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Community Speak Out Against War May 1/Call In Day on Colombia April 26
by Dan Bacher (danielbacher [at] hotmail.com)
Thursday Apr 14th, 2005 10:32 AM
Here's a couple of coming actions you can participate in to protest the Bush regime's wars. On May 1, there is a Community Speak Out against War at the State Capitol.
On April 26, SOA Watch is sponsoring a call in day to demand an investigation of a massacre by the Bush-supported right wing government in Colombia.
Our Community Speaks Out Against War

Sunday, May 1, 2005
North Steps, State Capitol, Sacramento

5 pm Music, Picnic, Displays
6 pm Speak Out
Dusk: Candlelight vigil


COME AND BRING: everyone you know, a picnic supper, candles, and your statement (written or visual) about how the war harms people, the environment, the world.

END THE OCCUPATION OF IRAQ. Two years after “Mission Accomplished”, the U.S. has spent $300 billion to kill, wound, traumatize, and destroy the homes & livelihoods of hundreds of thousands. This is not liberation.

THE WAR AGENDA HARMS US ALL Nearly half the 2006 federal budget of $2,130 billion is for the military. The U.S. has military bases in 130 countries while the Bush admin. plans for more war. This does not support life .

Partial list of co-sponsors: People Opposing War, Sac Area Peace Action, Veterans for Peace, Grandmothers for Peace, Sac for Democracy, Progressive Democrats of Sac, Sac County Green Party.

More information: 916-456-4840; sypeaceact [at] jps.net



SOA Watch Update
April 14, 2005

1. Colombia: April 26 National Call-in Day
2. Mother’s Day peace vigils
3. Prisoner of conscience update
4. Remembering Mary Swenson
5. SOA Watch newsletter – subscribe today!


===============
1. APRIL 26: NATIONAL CALL-IN DAY ON A NEW U.S. POLICY IN COLOMBIA

---> Take action for peace and accountability in Colombia.

Many of you are aware of the recent horrific massacre of eight members of
the San José de Apartadó Peace Community in northwest Colombia, most of
them women and children. Witnesses identified the killers as members of
the Colombian military, and peace community members saw the army’s 17th
and 11th Brigades in the area around the time of the murders.

The Colombian and U.S. governmental responses to the massacre: The
Colombian Uribe Administration is blaming the victims. The U.S. Embassy is
silent. This is outrageous.

This horrific massacre has generated outrage and crucial momentum on
issues of Colombia policy and U.S. accountability. We need your help to
ensure that the U.S. government's response is swift and meaningful, and
that the Colombian government conducts a transparent and thorough
investigation of the incident.

---> ON APRIL 26, CONTACT YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. Below is suggested
message for you to convey:

"I am calling Congressman/woman________ because I am extremely concerned
about violence against innocent civilians in Colombia. In February, eight
civilians, including three children, were massacred in the peace community
of San José de Apartadó. The community holds the Colombian military
responsible for this massacre. The United Nations has found that direct
human rights violations by the Colombian military have increased in recent
years; I don't believe that the United States should give more money to a
military with such a horrendous human rights record.

“I am also calling to remind the Congressman/woman that Rep. Jim McGovern
has introduced HR 1217, The Latin America Military Training Review Act of
2005, which would suspend and investigate the School of the Americas,
which now uses the acronym WHINSEC. I urge the Congressman/woman to
contact Rep. McGovern's office to become a cosponsor of this bill. This
would be one very concrete step to support human rights and promote peace
and justice for the people of Latin America."

For more information on the April 26 National Call-in Day visit
http://www.peaceincolombia.org/callinday.htm.

For more information on HR 1217, Rep. McGovern’s new legislation to close
and investigate the SOA/ WHINSEC visit
http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=96.

CONGRESSIONAL SWITCHBOARD 202-224-3121

If you don't know the name of your representative or senators, look them
up at http://www.senate.gov or http://www.house.gov/writerep.

Visit http://www.SOAW.org for background information, a sample letter to the
State Department and other actions you can take TODAY to support the San
José peace community.


===============
2. NATIONAL MOTHER’S DAY PEACE VIGILS

Join peace advocates across the United States protesting U.S. support for
Colombia's military despite its continued violations of human rights. Your
public witness will help prevent the San José case from ending in impunity
like the vast majority of violent deaths in Colombia.

TAKE A STAND FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AND JUSTICE!
--> Mother’s Day Peace Vigils: April 26 - May 6

Locations Across the Country:

-- The U.S. Department of State, Washington DC, organized by Witness for
Peace. May 6th 4:00 pm.

-- YOUR TOWN! Organize a vigil at an accessible public place in your town,
Congressional district offices or simply a place that is meaningful to
you, such as your church. Organize friends, neighbors, members of your
place of worship, and family members to gather.

-- Other groups will hold vigils at Colombian Consulates: Colombia has at
least nine operating consular offices in the United States -- in Atlanta,
Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and
Washington DC.

Vigils held on and around the 8th Anniversary of the Peace Community
helped raise the profile of the case and provided opportunity for engaging
State Department officials on our requests. But Colombian Peace
communities need a groundswell of support. By organizing a vigil in your
town May 6th, you are standing in solidarity with the thousands of
Colombian civilians struggling with determination and illogical courage
for peace. You will relay your desire for U.S. policy promoting human
rights and dismay with military solutions.

We stand with people seeking justice. Demand accountability. Refuse
complicity.

For more information on the vigils, visit
http://www.peaceincolombia.org/vigils.htm.

[The first Mother’s Day was a protest against the bloodshed of the Civil
War by women who lost their sons. Learn more by reading the Mother’s Day
Proclamation: http://www.peace.ca/mothersdayproclamation.htm].


===============
3. REMEMBERING MARY SWENSON

Long time SOA Watch activist and peace advocate Mary Swenson of
Minneapolis, Minnesota passed away on March 31, 2005.

A very dedicated activist in the campaign to close the SOA/ WHINSEC, Mary
co-coordinated media for the hunger fast begun on Labor Day in 1990 at the
front gates of Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. She also conducted
research on the School of the Americas in the SOA's own library at Fort
Benning!

Mary had courage and determination and was an inspiration and teacher to
everyone she met. Those seeking guidance in the library at the Resource
Center of the Americas were assisted with patience and expertise.

Visit Minnesota SOA Watch for more information and photos of Mary:
http://www.circlevision.org/mnsoaw.html

And the Resource Center of the Americas: http://www.americas.org/


===============
4. PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE UPDATE

Eleven SOA Watch activists are currently serving prison sentences of three
to six months in federal prisons around the United States for their acts
of nonviolent civil disobedience calling for the closure of the SOA/
WHINSEC in November of 2004. One important step you can take to support
these “prisoners of conscience” is to write them a letter.

For prison addresses and more information about each of these activists,
visit: http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=322.

To read more about how you can support these peacemakers and other
political prisoners, visit: http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=129.


===============
5. THE HOTTEST READ IN TOWN: THE SOA WATCH NEWSLETTER

In the SOA Watch DC office, Sarah Mertz is finalizing the new 12-page
edition of the “SOA Watch Update,” the newsletter of the SOA Watch
movement. Are you subscribed to this free tri-annual newsletter?

If you’re not but you’d like to be, let us know! Send us an email at
info [at] soaw.org, call us at 202-234-3440 or drop us a line at PO Box 4566,
Washington, DC 20017. Let us know your name and contact info and we’ll add
you to our mailing list.

We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!

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