Historical transition for SOA Watch protest next year - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Historical transition for SOA Watch protest next year

(Source: SOA Waych/Facebook) (Source: SOA Waych/Facebook)

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) - For the first time in 25 years, the School of the Americus Watch protest organizers are broadening their movement from the gates of Fort Benning to the Mexican borders.

SOA Watch founder, Father Roy Bourgeios said the decision comes on the heels of a discussion that started six months ago among the group’s supporters and a request from El Salvador’s President Sanchez Seren. 

“We met in March with President Seren, said Bourgeios, and he did request that our movement, because of the suffering of not only the people from El Salvador coming to the United States, but from Guatemala and Honduras; he made the request that we make our solidarity with the migrants and make that our priority if not a top priority in our movement.”

In October 2016, the movement will be at the Mexican border of El Paso, TX.  He said, people are leaving their countries not to better their lives, but to save their lives. 

“Next November, the group will continue its efforts on a smaller bases, of course, at the main gate of Fort Benning and the Stewart Detention Center, but we are going to put a lot of time, energy and resources at the border,” he said.

The details still have to be worked out within the next few months concerning what the new movement will entail,

SOA Watch started with 10 people in 1990 and at its peak upwards of 17,000 to 2,000 marched in opposition to the SOA. Some of them willfully broke the law by crossing onto post and were arrested over the years.   This weekend about 1,500 to 2,000 people attended the protest.

Until now, the SOA Watch has focused primarily on trying to close WHINSEC or the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas.

The school is considered by the protesters as a breeding ground to train Latin American soldiers to become terrorists, killing innocent people.

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