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December 02, 1999 - Image 48

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-12-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Magazin

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10 years o Protesting the



This protestor, covered in mock blood and dressed in a black robe with a white death mask, lies over a coffin symbolizing all those murdered.

The feeling was clear, the emotion, powerful. Ten thousand protestors orga-
nized in Columbus, Ga. from Nov. 19-21, to protest the U.S. School of the
Americas. Citing that the school trains it's students, nearly all Latino/as, in
torture techniques, the protestors vowed to close the school. They claim that
graduates of the S.O.A go on to commit human rights violations, and that the
school's curriculum is to blame. The school responds that torture is not a part
of the curriculum, but that the curriculum does contain courses on human
rights. The S.O.A is located in Ft. Benning, Ga., a militrary base just next to
Columbus. Of the 10,000 people who gathered outside the gates of Ft.
Benning, nearly 3,000 walked onto the base, in an act they label "crossing
the line." Risking arrest for holding a political demonstration on government
property, the protestors marched 2 miles into the base. There they were met
with military personnel waiting to escort them to buses, in order to be taken
off the base. About 100 people marched as "high risk" participants. These
protestors , wore black robes and white masks, and covered themselves in
lood as they reached the military busses. There are few issues in the United
States today that create the type of solidarity that this one does. For the past
10 years, those concerned have gathered in front of Ft. Benning to protest the
school. They are not bound by race, religion or culture. They are bound by a
belief that human rights violations exist, and they have a common desire to
do something about it. It is this passion which has brought people to Ft.
Benning for 10 years. It is this:passion which has caused the protest togrow
for 10 years. Whether their views are tight or wrong it is this passion.wwich
has united them, despite many differences; for10,edrs:

A Latino man and his infant listen to the story of Rufina Amaya, a survivor of
the El Mozote massacre

This man, refuising togeUp by-himself, is
officers. He would later be issued a ban an
him to stay away from Ft. Benning for 5 y

Thousands raise crosses during a slient prayer before "crossing the line" onto government property.

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