(en) SCHOOL OF ASSASSINS PROTEST UPDATE 19 Nov 1997 #2: Prison terms

Robert Cherwink (rc@vom.com)
Wed, 19 Nov 1997 23:19:41 -0800

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SCHOOL OF ASSASSINS PROTEST UPDATE 19 Nov 1997 #2 Close the School of the Americas!

Prison terms for three Army school protesters


For more information about the School of the Americas and SOA Watch, see http://www.derechos.org/soaw/ or send email to soaw@derechos.org


Prison terms for three Army school protesters

Copyright c 1997 Nando.net Copyright c 1997 Reuters

COLUMBUS, Ga. (November 19, 1997 3:53 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - Three demonstrators who participated in the largest-ever protest against the U.S. Army's School of the Americas were given the longest possible prison sentences in federal court on Wednesday.

The three were each sentenced to six months in prison and fined $3,000 after pleading no contest to misdemeanor criminal trespass charges. They had entered the Army's Fort Benning during a march and rally on Sunday that attracted almost 2,000 people who oppose the training school for Latin American military and police officers.

More than 600 people were arrested during Sunday's protest, but most were released on the condition that they do not enter the military post again. The three who were sentenced were among 28 people charged with trespassing because they had previously been ordered to stay out of Fort Benning.

Sunday's protest marked the eighth anniversary of the murders of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador. Of 26 Salvadoran officers charged in the deaths, 19 were graduates of the School of the Americas.

Before she was sentenced, Carol Richardson, a leader of the group School of Americas Watch, told federal magistrate William Slaughter that she had participated in a silent, non-violent procession in memory of those killed by graduates of the military school.

"They have left a trail of blood and suffering in every country where they have gone," she said.

"Why don't you persuade Congress not to appropriate the money," Slaughter responded. "It looks to me that's the route you ought to follow."

Rev. Roy Bourgeois, a 57-year-old Roman Catholic priest, told reporters that School of Americas Watch will continue its protests. "We are going to come back in greater numbers until that school of assassins is shut down," he said. "They will not kill this movement."

Supporters of the school say that fewer than 300 of its 60,000 graduates have been linked to war crimes. They say the school instructs military, police and government officers in humanitarian, anti-narcotics and peace operations while providing human rights training.

None of the other protestors charged with criminal trespass entered pleas on Wednesday. Their cases will be heard in federal district court. No trial date was set.

Five protestors also face felony charges of destruction of government property for defacing the entrance sign to Fort Benning during a demonstration on Sept. 29. If convicted, they could be sentenced to 15 years in prison.


NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for research and educational purposes.


For more information about the School of the Americas and SOA Watch, see http://www.derechos.org/soaw/ or send email to soaw@derechos.org



Rob, Sector Air Raid Warden at Rob's Place http://www.vom.com/rc/home.htm A SITE DEDICATED TO SPIRIT, TRUTH, PEACE, JUSTICE, AND FREEDOM /RENEGADE/ newsletter: http://fornits.com/renegade/ Robert Cherwink <rc@vom.com> Usenet: alt.thebird


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