Thursday, October 9, 2014

SOA Watch 'End Police Violence, Militarization at Home and Abroad

From Mexico to Ferguson: 
End Police Violence & Militarization at Home and Abroad

The militarized "solutions" taught at the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC) are also being applied to communities within the US. We need to end the racist system of state violence and militarization at home and abroad.
They thought they would just be arrested. But something else awaited them
On September 26, 43 students who were protesting discriminatory hiring practices for teachers in Mexico disappeared at the hands of the Mexican police and are feared to have been handed student protest in Mexico
over by the police to drug cartels or criminal gangs to be executed. Mass graves have been found on the outskirts of Iguala in the Mexican state of Guerrero, where the students were protesting. The bodies have yet to be identified. Six students were also murdered as the police shot at the students during the protest and then detained others, including the 43 who have been forcefully disappeared. This police massacre is just another example of murder, kidnapping, and brutality by the Mexican police and military that often go unpunished despite the fact that the collaboration between the police, drug cartels, and organized crime is well known. The US continues to fund and train the Mexican security forces at the School of the Americas and other sites under the umbrella of fighting the failed drug war, while Mexican civilians and activists continue to be killed. Click here for more information.

Resistance continues in response to the murder of Michael Brown, a black youth, who was shot in August in Ferguson, Missouri by a white cop, Darren Wilson. 
Communities across the country will be converging on Ferguson this weekend to demand justice.Mike BrownThe militarization of police forces in the United States of America is related to the violent, repressive foreign policy of the US abroad. The loss of Micheal Brown is one more casualty in the war against black and brown people. The Malcom X Grassroots Movement reported that in 2012, a black person was killed every 28 hours in an extrajudicial killing by a police officer, security guard, or vigilante in the United States. In the case of Ferguson, the intellectual authors of state violence are our leaders and they must be held accountable. The link between state responsibility and the violence in Ferguson is clear; through the Pentagon's Excess Property Program, or "1033" Program, the government is supplying police forces across the country with military-grade weaponry. Police raids and incursion on rights of protestors are just some ways the state is repressing the larger resistance movement. Watch video footage of thepolice raid on a youth encampment on Hands Up United’s page.

The repression must stop. The Pentagon's "1033" Program is funneling surplus army equipment into communities of color and incentivizing their use on civilians. Last year, the Department of Defense donated $4.3 billion in "surplus" military equipment to police forces, including college campus security. Representative Hank Johnson, an ally in the struggle for peace and justice in Latin America, has recently introduced HR 5478, the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act in Congress. HR 5478 prevents the transfer of equipment like MRAPS, and weaponized drones to communities, eliminates incentives to quickly use any equipment, and places other limits on the 1033 Program.
Our Struggles Stand Together:
Converge on Ferguson, Fort Benning and the Stewart Detention Center 
Mass mobilizations in which thousands take to the streets have always been an important part of social change movements.
We need to strengthen our organizing and build lasting coalitions with others who are resisting across the Americas. Support our friends in Ferguson and St. Louis! Local organizers are asking people to come from Friday through Monday.Mobilize your community to converge on Fort Benning, Georgia from November 21-23, 2014, where we will connect the dots between militarization in Latin America and the US. Join the Caravan to the Vigil to Shut Down the Stewart Detention Center, where communities in resistence will come together on Saturday, November 22. Stewart is the largest corporate detention center in the US and allows the government to hide the mass violation of human rights undergone during the deportation process. Come to the November Vigilin Georgia and we will caravan down together! Looking to volunteer? Please email if interested in driving a caravan car to and from the Stewart Vigil in Lumpkin, Georgia.

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