Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Lobby Days in May

The School of the Americas Watch will hold Lobby Days in Washington, D.C., from May 4th through the 6th. I intend to be there, to visit Congressional offices, to encourage Congressional staff members to ask their bosses to use their votes to say no to torture and assassination and yes to human rights and to life!
There is no place for either torture or assassination in a civilized society. I'd like to encourage everyone who reads this blog to write or call your Congressional representatives and ask them to co-sponsor HR 1707, the bill to suspend operations of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation and to put in place an independent investigation of the instruction that has been offered at both that school and the school that it claims to replace, the School of the Americas.
The public relations staff at WHINSEC continues to claim that their school has no connection with the former School of the Americas. They claim that they are a new school for a new century and that they don't teach any of the bad stuff that was taught at the School of the Americas. On the other hand, they are spending an awful lot of time and money to prevent HR 1707 from being passed. So... why are they working so hard to prevent an independent investigation?
The PR staff of WHINSEC has all sorts of tricks at their disposal to influence Congress and the media...
... but we have our passion... some of us have first-hand experience of the brutality of some of the SOA graduates... many of us know someone who was a torture victim, who was related to a torture victim, who witnessed a massacre...
... and we need to share that with our Congressional representatives.
I am looking forward to going to Washington, D.C.
I could not go to Georgia in November. I chose not to take such a long trip or to be with a lot of people just two months after being released from prison. And, as it turned out, I was not healthy enough to travel. A sinus infection somehow developed into pneumonia, and I was a very sick Alice for more than a month.
I am feeling much stronger and much better now, and I am looking forward to going to Washington, D.C., in May.
No, I don't have any extravagant gifts for the Congressional offices. No bouquets, no paintings, no musical compositions commissioned especially for them. But I do have my passion and my determination to continue to say yes to human rights and to life and no to torture and assassination.
Please visit the School of the Americas website (there's a link on this page) to read about the SOA 11, the folks who are on trial next week for crossing the Fort Benning fence to say no to torture and assassination and yes to human rights and to life!