November 16-18 SOA Protest in Ft. Benning, GA

November 17: Columbus GA

Independent Media Center Coverage:

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For complete coverage, please visit Atlanta IMC:

SOA Watch
PO Box 4566
Washington DC 20017


1. Nov. 16-18 Vigil & Action Scenario Update
2. Colombia Teach-In Nov. 16th
3. Schedule For Vigil & Action Now On Web
4. Legal and Jail Solidarity Info Now On Web
5. Puppet & Street Theatre Convergence Nov. 10-15
6. Travel Alert for Ban & Bar Holders
7. Bring Crosses & Other Symbols
8. Koinonia Youth Convergence Nov. 15-17
9. Hazel Tulecke & Rita Hohenshell Released!
1. Vigil/Action Scenario Update (November 2)

"Those who hate injustice must fight it with every ounce of their strength" - Ignazio Ellacuria, SJ (killed by SOA graduates)

We look forward to seeing you very soon in Columbus, GA. Though there have been some new challenges to our organizing in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks and the ensuing war in Afghanistan, it is more important than ever that we gather this year. Our nonviolent presence there will be a beacon amidst the fear, hatred and violence so prevalent in the media as we call for an end to the training of all terrorists.

Ft. Benning, like all other military bases, is now on high alert status. Base officials have pressured the city of Columbus to deny our permit to assemble in Columbus this year. With the American Civil Liberties Union representing us, we have challenged this attack on our civil liberties. We will gather in Columbus as we have each year since 1990; but there are some changes to the scenario.

On Saturday, Nov 17, a permitted vigil and rally will be held from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm at South Columbus Park, on Benning Drive, behind the post office, near the intersection of Victory Dr. and Benning Dr. All can participate in this event with no risk of arrest.

On Sunday, we plan to gather at the same location. As of this mailing, the city has refused to grant us a permit for Sunday. All are invited to participate with the knowledge that this is not a permitted rally.

The solemn funeral procession will, as always, be a non-permitted march. It will leave from South Columbus Park and proceed to the main entrance of Ft. Benning. (1.5 miles away) We encourage all individuals and affinity groups to join in this unified nonviolent direct action. A 1,000 foot long chainlink fence is being constructed, cutting off the main entrance. Please bring crosses, Stars of David or other symbols to carry in the procession. Flowers, ribbons and colorful signs and banners can be used to turn this fence into a memorial wall for those killed by graduates of the SOA.

As the procession reaches the entrance, people may continue forward in the spirit of reverence and attempt to go over or around the fence and deliver the symbols to the SOA headquarters, two or three miles inside the base. Others may choose to nonviolently occupy the space in front of the gates. Still others may hang their memorial symbols on the fence and move off to the sides to stand vigil. A puppet pageant and street theater performance will take place at this point and there will be room
for expressions of the spirit of resurrection as well as mourning.

For the first time, participants in this year's funeral procession risk possible arrest by Columbus police as well as by military police at Ft. Benning. Because of this and other variables, it is very important that all participants attend a nonviolence training session in their home community as well as one of our logistics and orientation sessions in Columbus. A team of lawyers continues to monitor the situation on our behalf and will provide a final risk assessment at these sessions in Columbus. For updates, please call the SOA Watch office (202) 234-3440 and monitor the SOA Watch website at

"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience…Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring" - Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950

"Great love and great achievements involve great risk" - The Dalai Lama
2. Colombia Teach-In Nov. 16th

The SOA Watch Colombia Working Group is kicking off the Nov. 16-18 Vigil & Action weekend with a teach-in on Colombia!

When: November 16, 2001
Time: 2-5:00 pm
Where: Howard Johnson Presidential Room
1011 Veterans Parkway
Columbus, GA

Speakers will include:

Sanho Tree, Fellow and Director of the Drug Policy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC. The project works to end the domestic and international "War on Drugs" and replace it with a harm reduction approach that focuses on public health and safety as well as economic alternatives to the illicit drug economy.

Cecila Zarate-Laun, SOA Watch Advisory Group & Co-founder and Program Director of the Colombia Support Network (CSN). CSN is a national grass-roots organization based in Madison, Wisconsin, striving to improve the human rights situation in Colombia and build solidarity between the people of North America and Colombia.

Glenn Kuecker, Assistant Professor of Latin American History & Coordinator of Conflict Studies at Depauw University, IN

Members of the SOA Watch Colombia Working Group, from the July 2001 SOA Watch & Witness for Peace Colombia delegation, which gathered facts and first-hand testimony about the US involvement in Colombia's war,
including atrocities linked to U.S. military aid and training.

Don't miss this exciting event, or the many others that are taking place around Nov. 16-18 Vigil & Action! For an up-to-the-minute schedule of all the trainings, caucuses and other events currently being planned November 10-18, go to
3. Schedule For Vigil/Action Now On Web

The basic schedule for the November 16-18 vigil and action is now on the web at It includes a list of all the trainings, caucuses and other events currently being planned November 10-18.

Other sites that you should be familiar with are below:
November Vigil/Action main page:
Nonviolence Guidelines:
Local Groups Mobilizing:
Local Events:
Buses to Ft. Benning:
Puppet & Street Theatre Convergence:
November Organizing Packet:
Handbook for Activists:
4. Legal and Jail Solidarity Info Now On Web

We now have, to assist you in your preparations for this year's scenario in Columbus, GA:

- a guide to jail/court solidarity specifically written for SOA Watch
- legal information about possible charges we may face
- a legal assessment of the likely outcomes of various possible scenarios

They were compiled by experienced lawyer and activist Katya Komisaruk of the Just Cause Law Collective, who will be on our legal team this year. You can find them at:
5. Puppet & Street Theatre Convergence Nov. 10-15

People from across the country will be gathering at Koinonia Farms in Americus, GA, Nov. 10-15 for a five days of puppetmaking and street theatre planning. The puppets and street theatre will be a part of the vigil and action in Columbus the November 16-18. Come to Georgia early to build a creative community and work on art for the action! Join together with puppetistas, artists and kindred spirits to make art and puppets celebrating the liberation struggles across the hemisphere.
Come share your passion for social change and vision for the world you want to see!
For more information or to make a reservation for Koinonia please email: or contact Mary Trotochaud at or 978-544-9021.
Puppet & Street Theatre Convergence:
6. Travel Alert for Ban & Bar Holders

If you are currently banned and barred from Ft. Benning, are travelling to the November 16th-18th vigil this year, and are not planning on violating your ban and bar letter, there is something you should be aware of. About 12 miles of US 280, the most direct route between Americus and Columbus GA, passes through the heart of Fort Benning. Two years ago very surprised SOA Watch participants were stopped, and some banned and barred people arrested, by MPs as they traveled along this
highway. This included former prisoner of conscience Ruthy Woodring of Chicago. This road through Fort Benning should be avoided by those not planning on violating their ban & bar letters.
7. Bring Crosses & Other Symbols

Don't forget to make crosses and other symbols to bring with you to the vigil and action. We are having at least 500 made, which is still not nearly enough - and so we're counting on you to help us out! Please bring crosses, Stars of David or other symbols. Flowers, ribbons and colorful signs and banners can be used to turn the fence at the main gate into a memorial wall for those killed by graduates of the SOA.
8. Koinonia Youth Convergence Nov. 15-17

If you're planning on attending the vigil and action in Columbus this year, why not come a day early and join hundreds of college students and young adults from around the nation who will be gathering at the Koinonia Convergence 2001? Over the past two years, hundreds have gathered to network, reflect and dialogue on our efforts to work for peace and social justice locally, nationally and internationally. Especially in light of the events of Sept. 11th, the current US bombing of Afghanistan and efforts to marginalize and stifle alternative voices, building a strong, unified movement is essential.
The Koinonia Convergence will take place at Koinonia Farms, located in Americus, GA, (only 45-60 minutes away from Ft. Benning's main gate) beginning Thursday, November 15. The convergence is being sponsored by the Pax Christi USA Young Adult Forum (a branch of Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace movement) and Koinonia Partners and is open to
all college students and young adults.
For more information on the convergence, click here:
To register or if you have questions, contact Johnny Zokovitch at

9. Hazel Tulecke & Rita Hohenshell Released!

Rita Hohenshell and Hazel Tulecke, of the SOA 26, are expected to be released today. Our heartfelt thanks for their sacrifice and dedication to standing in solidarity with the people of Latin America! As we remember Hazel and Rita, we also remember the 21 prisoners of conscience who remain in prison today for speaking out against the School of Assassins. Let’s continue sending them our love and support, and honor them by carrying their spirits with us to Ft. Benning this year!

SOA 26 Prisoners of Conscience:

In Peace,
Ally, Briana, Eric, Gary, Jenny, Kerry and Jeff

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