News from those in the struggle for peace

    Here is a portion of the latest email update from SOA Watch (www.soaw.org). Please keep these couragous men and women in your thoughts and prayers.



      1) Trial Update

      The largest group of defendants ever is set to stand trial for speaking truth to power at the SOA. Come to Columbus to support our friends as they face up to 18 month in prison for their nonviolent acts of solidarity.

      In addition to these federal cases, Karl Meyer, who last year completed a six month prison sentence for crossing the line, faces city charges for refusing to allow the police to search him before entering the protest site. Karl will be arraigned in absentia on January 17th and unless the charges are dismissed at that time, scheduled for trial.

      Two of the defendants were tried and sentenced in December. Dave Tarbell was sentenced to 3 months in prison and a $500 fine. Vincent Jackson was sentenced to 12 months of probation and a $2,500 fine.

      Those slated for jury trials include Rachel Shiveley, who took a wrong turn onto the base and was charged with running a police barricade. Charity Ryerson, Jeremiah John and Andrew Olive are charged with destruction of government property. In addition to the charges above, which carry a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison, they are also charged with trespassing and so face up to 18 months in prison. The defense attorney for Andrew Olive is still seeking witnesses in his case. If you saw someone pick boltcutters up from the ground after the bolt had been cut, please get in touch. Visit http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=556 for details.

      The two large group trials consist of people charged with trespassing for crossing onto Ft Benning property as part of the solemn funeral procession. Each of the two trials will begin with a festival of hope and resistance featuring speakers, musicians and a commissioning service for the defendants. The morning of, there will be a procession from the Howard Johnson to the courthouse. During the trial itself, there will be opportunities for supporters to rotate in and out of the courtroom and maintain a vigil on the courthouse steps. In previous years, supporters have come together to plan a nonviolent direct action at Ft. Benning during the trial.

      We know that many of you have been waiting for these details and apologize for the delay. It was not until this morning that these dates were confirmed. Our defense attorneys had previously filed a motion for judge Faircloth to be recused from the case due to his obvious bias. This morning we were notified that Judge Faircloth himself ruled against the motion that he be recused from the case. Just another example of the injustice we are up against.

      Come to Ft. Benning and support the SOA 86! Please contact Jeff Winder (jwinder@soaw.org, 202-234-3440) in the SOA Watch office in Washington, DC, if you are planning to come to Georgia for the trial and would be able to help with the support work.

      For short bios of the defendants visit:

      http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=540

      For the trial schedule and logistical information visit:

      http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=554

      For actions to take in solidarity with the SOA 86 visit:

      http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=129

      Call for witnesses in the case of Andrew Olive:

      http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=556

      ________________________________________________

      2) Action Alert

      SOA Watch prisoner of conscience Janice Sevre-Duszynska returned home after completing a three-month prison sentence to find a letter from her employer, Henry Clay High School, where she has taught English as a second language for the past 12 years. In this letter, Interim Schools Superintendent Duane Tennant terminated her employment, calling her arrest and imprisonment for nonviolent protest, “insubordination and conduct unbecoming a teacher.”

      Janice is a person of integrity and a skillful, dedicated teacher. The termination of her employment is unfairly detrimental not only to Janice; but to her students as well. This action is part of a disturbing nation-wide trend towards the criminalization of dissent and is a threat to activists everywhere.

      An appeal hearing will be held on January 22nd. Act now to support Janice in regaining her employment. Send a letter of support for Janice to the editor of the Lexington Herald-Letter and a copy of that letter to the Interim Schools Superintendent. Letters to the editor generally should be no more than 250 words.

      Letters to the Editor

      hleditorial@herald-leader.com

      fax: 859-255-7236

      Letters to the Editor

      Lexington Herald-Leader

      100 Midland Ave.

      Lexington, KY 40508

      cc: to Dr. L. Duane Tennant,

      Interim Superintendent

      Fayette County Public Schools

      701 E. Main St.

      Lexington, KY 40502

      email: dtennant@fayette.k12.ky.us

      phone: 859-384-4104

      fax: 859-381-4303

    For more information on the vital work of SOA Watch and their mission to close the US school for terrorist training, WHISC at Ft. Benning, GA visit www.soaw.org.