We aren't fooled...are you?
The US Army School of the Americas (SOA), located at Ft. Benning, Georgia, was closed on December 15, 2000 because of growing opposition to the school. On January 17, 2001 it reopened under a new name: the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC). The program and mission of the new school remains largely unchanged.
Central and South American soldiers who attended the SOA and those who will attend the WHISC are trained in Low Intensity Conflict (LIC). This is a cynical strategy to protect the interests of the US and maintain the economic status quo in those countries. This benefits US corporations doing business there and a few rich and powerful allies in both Central and South America.
The SOA has trained over 60,000 Central and South American military personnel in skills including psychological operations, military intelligence, and counterinsurgency operations. The school costs US tax payers millions annually.
Hundreds of SOA graduates have been among the worst human rights violators in our hemisphere, including those responsible for the execution of six Jesuit priests, the rape and murder of four US church women, the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero, and the massacre of over 900 civilians at El Mozote.
What YOU need to do!
EDUCATE YOURSELF BECOME INFORMED
Web sites with information and links:
CONTACT YOUR CONGRESS PERSON
Call or write (handwritten is best!). Encourage your representative to co-sponsor legislation to cut funding for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.
House info: 18.104.22.16821
Senate info: 22.214.171.12421
CALL THE PRESIDENT
He has the power to close the school!
SCHEDULE A SPEAKER
For your church, school or group. Contact MnSOAW for details.
JOIN THE NATIONAL DEMONSTRATIONS
Washington DC in April or Fort Benning Georgia in November. Info online at soaw.org
What happened here in Minneapolis
for the new name day...
MnSOAW paraded down Nicolett Mall from Peavey Plaza during rush hour and was attended by about 50 people who were not fooled by the name change. KMSP TV documented the occasion as four of us donned the soldier puppets, several carried signs, some played the bucket drums and the rest leafletted the crowd. As we passed crowds of people waiting for their busses many of us were able to approach people and begin a discussion about why we were marching on this cold January evening. Many people were sympathetic and supported what we were doing and many had never heard of this and were amazed. Of course, there were those who refused to be informed about the goings on or were not going to disagree with what our government is doing to "promote democracy". Once we arrived outside the Federal Building, we were treated to hot food, tea and cookies by the Cold Water Cafe. (thanks!) We entered the skyway system for our return to Peavey plaza, but returned to the streets to be in contact with more pedestrians. Thanks to all those who participated and a special thank you to the Minnesota Justice and Peace Street Theatre!