28 SOA Protesters Go On Trial

January 20, 1998

Darrin Wood, Director. dwood@encomix.es
Contact: Fr. Roy Bourgeois

Veterans, including a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, three nuns, clergy, a college professor and others, will go on trial Tuesday, January 20 at 9 AM in the US Federal District Court at 12th St. and 2nd Ave. in Columbus, GA. The 28 were among 601 protesters arrested November 16, 1997 for entering Ft. Benning, GA, carrying coffins and one million petitions from around the country calling for the closing of the US Army School of the Americas (SOA). The group of 28 were singled out for being "repeat offenders" and will appear before federal judge Robert Elliott. Elliott, 88, is well known in the South for his opposition to the civil rights movement and has been sending SOA protesters to prison for the past nine years. A 1990 protest involving three veterans reached the US Supreme Court, which considered the courtroom behavior of Judge Elliott. In the national movement to close the school, Elliott is known as "Maximum Bob." The School of the Americas has been linked to numerous human rights abuses in Latin America and is well known for turning out dictators and soldiers responsible for the killing of church leaders. In a September 21, 1996 article, The Washington Post reported that US Army intelligence manuals used to train Latin American military officers at the School of the Americas from 1982 1991, "advocated executions, torture, blackmail and other forms of coercion...." A September 1997 vote in Congress to cut funding to the SOA came within four votes of passing. Similar bills sponsored by Rep. Joseph Kennedy (MA) and Sen. Richard Durbin (IL) are expected to be voted on this year. Carol Richardson, director of the SOA Watch office in Washington, DC was sentenced earlier with two others and given a 6 month sentence and $3,000 fine. Richardson will report to the Federal Prison in Alderson, WV on January 21.

SOA Defendants
1.Fr. Bill Bichsel, Tacoma, WA, 69, Jesuit Priest, Catholic Worker
2.Fr. Roy Bourgeois, Columbus, GA, 59, Maryknoll Priest, Director SOA Watch
3.Rev. Dr. Nicholas Cardell, Jr., Syracuse, NY, 72, Unitarian Universalist Minister
4.Sara Cramer-Lucas, Jamesville, NY, 54, Director of Social Services
5.Mary Earley, North Palm Beach, FL, 67, Retired
6.Sr. Marge Eilerman, OSF, Booneville, KY, 60, Pastoral Associate
7.Sr. Mary Kay Flanigan, OSF, Chicago, IL, 65, Justice Worker
8.Paddy Inman, Mead, WA, 52, Teacher
9.Steve Jacobs, Columbia, MO, 42, Nurse, Catholic Worker
10.Christopher Jones, Portland, OR, 23, Student
11.Tom Joseph, Fabor, VA, 66, Builder
12.Rev. Ken Kennon, Tucson, AZ, 62, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Minister
13.Ed Kinane. Syracuse, NY, 53, Editor
14.Dwight Lawton. St. Petersburg, FL, 66, Retired
15.J. Pat Liteky. Seattle, WA, 65, Peace Activist
16.Charlie Liteky, San Francisco, CA, 65, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
17.Rita Lucey, Orlando, FL, 63, Retired
18.Rick McDowell, Chicago, IL, 42, Carpenter
19Bill McNulty. Setauket, NY, 62, Carpenter
20.Sr. Meagan Rice, Manlius, NY, 67, Retired
21.Dr. Daniel Sage. Syracuse, NY, 70, Professor Emeritus
22.Doris Sage, Syracuse, NY, 68, Storyteller
23.Randy Serraglio, Tucson, AZ, 34, Grassroots Organizer
24.Sr. Rita S. Steinhagen, CSJ, Minneapolis, MN, 69, Torture Victim Advocate
25.Ann Tiffany, Syracuse, NY, 62, Retired Nurse
26.Mary Trotochaud, Atlanta, GA 47, Potter
27.Judith Willams, Waukesha, WI, 58, Liturgical Musician
28.Ruthy Woodring. Chicago, IL, 23, Student

Already Sentenced to 6 Months in Federal Prison
29.Dr. Richard Streb, Roanoke, VA 72, Retired Professor of History and Education
30.Anne Herman, Binghamton, NY, 64, Advocate for the Poor
31.Carol Richardson, Washington, DC, 53, Director SOA Watch Washington Office

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