July 29, 2014

Statement in solidarity with SOA Watch and against political repression

July 21, 2014
Greetings to Vera Leone at SOA Watch

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression supports SOA Watch and the protests against the death squad school run by the U.S. military at Fort Benning, Georgia. The protests at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, in solidarity with the peoples of Latin America, shine a light on the murderers and criminals trained by the U.S. military. Many SOA graduates carry out coups against elected governments and massacres on behalf of the U.S. Empire, but few are ever punished. 

On the other hand, the protests outside the SOA/WHINSEC death squad school helped convince countries like Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua to quit training at the SOA. The anti-war and Latin American solidarity movements share in these victories. We know U.S. dominance of other countries can be curbed or even ended through protests and solidarity with the people and movements in other countries.  

As well, many of the Antiwar 23 proudly take part in protests outside the gates of Fort Benning in Columbus, GA. These anti-war and international solidarity activists had their homes raided and/or were subpoenaed to a grand jury by the FBI in 2010. They resisted the grand jury and the charges of “material support for terrorism” involving Colombia and Palestine. Not one of the Antiwar 23 testified at the grand jury. Many of our friends and comrades from the SOA protests stood with us against the political repression, forcing the U.S. government to back off.  

We oppose the repressive, anti-democratic, and unconstitutional actions of Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren in trying to deny protesters their rights. Perhaps Boren now thinks he can be a dictator like 11 other past SOA graduates? 

We support the SOA Watch efforts to hold a safe and effective demonstration. The police should not disrupt and repress the protesters. We are excited for another successful build up that helps to do away with the SOA/WHINSEC forever.  

In solidarity! Tom Burke for the Committee to Stop FBI Repression