Sunday, 2:30pm: 19,000 people are standing vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, remembering those who have been silenced by SOA violence.
The military erected a triple barbwire fence at the main gate of the base to prevent people from carrying the protest against the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) onto the military base. As of 2:00pm, 40 human rights activists have crossed the line by climbing over or going under partly dismantled areas of the fence and been arrested by Military Police. Columbus Police arrested bystanders and people who lifted up the fence to open up the space for the activists.
I know 40 arrests for crossing the line doesn’t sound like much, but remember likely all of these folks are looking at time in federal prison for taking this act (last year, most of those arrested were either given prison sentences). Also bear in mind that this is a big jump from last year (only 15 crossed then).
I am so encouraged by those who have taken this step. I hope they know that their courage is inspiring to so many.