HOUSE NEWS: Photos from our trip to the SOA Vigil and Action
In what is becoming an annual ritual for our GCW community, about 20 of us went to Ft. Benning, GA from November 21-23, to attend the action and vigil to close the School of the Americas (SOA). Eric Lecompte of SOAWatch had spoken at an early November Roundtable at the GCW, telling us about the SOA’s sordid history of torture training; assassinations and “disappearances” caried out against religious, labor and student activists by SOA graduates in their home countries throughout Latin America; and much more. He also shared with us the nearly 2 decade effort to close the school down, a school paid for by our tax dollars. For more information on the SOA, see www.soaw.org.
Traveling up in three vehicles, we went up to the SOA for the annual action and vigil and to meet Rev. Jon Sobrino, SJ, the sole surviving member of the Jesuit community at the University of Central America in El Salvador. His 6 brother Jesuits, their co-worker and her daughter were all massacred at the hands of SOA graduates in 1989 for their work amongst El Salvador’s impoverished masses. It was a positive experience for both newcomers and those of us who had been many times before. The weekend includes a mock funeral procession on Sunday, where thousands of us holding white crosses process to the gates of Ft. Benning as the names of the tens of thousands who have been documented to have died at the hands of graduates of the SOA are read aloud. It is a powerful and moving experience.