School of the Americas Watch – West

Announcement: Non-violent Civil Disobedience Training Session

Saturday, November 4 - 8:30 am to 1:00 pm, with optional (encouraged) discussion time to follow.
First Unitarian Universalist Church (Franklin at Geary)

--IMPORTANT-- Please RSVP by Wednesday, 11/1/00 to Ted

Bring a snack, as lunch is not scheduled (some refreshments will be provided).

A documentary filmmaker, John Smihula, will be present. Mr. Smihula is filming a documentary on the national efforts of the public to close the SOA. He will not film the personal sharing or other elements of the training that might be colored by the camera's presence, and he will not film at all without the consensus of the entire group. The following is from his statement:

"My intention is not to videotape the whole session but only a few minutes of it, and in a way that will make no one uncomfortable. In the final cut, there will likely be...only one or at most two minutes of footage. I wish to include this for three reasons: 1) to document some of the preparation for the trip to Georgia; 2) to counter the mass media's very negative portrayal of demonstrators, I wish to show a group of people intelligently participating in the civilly disobedient tradition of Thoreau, Gandhi, and King; and 3) to give viewers some idea of what 'civil disobedience training' is."

--This announcement is given, in part, for the benefit of those who like a warning before being photographed (videotaped). One might wish to wear an expressive t-shirt.


Expect to be heartened and informed. See you there.

SOA Watch West – San Francisco Meeting:
Thursday, Jan. 6, 2000
Unitarian Universalist Center, Franklin at Geary
7:00 to 8:30 PM
RSVP to Dolores Perez Priem,

1.     Reflection
2.     Introductions and background of SOAWW
3.     Updates
          -Ft. Benning activities
          -Legislative plan/activities
4.     Events
          -Friday, Jan. 28 SOAW West dinner and planning conference
          -SOAW Strategy Meeting in DC on Feb. 4-5
               SF Representative
5.     Archbishop Romero anniversary (March 24, 2000)–interest in SOAWW activity?
6.     Announcements
          -Sunday, Jan. 16, 6:00 to 7:00 PM, Channel 9 showing of video, "Fr. Roy: Inside the School of Assassins"
          -Any interest in Bay Area performance(s) of a play about Jean Donovan?
          -Veterans Delegation to Vieques, Puerto Rico
          -People's Campaign for Non-Violence in DC in July
7.     Closing Circle

Happy 2K!

For Contra Costa meetings, contact Natalie Russell
For San Jose meetings, contact Larry Lauro

Regarding the Central American University Martyrs Week:

          We had a very moving and well-attended "funeral procession" and memorial service here in San Francisco. The ranks swelled from a few dozen at the beginning to the several hundred that filled St. Agnes Church for the service (music by Yours Truly.)
          I'll have a fuller report when I get a chance to write and as information comes in. I heard on the News last night (Sunday the 21st) that Martin Sheen led over two thousand into Ft. Benning. Our report from our observers was that ca. five thousand crossed the line, and ca. twelve thousand showed up in Columbus!
          I still hope to hear from Orange County, and I welcome all participating communities on the West Coast and Hawaii to be a part of SOAW-West.
          For an excellent article on the action, see the Articles section. And I can't resist posting a photo, courtesy of the National Catholic Reporter Online, of my friend, Jesuit Fr. Bill O'Donnell of St.Joseph the Worker in Berkeley (where I am a cantor–no dummies, they; when the Catholics want a good cantor they hire a Jew.) with his good buddy, actor, Martin Sheen.

          Thank you all, those who participated.

Please join SOA Watch West Friday, January 28 in San Francisco from 6:00 to 10:00 pm for an exciting evening of dinner and activism, STRATEGY 2000: Mapping SOAW Activism for the Year 2000

Program begins with Networking, followed by Dinner (vegetarian available.) Then we welcome our featured speaker, Jennifer Harbury. After Jennifer's presentation there will be a strategy session, followed by a special advance screening of the documentary "Enemies of War".

E-mail or call Judy at 415/334-4770 or Dolores at 415/387-2287.
Suggested Donation $20. No one turned away for lack of funds.
Let us know if you'd like a vegetarian meal.

One of our local SOAW members, Barbara Trott, will take input regarding our strategizing for the coming year to the national meeting in February.

This event is in solidarity with the 23 people awaiting trial on charges of "partisan political activity" and re-entry, stemming from the November 21, 1999 action in Ft. Benning, Georgia.
Jennifer Harbury, renowned human rights activist and lawyer, is the widow of Efraín Bamaca Velásquez, a Mayan resistance leader assassinated in Guatemala. Upon learning of her husband's secret imprisonment and torture, she carried out an international campaign, which revealed the CIA's involvement in her husband's murder. Ms. Harbury serves as Human Rights Program Director for Global Exchange.

"Enemies of War", a new documentary produced for public television, tells the story of the 1989 murders in El Salvador of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter. Independent producers Esther Cassidy and Rob Kuhns designed the documentary to "pay tribute to the Jesuits who were murdered and to all the people who worked and are working to make democracy in El Salvador possible."

SOAW RALLY AND LOBBY DAYS in Washington DC April 2-3-4
          (Cherry Blossoms might greet you!)
Local strategy meeting beforehand.

Frank Kreikebaum offers this:

Hey All,
          America West just offered a deal for $220 rt. from San Jose or San Francisco to any of the D.C. airports. Just a thought, but that is a great deal and you may want to try to tell peopla and motivate some people to go.
          To purchase them, go to I suggest being in town by the 1st so people can attend the gathering to be held on the 1st. As for timing, buy them NOW for they will soon run out. I would even suggest sending an e-mail before the meeting on Thursday so people can buy these ASAP!

                    Peace, Frank

If you are planning to go, contact: Judy Liteky

Nine Nov. 99 PROTESTORS FACED JUDGE on Friday, March 10.
(Charlie Liteky does not have a trial date yet.)
Check Webs sites for outcome. (National:

This from Judy (2/15/00):

          "Charlie tells me that arrangements have been made for two [college] debates. I don't know the places or dates.
          [The first is between] Col. Weidner, Commandant of the SOA and Jack Nelson Pallmeyer, author of the book School of Assassins; [the second, between] Col. Wiedner and Fr. Roy.
          Apparently the Colonel agreed to participate when asked by the colleges."