November 18-20, 2011: Converge at the gates of Ft. Benning

Stand up for dignity, justice, solidarity and self-determination at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia! Shut Down the SOA and Resist U.S. Militarization in the Americas! (The following alert was originally sent by our friends at SOA Watch.)

Join thousands of solidarity activists, torture survivors, union workers, people of faith, students, immigrants, veterans and others from November 18-20, 2011 at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia to take a stand for justice, to close the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC) and to resist U.S. militarization.

NOW IS THE TIME to push Congress and the White House to cut spending in the right places. The U.S. Army School of the Americas (renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), the Pentagon’s flagship training school for Latin American militaries on the grounds of Fort Benning, Georgia, continues to train the military muscle to protect the status quo for the elites. Over the past several years, the Pentagon has all but taken over U.S. foreign policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean. The U.S. military is building new military bases throughout Latin America, and “military solutions” are being propagated for everything from gang violence and the drug trade to “radical populism,” the term used by the U.S. Southern Command to describe democratically elected left-leaning political leaders in the Americas. The U.S. Southern Command (SouthCom), which is responsible for all U.S. military activities in Latin America and the Caribbean has more people working on Latin America than the State Department, the Department of Commerce and the Treasury combined.

As Frederick Douglas pointed out, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” The Pentagon and the U.S. Southern Command are going to fight hard to keep all the power that they have amassed. It is up to us to build counter-power from below to challenge U.S. militarization and to ensure that our resources are invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of the training of repressive foreign militaries, war and exploitation.

Mass mobilizations of people who organize themselves to struggle collectively for a better world, are a key element for our success as a movement. The convergence at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia from November 18-20, 2011 and the march on SouthCom in October in the lead-up to the November Vigil represent the culmination of movement building that is taking place in local communities throughout the country. Educate, organize and mobilize your community to take to the streets and to take direct action for dignity, justice, solidarity and self-determination.

The November Vigil includes a massive rally at the gates of Fort Benning, concerts, workshops, a solemn funeral procession to commemorate the victims, nonviolent direct action, a vigil at the Stewart Detention Center (an immigrant prison), a veterans-led march, films, trainings and more. See you at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia.

For more information visit SOA Watch or call 202-234-3440.