SOA Watch Vigil This Weekend, Fort Benning, GA

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With this year’s November Vigil only two days away, we are looking forward to seeing you at the gates of Ft. Benning to say “NO MORE” to U.S. militarization and repression in Latin America. With over 70 workshops, as well as an amazing lineup of speakers and performers, this year’s vigil is surely going to be an extraordinary expression of our collective energy and solidarity! Also, this year will mark the sixth time that SOA Watch is joining local activists at a rally and vigil to shut down the Stewart Detention Center, a for-profit immigrant prison located in Lumpkin, Georgia.

Then, on Saturday November 23 we will take our opening plenary to a new level as we host our first People’s Movement Assembly (PMA)!
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We invite you to be a part of the PMA process, which is an excellent tool to focus our energy on strategy, action and movement building as we challenge and change our current economic, social and political structures. Your voice is important in making our movement grow! Here are the details:

What: People’s Movement Assembly
When: Saturday November 23, 2013, from 8:50am – 11:30am
Where: Ballroom A, Columbus Trade and Convention Center, 801 Front Ave. Columbus, Georgia

The questions we will address as a collective at the PMA concern SOA Watch and Mass Nonviolent Direct Action, as well as movement building strategies. Here they are, so that you may look at them, brainstorm a bit and come to the PMA with new ideas to contribute:

1. SOA Watch and Mass Nonviolent Direct Action:Nonviolent Direct Action and prison witness have been core elements of the SOA Watch movement since its beginning. To date, over 300 human rights defenders have collectively spent over 100 years in prison and served probation. QUESTION: In the context of an increasingly militarized prison system, is there a need to shift to other creative ways of continuing the tradition of direct action?

2. SOA Watch movement building strategies:As a grassroots movement, School of the Americas Watch has undoubtedly grown considerably since it began. As the largest annual anti-militarism movement in the U.S., SOA Watch has attracted a wide range of people from across the United States and throughout the Americas.QUESTION: What kinds of strategies can we develop to keep this grassroots movement growing, and what are some new and creative ways of reaching out to communities? 

For more information on the PMA, contact Maria Luisa Rosal at marialuisa@soaw.org or at 202-710-2343


Are you looking for more ways to participate in the Vigil? Put your creativity into action and join the Puppetistas on Sunday for the pageant! Puppet protests

The Puppetistas are working around the clock to make sure that our Vigil is full of larger-than-life expressions of solidarity and love. Through their art, manifested through visual representations of our movement and through music and dance, the Puppetistas are a vital part of making the Vigil a beautiful portrayal of non-violence and resistance! If you are planning on attending the Procession on Sunday, we invite you to be part of the Puppetisa action! Here is more information:

What: Puppetista Pageant Rehearsal
When: Saturday November 23
Where: Ft. Benning main entrance at 1:15 pm
Contact: Ken Srdjak, 231-360-4219


For a full schedule of events, visit http://soaw.org/november/schedule/

Please make a donation to help cover the costs of renting professional stage and sound equipment, renting the Columbus Convention Center, and making the event successful!