Vigil procession Sunday, in front of the School of the Americas, Fort Benning, Georgia.
Below I've posted a few pictures of the annual rally and vigil held this week against the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia. For information on the school, read the posts below and check out some of the suggested links. I suppose I posted so many pictures because I really wanted to go this year! For anyone who has gone before, this event is one of the best organized and most moving in the country.
Vigil procession. Over 16,000 people attended this year's rally and vigil against the school of assassins and dictators, the School of the Americas. 16,000 is a high number for this event, which usually ranges between 8,000 and 18,000. I suppose the palpable anger among liberals and leftists over the war, as well as the upswing two years ago in the anti-war movement, has contributed to the higher turnout. Maybe the anti-war movement isn't dead now afterall.
Here is a photo of the crowd assembled to protest the Army's School of the Americas (SOA) at Fort Benning, Georgia. The SOA is an army school set up by the U.S. military to train right-wing foreign despots, paramilitary torturers and assassins. Many brutal military brass from Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and everywhere else in Latin America and throughout the world, have received their training at the SOA. Today, many attendees hail from the Colombian military. For more information on SOA, read posts below and check out the SOA Watch website.
Note: The U.S. government changed the name of the SOA a few years ago to the Western Hemispheric Institute on Security Cooperation (WHISC). They obviously did this to deflect criticism of the school and promote confusion by giving the school such a confusing name. Just like their pathetic strategy of hiding the school's front sign (see picture below from Saturday), the military tried to hide their dirty deeds by a name change. Of course most activists go by the former name, the SOA, rather than use the Orwellian mouthful WHISC.
Over the next two days - November 20 and 21 - I'll post pictures I find on the internet on the protests against the School of the Americas. See subsequent posts and related links for information on the SOA and the yearly protests against it.
The picture above to the left shows protesters arriving via at Fort Benning, Georgia, where the anti-SOA protest is yearly held.
The SOA is trying to hide once again. First, they changed their name; now they want pretend they no longer exist!
It's quite amazing that every year the military brass at Fort Benning come up with some new surprise for the protesters. Two years ago, when I first attended, they decided to search everyone who entered the officially designated protest zone. People spilled over the barricades and the plan wasn't all too successful. Looks like they're trying again, this time with 10-foot chain-link fences.
Below is a picture of the recent protests against Bush's visit to Chile.