benning to protest the SOA. According to SOA Watch figures, cumulatively we have served over 97 years in prison and over 50 years of probation. I say "we" because since 1996 over a dozen current or former Central New Yorkers have personified these statistics.

On June 28, SOA grads revived an old SOA tradition. In Honduras, SOA grad General Romeo Vásquez Velásquez overthrew the democratically-elected government of President Zelaya. So far the US has not seen fit to help oust the usurper….

Despite this display of business as usual, there's real hope – with Bush/Cheney and the neo-cons out – that the anti-SOA/WHINSEC protests and lobbying may soon succeed in terminating this terrorist training school.

To learn more, check out the SOA Watch website (soaw.org).

To join CNY folks at Benning the weekend before Thanksgiving, contact Ann Tiffany or me at (315) 478-4571.

¡La lucha continua!

-Ed Kinane