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Thousands protest the controversial School of the Americas   Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, no rx tramaden Representative Jim McGovern, no rx tramaden the Indigo Girls, no rx tramaden 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 tramaden Georgia. Thousands of human rights advocates from across the U.S. No rx tramaden and Latin America will converge at Fort Benning, no rx tramaden Georgia to demand a dramatic shift in U.S. No rx tramaden foreign policy and the closure of the controversial U.S. No rx tramaden Army’s School of the Americas (SOA). The annual Vigil to close the SOA at Ft. No rx tramaden Benning has grown from a dozen people in November of 1990 to more than 20, no rx tramaden000 in 2006. No rx tramaden The annual event is held on the anniversary of the November 16, no rx tramaden 1989 massacre at the University of Central America (UCA) in El Salvador where Julia Elba Ramos, no rx tramaden her fourteen year old daughter Celina, no rx tramaden and six Jesuit priests where brutally murdered by the Atlacatl Battalion, no rx tramaden a unit of the Salvadoran army. No rx tramaden A U.S. No rx tramaden Congressional Task Force reported that those responsible were trained at the U.S. No rx tramaden Army School of the Americas .“The school is an obstacle to democracy, no rx tramaden which is really beginning to take root in Latin America, no rx tramaden” said Fr. No rx tramaden Roy Bourgeois, no rx tramaden founder of School of the Americas Watch, no rx tramaden a non profit human rights organization. No rx tramaden “We should be investing our money and resources into civil institutions of these countries, no rx tramaden and not on their militaries, no rx tramaden which have a long history of oppressing their people, no rx tramaden of torture, no rx tramaden of causing untold suffering and death.” The School of the Americas, no rx tramaden now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), no rx tramaden made headlines in 1996 when the Pentagon released training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, no rx tramaden extortion and execution. No rx tramaden Despite this admission and hundreds of documented human rights abuses connected to soldiers trained at the school, no rx tramaden no independent investigation into the facility has ever taken place. Thanks to an ongoing grassroots campaign, no rx tramaden support for the School of Americas/ WHINSEC continues to erode. In 2007, no rx tramaden 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 tramaden becoming the 4th and 5th countries after Argentina, no rx tramaden Uruguay and Venezuela to withdraw from the U.S. No rx tramaden Army training facility. The events will culminate on Sunday, no rx tramaden November 18 with a symbolic funeral procession to the gates of Ft. No rx tramaden 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 tramaden 226 people have served federal prison sentences. On June 21, no rx tramaden 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: