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VIdeo of Jessica Sully's targeted arrest from start to finish PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hendrik Voss   
Thursday, 25 November 2010 16:08

Last Updated on Friday, 25 May 2012 18:35
 
six months in prison PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hendrik Voss   
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 03:34
Speaking Truth to Power
David Omondi and Father Louis Vitale Sentenced to Six Months in Federal Prison -- Incarcerated in Georgia Jail

Four human rights activists were in court on Tuesday, November 23 after being arrested and charged with federal trespassing at Ft. Benning, Georgia on November 20 and 21. During their arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Hyles, Nancy Smith and Christopher Spicer pled not guilty. Their trial is set for January 5. Franciscan priest Fr. Louis Vitale, OFM and David Omondi of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker Community pled no contest and put the SOA on trial through their statements in court. Fr. Louis and David were sentenced to the maximum 6 months in jail. While nonviolent resisters are being sent to prison, those responsible for the use of torture manuals at the SOA have never even been charged for their crimes. Father Louis and David are presently in a Georgia county jail.

Write to the prisoners:
Because they may be transferred at any time, cards and letters to David may be sent to his community for forwarding: David Omondi, c/o The Los Angeles Catholic Worker, 632 N. Brittania St., Los Angeles, CA 90033. Louis' mail may be sent to the Nuclear Resister for forwarding at P.O. Box 43383, Tucson, AZ 85733.

Click here to read the letter that vigil speaker Father Alberto Franco wrote to all the prisoners of conscience from the November vigil and please feel free to ad your own message to the prisoners in the comment section below the letter text!

On Saturday, November 20, twenty-two others were arrested on city and state charges, including unlawful assembly, failure to disperse, and parading without a permit. Two were charged but not taken into custody. Some were blockading the highway leading into Fort Benning with a sign that read, "Stop: This is the End of the Road for the SOA". Many of those arrested were not intending to risk arrest but were swept up as they walked back to their cars after they left the permitted protest following the vigil on Saturday. These included journalists and a Columbus, Georgia resident who came out of a barber shop to take a photo of the protest. The SOA Watch Legal Collective is collecting testimony and photos of the indiscriminate arrests that took place on Saturday afternoon. Stay tuned!

On Sunday, November 21, Columbus Recorder's Court Judge Michael Cielinski found 21 of the 24 who were arrested by the city guilty on all charges. Two were convicted in a state court the next day. All were released from jail by Monday, with fines and bonds as high as $4,152.50. The SOA Watch community stepped up in a big way, supporters maxed out their credit cards at ATMs to ensure that no one had to stay another day in the Muscogee County Jail. Those who were arrested still have to answer state charges, and expect to be arraigned in January.

For more information about the Ft. Benning protest, visit www.SOAW.org.

Photos from the November Vigil:

To view more photos by Linda Panetta, click here!






To view more photos by Linda Panetta, click here!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 November 2010 20:47
 
**Update MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22: PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maya   
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 00:48

On Sunday the Judge found 23 of the 24 who were arrested by the city guilty on all charges including unlawful assembly, failure to disperse, and parading without a permit. The total of bonds and fines exceed $75,000 (which does not include appeals). A full legal update will be posted soon from our legal collective, including on the four individuals who courageously crossed the line onto the base to protest the SOA and face federal charges.

We have seen extraordinary solidarity in our movement in raising the money needed through loans and donations to release everyone arrested. People were trickling out of the jail until 4am this is morning. We have been able to raise close to $30,000 in an extremely short amount of time. This is unprecedented for SOAW. We are so grateful for both the people present here in Fort Benning, and our network across the Americas where donations and loans have been pouring in to ensure the speediest release for the arrestees.

We encourage you to help spread the word to ensure the people who put themselves on the line are taken care of by our community. Please donate here. We still desperately need to pay back our loans and raise additional money that will be needed for the state charges and court fees.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 November 2010 05:26
 
Urgent PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hendrik Voss   
Sunday, 21 November 2010 15:13

URGENT!  We urgently need money to bond people out of jail.

Please make a donation to the SOA Watch Legal Defense Fund

As a community of resistance, we need to take care of our prisoners. The conditions in Muscogee County jail are deplorable and we need funds to pay the bond money, which has been set as high as $5,500. Several people engaged in nonviolent direct action and blocked the road to the Highway entrance to Fort Benning, others were arrested by the Columbus police as they were leaving the vigil area on the sidewalk. Several journalists and bystanders were swept up in the arrests as well.

Last Updated on Sunday, 21 November 2010 17:44
 
26 People Arrested and Held in County Jail on Mulitple Charges PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nico Udu-gama   
Sunday, 21 November 2010 02:23

Thousands Converge at the gates of Fort Benning for 20th Anniversary of November Vigil to Close the SOA

Nonviolent civil disobedience action followed by indiscriminate arrests and targeting of journalists. Among those arrested by Columbus police were three journalists, including unrelated bystanders.

Thousands of human rights activists, torture survivors, veterans, faith-based communities, union workers, students, musicians and others from across the Americas are gathered today at the gates of the U.S. military base Fort Benning to call for the closure of the School of the Americas (renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation).

Following the SOA Watch rally, human rights activists brought their nonviolent witness to close the SOA into the street leading onto the military base. The activists briefly shut down the road with a large sign that said, "Stop: This is the End of the Road for the SOA." Their action is part of a longstanding tradition of creative civil disobedience to call attention to the atrocities committed by graduates of the School of the Americas. 10-12 people were arrested, and others charged, including the 90-year old Jesuit priest Bill Brennan, and ordained Catholic priest Janice Sevre-Duszynska.

Two human rights activists crossed onto Fort Benning through the highway entrance. They have been charged with federal trespass and face up to six months in federal prison and a fine up to $5,000.

When the rally participants tried to leave the vigil area, the police blocked off all exit points. After a few minutes, the police allowed people to leave on the sidewalk, only to follow them, indiscriminately arresting people who had neither committed any crimes nor engaged in civil disobedience. Among those arrested were journalists, who were filming the police misconduct and bystanders. All arrestees are currently being held in the Muscogee County Jail for up to a $5,500 bond.



Last Updated on Thursday, 21 June 2012 21:23
 
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