November Vigil 2009: Thousands Protested to Demand SOA Closure

Four veteran human rights defenders crossed the line Sunday morning to carry their witness against the School of Assassins towards where it is located inside Ft. Benning, GA:

  • Nancy Gwin of Syracuse, NY
  • Ken Hayes of Austin, TX
  • Fr. Louis Vitale of Oakland, CA
  • Michael Walli of Washington, DC

None of those responsible for SOA crimes have ever been investigated or held accountable, while 286 peace and justice activists have served prison and probation sentences of up to two years for their acts of nonviolent civil disobedience.

The civil disobedience at Ft. Benning on November 22 follows the arrest of five peace and justice activists at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, where the torture manuals used at the SOA were created. The

Ft. Huachuca Five


  • Fr. Bob Carney of Tucson, AZ
  • Joshua C. Harris of Santa Barbara, CA
  • John Heid of Tucson, AZ
  • Mariah Klusmire of Albuquerque, NM
  • Fr. Jerry Zawada of Tucson, AZ

Four the five received 1-year ban and bar letters, while Josh Harris awaits word on a trial date. Harris refused to cooperate with the military police, and when asked for his name said he was there representing a victim of torture.

Several hundred demonstrators marched together on Ft. Benning Rd on Sunday, November 22, risking arrest, and pushed through the police protest confines this year, led by puppetistas and drummers including

Cakalak Thunder

This exuberant, rebellious expression of the Return to Life honored the work and spirit of those who have fallen in the struggle for justice all across the Americas.