School of Shame

Last November, a record 22,000 people gathered at the gates of the Fort Benning Military Reservation in Georgia to protest the military training school, for soldiers from Central and South American countries, known as the School of the Americas (though officially renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation in 2001). Graduates of the school have been convicted of some of Latin America’s most horrific human rights violations, and for 17 years this annual vigil and nonviolent direct action has called for the school’s closure and a dramatic shift in U.S. foreign policy. Attendees were especially mindful of the urgency of the latter, given the continuing national debates about the ethics of torture and the war in Iraq.

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