Monday, June 05, 2006

Have you called about the School of the Americas?

Hello friends,

Although I sent this item out last week, I am repeating it in hopes that you will take time today or tomorrow to contact your Congressional representative about the McGovern amendment to close the School of the Americas. 

Many people of faith and people of good conscience have been working to close the SOA for decades, and this amendment to an appropriations bill is an important opportunity to cut its funding. 

If you desire more information about the School of the Americas, visit the website of School of the Americas Watch, There is a new flash video on their site with lots of background info:

May the early summer weather -- however it's treating you -- restore the deep wells and bring lush life to your surroundings and to your spirit.

~Matt Guynn


June 1, 2006

Greetings from the Brethren Witness/Washington Office!

Friends, this action alert comes to us from the School Of Americas Watch Office.

Next week, the week of June 5, Congress will vote on an amendment to close the School Of Americas(SOA)/ Western Hemisphere Institute For Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). Rep. McGovern (MA) will introduce an amendment to the Foreign Operations appropriations bill to cut funding for the SOA/ WHINSEC!

We expect a close vote and need as many people as possible flooding the offices of the House of Representatives with calls in support of a YES vote on the amendment. This is it! And it's the people power of our movement that will get this amendment passed! Visit the Legislative Action Index for more information:

National Call-in Days to Close the SOA/WHINSEC

Tuesday, June 6 and Wednesday, June 7:

Call Congress at 202-224-3121 or toll free at 888-355-3588.
Please take the time to call the DC office of your Representative through the Capitol Hill Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or toll free at 1-888-355-3588. Ask to speak with the foreign affairs legislative assistant. Here is a suggested message for you to convey:

"I am calling Congressman/woman ________ to urge him/her to vote YES on the McGovern amendment to the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. This amendment is a cut in funding for the School of the Americas/ WHINSEC. New information indicates that WHINSEC has allowed known human rights abusers to instruct and receive training at the school. Argentina and Uruguay are two more countries that have made public announcements they will no longer send students to the school, citing the negative image and history of this institution. Voting YES on this amendment sends a positive human rights message to Latin America and will help to improve the U.S. image abroad. As an elected official in Washington D.C., I hope you will represent me and vote YES on any amendment in the House that would cut funding for the school."
Click here to send an email and fax to your Representative. (Be sure to click the "Send a Fax" box to have the fax sent).

Are you in or near Washington, DC? On Tuesday, June 6 and Wednesday, June 7, we will be delivering material to Members of Congress and knocking on their doors, asking them to join our movement and vote to close the SOA. Please join us! If you can be with us for some or all of the day on Tuesday or Wednesday, please email Eric at elecompte(at)soaw(dot)org.

For more information, visit the SOA Watch website at and the Legislative Action Index at

The Church of the Brethren has a long tradition of participating in the cause of  SOAW.  "THEREFORE be it resolved that the Church of the Brethren General Board calls upon our government to close the US Army School of the Americas. Human rights abuses such as murder, torture, and false imprisonment, as well as political instability and lack of criminal accountability, are all part of the school's dubious history. The US government must take a leadership role in bringing foreign diplomacy into the open, fostering an honest dialogue between all nations of the earth. We stand with those who have fallen victim to the acts of violence committed by School of the Americas graduates, and call for those who are responsible to be brought into accountability. As people who take seriously Christ's call to peacemaking, we must oppose our government's facilitation of these activities so contrary to God's greatest commandment "love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself" - Luke 10:27." (GB Statement, 1997)  

To find the contact information for your Senators and Representatives, please go to the Brethren Witness/Washington Office web-site,, and click on the "Contact Congress" link on the right-hand side of the page. There, you can enter your zip code and find contact information for your elected officials.

If you have questions on these or other issues, contact the Brethren Witness/Washington Office at the address below. We would love to hear from you!

Brethren Witness/Washington Office Action Alerts are sent out as important issues arise. Forward this alert to others! To add an email address to our list, contact:

Brethren Witness/Washington Office
337 North Carolina Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Local Phone:  202-546-3202
Toll Free:  1-800-785-3246
Fax:  202-544-5852


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