Close the "School of the Americas"

November 27, 2004

On November 21, over 16,000 people from cities all across the U.S. demonstrated in Fort Benning, Georgia to demand the closing of the notorious "School of the Americas (SOA)" - a military training institution which has been renamed the "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation".

The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation-SOA is a neocolonial institution and one of the means through which the U.S. trains a caste of Latin American military officers and integrates them into the Pentagon's command structure.

The demonstration in Fort Benning marks the 15th protest in as many years, and was the largest turnout to date. This year, as in the past, speakers and protestors not only demanded that the school be closed, but called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and an end to the U.S.'s phony "war on terrorism."

Many speakers at the protests also demanded an end to U.S. pressure and aggression against Cuba, and an end to U.S. interference in Colombia and Venezuela.

These on-going annual protests against the SOA have not only exposed this ultra-militarist institution but also become an important school of struggle against U.S. military intervention throughout Latin America.