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US military base attracts thousands of protesters this weekend, one arrest

Published: November 20, 2012
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Source: All Voices

North America's largest annual anti-militarization gathering occurs this weekend in Columbus, Ga., in an event drawing thousands to protest a US military school that trains Latin American military leaders in torture techniques.

One protester, Nashua Chantal, crossed onto the military base Sunday and was arrested. The base is home to the US Army School of the Americas, renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/WHINSEC) in 2001, a training facility that has produced some of Latin America's most notorious killers and continues to be implicated in human rights abuses today.

On Sunday afternoon, Chantal was in custody of military police. He will be arraigned in federal court and faces up to six months in federal prison for civil disobedience.

The civil disobedience occurred following a massive die-in and funeral procession commemorating those killed as a result of US militarism. Protesters transformed the fence at the facility’s main gate into a memorial for victims of the graduates of the SOA/WHINSEC [PHOTO].

The US opened the school in 1946 to train forces in Latin America. Its name changed in 2001, partially in response to growing public opposition to the facility.

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