Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Frank's reflections at the School of the Americas

Hi, All:

To those of you interested in my adventures, I have just competed the weekend of protests at the School of the Americas (SOA), now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). There were approximately 25,000 people in attendance, including more that 150 from the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN). On Saturday were were entertained by protest musicians and heard inspiring speeches from Fr. Roy Bourgeois, founder of SOA Watch, Rep. Jim McGovern, who is the primary sponsor of HR 1707, which seeks to suspend funding for SOA/WHINSEC and examine the effect the School has had on Latin American foreign policy, and many Latin American indigenous representatives who told us about the horrors SOA has caused to their individual countries. We also had the chance to attend teach-ins on Latin America, Iraq and other foreign policy disasters.

Sunday was the highlight of the weekend. We all gathered in front of the gates of Ft. Benning to remember the victims of SOA/WHINSEC violence and place our memorials on the fence which served as the barrier to the base. Eleven people engaged in civil disobedience and were arrested for trespass on a Federal facility for a political purpose. These eleven will be tried beginning January 28, 2008, and I will be there with the other lawyers of the Legal Collective of SOA Watch to defend them and allow them to tell the Federal Court (and the world) why they deliberately violated the law.

If you want more information on the activities at Ft. Benning, SOA Watch has a website, SOAW.org.

Peace to all.


Anonymous said...

Frank -
I give thanks for your safe return and for the awareness that you and the others provided for this issue. Thanks also for your passion and perseverance for supporting these types of causes. I'm grateful that you speak for our church in these situations...


AnnMarie Kneebone said...

Hi Frank,
Thank you for for all that you're doing to help end the violence.