This weekend, approximately 60 students, staff, and community members are traveling to attend the protest at the School of America's in Fort Benning, Georgia. Working very hard to close down the Fort, the students and many others were successful in getting Congressman Ron Kind to support legislation to close the Fort this past spring, but much work needs yet to be done!. The Fort has been for more than 30 years a training ground for foreign military leaders in practices of "legitimate?????" torture, counterinsurgency, among many other despicable practices. Military operations decried by human rights groups across the world have recognized that some of the worst practioners of torture and abuse have graduated from this college, including officers in Columbia, all throughout Central America, Indonesia, Iraq, among a host of many nations.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!?
1) Support those who are attending the conference. Each student will pay in excess of $100, just before finals, to get on a bus, drive 20 hours, participate in a day/half of protests and organizing, drive back 20 hours to help create an international awareness of the issue. Expected crowd this year in excess of 20,000 people! The folks who attend will bring back strategies, goals, and ideas on how to close down the School of America's, all while keeping attention on the mistreatment of prisoners that our government and others are participating in globally.
2) HELP US BUY A PEACE BUS....if you can spare any donation to help this become a reality...please send us a donation. We spend more than $30,000 a year to bus people to protests, conferences, Fighting Bob, etc. How about supporting a bus that can be used as a classroom, traveling billboard, and transportation to and from so many opportunities. If the Army can drive around in a black "Darth Vader" semi...why can't we bring a bus of hope and change to schools and communities throughout the region? If you want to see what a Peace Bus can do...look at the Wheels of Justice website, and witness firsthand the incredible work that can be done by creating a mobile classroom http://wheelsofjusticetour.org/
3) The La Crosse Six are still in negotiations with Sen. Kohl. His office is working to set a time/place/ and agenda for a mtg to discuss Sen. Kohl's direction on the War in Iraq. Let's all thank June Kjome for keeping and prodding the Senator's Office. Just so you know...we are not sure Sen. Kohl has ever actually been to his office in La Crosse in years! He comes for press conferences, but doesn't find time to visit with constituents HERE IN LA CROSSE PERSONALLY. We know he is a busy man, but I am sure he has found time to visit with lobbyists from all over the country. Please Sen. Kohl, don't forget about people right here in your (our) State!
4) A Big thank you to Liz Rynertson [and Ray Starrett - ed.] and others who planned and hosted the wonderful UN Film Series at UWL this past week!
So PLEASE CONSIDER SENDING US A DONATION BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS!!
La Crosse Coalition for Peace and Justice
c/o Guy Wolf
N3421 Mohawk Valley Road
Stoddard, WI. 54658