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Thousands protest the controversial School of the Americas   Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, no rx pamelor Representative Jim McGovern, no rx pamelor the Indigo Girls, no rx pamelor 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, no rx pamelor Georgia. Thousands of human rights advocates from across the U.S. No rx pamelor and Latin America will converge at Fort Benning, no rx pamelor Georgia to demand a dramatic shift in U.S. No rx pamelor foreign policy and the closure of the controversial U.S. No rx pamelor Army’s School of the Americas (SOA). The annual Vigil to close the SOA at Ft. No rx pamelor Benning has grown from a dozen people in November of 1990 to more than 20, no rx pamelor000 in 2006. No rx pamelor The annual event is held on the anniversary of the November 16, no rx pamelor 1989 massacre at the University of Central America (UCA) in El Salvador where Julia Elba Ramos, no rx pamelor her fourteen year old daughter Celina, no rx pamelor and six Jesuit priests where brutally murdered by the Atlacatl Battalion, no rx pamelor a unit of the Salvadoran army. No rx pamelor A U.S. No rx pamelor Congressional Task Force reported that those responsible were trained at the U.S. No rx pamelor Army School of the Americas .“The school is an obstacle to democracy, no rx pamelor which is really beginning to take root in Latin America, no rx pamelor” said Fr. No rx pamelor Roy Bourgeois, no rx pamelor founder of School of the Americas Watch, no rx pamelor a non profit human rights organization. No rx pamelor “We should be investing our money and resources into civil institutions of these countries, no rx pamelor and not on their militaries, no rx pamelor which have a long history of oppressing their people, no rx pamelor of torture, no rx pamelor of causing untold suffering and death.” The School of the Americas, no rx pamelor now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), no rx pamelor made headlines in 1996 when the Pentagon released training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, no rx pamelor extortion and execution. No rx pamelor Despite this admission and hundreds of documented human rights abuses connected to soldiers trained at the school, no rx pamelor no independent investigation into the facility has ever taken place. Thanks to an ongoing grassroots campaign, no rx pamelor support for the School of Americas/ WHINSEC continues to erode. In 2007, no rx pamelor Presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia and Oscar Arias of Costa Rica announced that they would cease to send military and police to the school, no rx pamelor becoming the 4th and 5th countries after Argentina, no rx pamelor Uruguay and Venezuela to withdraw from the U.S. No rx pamelor Army training facility. The events will culminate on Sunday, no rx pamelor November 18 with a symbolic funeral procession to the gates of Ft. No rx pamelor 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, no rx pamelor 226 people have served federal prison sentences. On June 21, no rx pamelor 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