[fla-left] [news] Protesters At School Of The Americas Detained In National Day Of Resistance (fwd)

Michael Hoover hoov at SPAMfreenet.tlh.fl.us
Sat May 27 06:56:29 MDT 2000


forwarded by Michael Hoover

> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MAY 24, 2000
>          2:58 PM
>
> School of The Americas Protest
>
> Jackie Downing or Rick McDowell   (706) 682-5369
>
> Protesters At School Of The Americas Detained In National Day Of Resistance
>
> FORT BENNING, GA
> - May 24 - Nine college students, one joined by her mother and
> grandmother, were detained at Ft. Benning this morning, Wednesday, May 24, as
> they demonstrated their ongoing commitment to close the School of the
> Americas (SOA).  They were acting in response to the last Thursday's vote in
> the House of Representatives, which affects cosmetic changes to the School,
> including a name change to Defense Institute for Hemispheric Security
> Cooperation.
>
> In front of SOA headquarters, those assembled rolled out a banner which read
> "The Road To Shame," and listed atrocities committed by SOA graduates.  To
> one side protesters, dressed in black shrouds and white masks, held a banner
> that read "New Name -- Same Shame: Wrong Way." On the other side protesters
> held a banner reading "For the People, Not The Military.  This Way."  Others
> sowed seeds and read a statement in English and Spanish.
>
> In recent House debate, Congressman John Baldacci (D-ME) stated the SOA "is
> both a waste of taxpayer money and an affront to our common principles of
> freedom, democracy and respect for human rights...  H.R. 4205, the Defense
> Authorization Bill purports to close the SOA.  It does not.  Instead, it
> simply makes a few cosmetic changes... gives it a fancy new name and then
> turns a blind eye to the repeated human rights violations committed by SOA
> graduates." Congressman James McGovern (D-MA) stated "... history will not go
> away by hanging a sign with a new name over the same entry gate to the School
> of the Americas."
>
> SOA graduates continue to be implicated in Human Rights abuses.  Graduates,
> Major David Hernandez Rojas and Captain Diego Fino Rodriguez, were cited by a
> US State Department's Human Rights Report for the murder of a peace
> commissioner/former Vice Minister for Youth and two others on March 14, 1999.
>  A February 23, 2000  Human Rights Watch Report on Colombia cites seven SOA-
> trained Colombian military for recent human rights atrocities and for support
> of paramilitary forces.  Both reports establish collaboration between the
> military and the paramilitary death squads of Colombia.
>
> Martha Baldoni of Toledo, OH  who was detained, stated: "Each day this
> institution remains open, under whatever name, we run the great risk of
> sponsoring more human rights violations in Latin America.  We are here to
> call attention to the egregious track record of the SOA and to offer an
> alternative vision of US foreign policy. A policy based on mutual cooperation
> rather than military means. We are not fooled.  The SOA has a new name, but
> the same shame.  We will be at Ft. Benning by the thousands in November, and
> we will be in the halls of the new Congress in January to demand this school
> be closed."
>
> <p>Participants:  Jackie Downing, 20, Topsfield and Newbury, MA  *  Kathleen
> Berrigan, 18, Baltimore, MD  *  Laurel Paget-Seekins, 20,     Philo, CA  *
> Brandon Stroman, 21, Gloucestor, MA  *  Katharine Cristiani, 21, St. Louis,
> MO  *  Oren Kasdi, 29, Kent, OH and Israel originally  *  Riva Pearson, 20,
> Woodstock, NY   *  Sarah Saunders, 19, Lake Orion, MI  *  Sarah Bania-Dobyns,
> 21, Denver, CO  *  Rebecca Johnson, 20, Cincinnati, OH  *  Emilia Baldoni,
> 20, Toledo, OH  *  Kathleen Baldone, 44, Toledo, OH  *  Martha Baldoni,
> 70, Toledo, OH





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