Some thoughts from Georgia

Posted by Jennifer - November 22, 2003 (entry 116)

Today was the first of a two-day protest of the School of Americas/WHISC. In an age where the mass media may have you believe that people don't care, it is something to see so many young and old (and a few in the middle) come together to be a force for positive change. In the midst of the declared "war on terror" and the undeclared police state that we are living in (many awful stories from Miami) we know we must come together and bear witness to the crimes funded, trained, and supported by our government. In the local Columbus paper there have been several articles regarding the protests. They are are not so much negative as condescending--protestors only know "one side" and there are interviews with current attendees of the SOA/WHISC, who of course are not trained to toture people. There is NO mention of the hundreds of SOA graduates who have murdered thousands of innocent people--all under the watchful eye of Uncle Sam. Nor is there any kind of discussion of what right the US has to impose its will--economic and otherwise on Latin America. Perhaps more amazing is the activity surrounding the protest--the first-hand reports of Columbians, legislative updates, all of the many social justice projects the people of SOAW are involved in. And I think, THIS is what democracy looks like. And I have to think, why do I have to come to a Columbian teach-in to find out about the current amendments regarding funding for Plan Columbia (which Columbian call Plan Washington, because Columbians had no say in it), or attend an organizing meeting for immigaration issues to find out Patriot II IS being passed, bit by bit in ryders attached to bills for park funding and the like. WHERE IS THE MEDIA?! In the National Media Reform conference held several weeks ago about every other speaker suggested that the democratic nature of this republic hinged on media reform. And as I process the tremendous information presented here I can appreciate as never before the gap between what the media offers and what is needed for citizens to make informed decisions about our governments actions. Tommorrow will be the funeral procession, and thousands will witness hundreds of people "crossing the line" which means certain arrest and a 3-6 month federal jail sentence. They do it for all of us, to protest the injustice of the SOA and the repression it stands for, please hold them in your thoughts. Every year SOA throws something new into the mix, last year was wanding people, this year during today's protest loud music blared from behind the stage, where people spoke or sang. It was extremely irritating (people on stage stated they could not hear themselves) but they CANNOT SILENCE US! peace everybody

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