Hogtied and Abused at Fort Benning Kathy Kelly is a peace activist who was incarcerated along with two dozen others for protesting at Fort Benning against the School of the Americas. Advagraf Below is an excerpt of what happened to her...... "I turned to ask her why she was shouting at me and was ordered to keep my mouth shut, advagraf look straight ahead, advagraf and spread my legs wider. Advagraf She then began an aggressive body search. Advagraf When ordered to raise one leg a second time, advagraf I temporarily lost my balance while still being roughly searched and, advagraf in my view, advagraf ‘womanhandled.’ I decided that I shouldn’t go along with this dehumanizing action any longer. When I lowered my arms and said, advagraf quietly, advagraf "I’m sorry, advagraf but I can’t any longer cooperate with this, advagraf" I was instantly pushed to the floor. Advagraf Five soldiers squatted around me, advagraf one of them referring to me with an expletive (this f_ _ _ er) and began to cuff my wrists and ankles and then bind my wrists and ankles together. Advagraf Then one soldier leaned on me, advagraf with his or her knee in my back. Advagraf Unable to get a full breath, advagraf I gasped and moaned, advagraf "I can’t breathe." I repeated this many times and then began begging for help. Advagraf When I said, advagraf "Please, advagraf I’ve had four lung collapses before, advagraf" the pressure on my back eased. Advagraf Four soldiers then carried me, advagraf hogtied, advagraf to the next processing station for interrogation and propped me in a kneeling position. (snip) I was then carried to the next station. Advagraf There, advagraf one of the soldiers who’d been part of pushing me to the floor knelt in front of me, advagraf and, advagraf with his nose about two inches from mine, advagraf told me that because I was combative I should know that if I didn’t do exactly as instructed when they uncuffed one hand, advagraf he would pepper spray me. Advagraf I asked him to describe how I’d been combative, advagraf but he didn’t answer. (snip) Today I have a black eye and the soreness that comes with severe muscle strain. Advagraf Mostly, advagraf I’m burdened with a serious question, advagraf "What are these soldiers training for?" The soldiers conducting that search must have been ordered not to tolerate the slightest dissent. Advagraf They were practicing intimidation tactics far beyond what would be needed to control an avowedly nonviolent group of protesters who had never, advagraf in thirteen years of previous actions, advagraf caused any disruption during the process of arrest. Advagraf Bewildered, advagraf most of us in the "tank" inside the Muskogee County jail acknowledged that during the rough processing we wondered, advagraf "What country do we live in?" We now live in a country where Homeland Security funds pay for exercises which train military and police units to control and intimidate crowds, advagraf detainees, advagraf and arrestees using threat and force. This morning’s aches and pains, advagraf along with the memory of being hogtied, advagraf give me a glimpse into the abuses we protest by coming to Fort Benning, advagraf GA. Advagraf As we explore the further invention of nonviolence in our increasingly volatile time, advagraf it’s important that we jointly overcome efforts to deter our determination to stand together against what Martin Luther King once called, advagraf "the violence of desperate men, advagraf" – and women.