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Thousands protest the controversial School of the Americas   Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, extendaquin overnight delivery Representative Jim McGovern, extendaquin overnight delivery the Indigo Girls, extendaquin overnight delivery torture survivors and social movement leaders from Latin America were among the speakers and performers at the annual vigil at the gates of Fort Benning in Columbus, extendaquin overnight delivery Georgia. Thousands of human rights advocates from across the U.S. Extendaquin overnight delivery and Latin America will converge at Fort Benning, extendaquin overnight delivery Georgia to demand a dramatic shift in U.S. Extendaquin overnight delivery foreign policy and the closure of the controversial U.S. Extendaquin overnight delivery Army’s School of the Americas (SOA). The annual Vigil to close the SOA at Ft. Extendaquin overnight delivery Benning has grown from a dozen people in November of 1990 to more than 20, extendaquin overnight delivery000 in 2006. Extendaquin overnight delivery The annual event is held on the anniversary of the November 16, extendaquin overnight delivery 1989 massacre at the University of Central America (UCA) in El Salvador where Julia Elba Ramos, extendaquin overnight delivery her fourteen year old daughter Celina, extendaquin overnight delivery and six Jesuit priests where brutally murdered by the Atlacatl Battalion, extendaquin overnight delivery a unit of the Salvadoran army. Extendaquin overnight delivery A U.S. Extendaquin overnight delivery Congressional Task Force reported that those responsible were trained at the U.S. Extendaquin overnight delivery Army School of the Americas .“The school is an obstacle to democracy, extendaquin overnight delivery which is really beginning to take root in Latin America, extendaquin overnight delivery” said Fr. Extendaquin overnight delivery Roy Bourgeois, extendaquin overnight delivery founder of School of the Americas Watch, extendaquin overnight delivery a non profit human rights organization. Extendaquin overnight delivery “We should be investing our money and resources into civil institutions of these countries, extendaquin overnight delivery and not on their militaries, extendaquin overnight delivery which have a long history of oppressing their people, extendaquin overnight delivery of torture, extendaquin overnight delivery of causing untold suffering and death.” The School of the Americas, extendaquin overnight delivery now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), extendaquin overnight delivery made headlines in 1996 when the Pentagon released training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, extendaquin overnight delivery extortion and execution. Extendaquin overnight delivery Despite this admission and hundreds of documented human rights abuses connected to soldiers trained at the school, extendaquin overnight delivery no independent investigation into the facility has ever taken place. Thanks to an ongoing grassroots campaign, extendaquin overnight delivery support for the School of Americas/ WHINSEC continues to erode. In 2007, extendaquin overnight delivery Presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia and Oscar Arias of Costa Rica announced that they would cease to send military and police to the school, extendaquin overnight delivery becoming the 4th and 5th countries after Argentina, extendaquin overnight delivery Uruguay and Venezuela to withdraw from the U.S. Extendaquin overnight delivery Army training facility. The events will culminate on Sunday, extendaquin overnight delivery November 18 with a symbolic funeral procession to the gates of Ft. Extendaquin overnight delivery Benning.Many will negotiate a barbed-wire fence to enter the military base in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience. Since protests against SOA/WHINSEC began more than a decade ago, extendaquin overnight delivery 226 people have served federal prison sentences. On June 21, extendaquin overnight delivery 2007 a McGovern/Lewis amendment to the 2008 Foreign Appropriations bill that would have prohibited funding for the School of the Americas/WHINSEC lost by a margin of only six votes. 203 members of Congress voted in favor of the amendment to cut the funding for the school quoting its connection to human rights abuses throughout Latin America.To read more please go to:http://www.soaw.org