SOA protesters get prison

During the week of Jan. 30, US federal judge G. Mallon Faircloth in Columbus, Georgia, sentenced 31 activists to prison terms of as much as six months for peacefully entering the US Army’s Fort Benning on Nov. 20 as part of an annual protest against the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly the US Army School of the Americas (SOA). Judge Faircloth also imposed fines of as much as $1,000. He sentenced one additional protester to a year of probation. Some 19,000 people took part in the demonstration in 2005, the largest since the demonstrations began in 1990. The school trains Latin American soldiers, and many of its graduates are among the region’s most notorious human rights violators. Some 180 people have served prison sentences for civil disobedience at the base over the years. (SOA Watch Action Alert, Feb. 2)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Feb. 19

See also WW4 REPORT #95