Twenty-seven years ago today, 14-year-old Celina Ramos, her mother, Elba, and six Catholic priests, professors of the University of Central America, were murdered in El Salvador. Their killers were trained at the School of the Americas at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. The school has still not been shut down, despite its graduates being implicated in many more massacres. This weekend is the annual protest to shut down the SOA (now called WHINSEC).
If you want to take part, it’s not too late! Gather your friends to drive to Columbus, or check out SOA Watch’s ride board.
People from all walks of life from across the Western Hemisphere have begun to converge for a weekend of protest, including a rally on Saturday, and on Sunday a vigil and symbolic funeral procession, when thousands of protesters will carry crosses or other mementos and affix them to the base’s gates as a memorial. Some will step onto the base, risking certain jail time.
Civil rights veterans and other social justice activists have been walking since November 12 in a historic march from Montgomery, Alabama, to Columbus, and will join the protest at Fort Benning to stand in solidarity with the people in Oaxaca, Mexico, and with all the people throughout the world who have become the targets of SOA-style repression, torture, and injustice.
Simultaneous internationally coordinated actions against the School of the Americas and U.S. militarism in Latin America are taking place over the next three days in Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, El Salvador, and Colombia.
- Visit the SOA Watch website and NCRcafe.org for frequent updates from the events
- Help make this weekend a success! Please donate to support the convergence and the campaign to close the SOA
- Check out the complete schedule of events
- In the news: Read Patrick Mulvaney’s Nation article “Dismay Grows Over U.S. Torture School“