April Days of Action in KW + Launch of the Non Violent School of Direct Action

~Join us for an educational evening of documentary shorts, speakers and info booths from groups opposing militarism~

Learn more about the School of the Americas/WHINSEC and the vibrant struggle to close it

Wednesday April 10, 2013; 6-9pm
Queen Street Commons Cafe*, 43 Queen South, Kitchener

6 – 6:30pm – Information-sharing/tabling including Non-Violent School of Direct Action, SOAWatch, Conscience Canada, KW Anti-Torture Coalition, War Resisters and the official launch of the NVSDA!

6:30 – 9pm – Speaker and documentary screening on the School of the Americas/WHINSEC and the work of SOAWatch, with discussion to follow.

* No purchase necessary, kid and baby friendly, one single-occupancy washroom, wheelchair accessible, vegan and gluten free options for sale, near bus terminal

Every Spring, the SOA Watch movement converges on Washington DC to meet with lawmakers and military officials and to demand the closure of the ‘School of the Assassins’/(WHINSEC) – “where the killers are trained”. This year, from April 7-10th, activists will be attending trainings, lobbying members of Congress, and joining the anti-militarization contingent for the Citizenship for 11 Million Immigration Reform rally.

Locally, each November, students, activists and (other community members) from across Southern Ontario travel to Fort Benning, Georgia, to join thousands of others from across the Americas in the annual vigil to remember the victims of SOA violence and celebrate resistance to this School of death and destruction (this year to be held November 22nd-24th).

Dwyer Sullivan, one of the primary Canadian coordinators of SOAWatch, has been the key organizer of these trips. He will speak on the history of the School and the atrocities committed by SOA graduates. Dwyer will share information about the ongoing work to close the SOA. A number of short documentaries will be screened with discussion to follow.

This Kitchener event will reflect the growing resistance across the Americas to this US training academy of torture and repression and will highlight Canadian involvement both in the School itself, and within the movement for change.

This event also serves as the launch of the Non-Violent School of Direct Action. The NVSDA seeks to foster skills for action in a growing movement for justice, peace and sustainability. In addition to this type of info night, the NVSDA will offer trainings in a wide variety of direct action skills, history and theory. Look out for upcoming events!

The School of the Americas (SOA) is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers, located at Fort Benning, Georgia. In 2001 renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC).

It was initially established in Panama in 1946 however it was expelled from Panama in 1984 under the terms of the Panama Canal Treaty (article iv) and reinforced under the Treaty Concerning the Permanent Neutrality and Operation of the Panama Canal (article v).

Former Panamanian President, Jorge Illueca, stated that the School of the Americas was the “biggest base for destabilization in Latin America.” The SOA have left a trail of blood and suffering in every country where its graduates have returned. For this reason the School of the Americas has been historically dubbed the “School of Assassins”.

Since 1946, the SOA has trained over 64,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. These graduates have consistently used their skills to wage a war against their own people. Among those targeted by SOA graduates are educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor. Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated, “disappeared,” massacred, and forced into refugee by those trained at the School of Assassins.

On January 17, 2001 the School of the Americas was replaced by the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. In a media interview last year, Georgia Senator and SOA supporter, the late Paul Coverdell, characterized the DOD proposal as “cosmetic” changes that would ensure that the SOA could continue its mission and operation. Critics of the SOA concur. The new military training school is the continuation of the SOA under a new name. It is a new name, but the same shame.

To date six countries have pulled out of the SOA/WHINSEC: Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua.


Presented by the Non-Violent School of Direct Action (NVSDA)
Endorsed by the Latin American Caribbean Solidarity Network Canada (LACSN).
For more information about the LACSN and events during their month of action:—april-2013.html