Eighty-six human rights advocates from across the United States were tried in January and February in federal court for nonviolent civil disobedience to close what they called a "terrorist training camp" on U.S. soil: the School of the Americas. Sentences from federal magistrate G. Mallon Faircloth were harsh—ranging from 12 months probation to six months in federal prison, with many fines in excess of $1,000.
The group included eight Catholic nuns, a priest, four military veterans, union organizers, and students.
"The SOA is out of alignment with the values of the American people," said Judy Bierbaum, a defendent from Albuquerque, New Mexico. "Patriotism is not about slapping a flag in the window, if that's where it ends. It's about calling our country to task." Graduates of the controversial combat training school for Latin American soldiers continue to be implicated in human rights atrocities throughout Latin America.