SOA Watch Sunday Vigil

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December 6, 2012 by theappress.wordpress.com

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The last day of the SOA Watch demonstration was a powerful day of prayer and remembrance to those that have lost their lives to violence from military officials trained at the school, those that have lost family and friends and those that are still living in constant feel and under rule of vicious leaders trained at the School of the Americas.

A funeral procession was held on the street with everyone carrying white crosses with the names of those who have died at the hands of violence in Latin America. I carried two crosses, one for a Catholic priest, Father Tulio Marcelo Maruzza who was martyred in Guatemala on July 1st, 1980 by military officials who had been trained at the School of the Americas. The second was for a little girl named Catalina Chicas, killed when she was only eight years old.

We were led by a group dressed in long black cloaks and veils carrying cardboard coffins. For an hour we held our crosses and paraded down the street as the names of some of the victims who have died were read aloud. Everyone placed their crosses in the fence with the police just on the other side watching. While gathering around the fence a man, (the one pictured above) grabbed a ladder, put it up to the fence and climbed atop, holding up his sign as we cheered. He then crossed onto the other side of the fence and was immediately arrested.

Overall the scene was very powerful, but also very difficult. “Why would that man get arrested for a cause that could take years to bring change? Were his actions too radical? Would anything really change? What would happen after this weekend, would I forget everything I have learned?”

I’m still battling these questions and still wondering how I can keep that weekend alive and fight for this cause. If anything, writing about it and getting it out to at least a small audience is a small way I can help but there’s still a nagging and longing to do more.

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