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School of the Americas Watch
FEBRUARY 17, 2004
10:37 AM
CONTACT:  School of the Americas Watch
Newsroom: (202) 234 3440
Call for Nonviolent Direct Action as part of the SOA Watch Spring Mobilization and Lobby Day in Washington DC

WASHINGTON - February 17 - Come to Washington, DC and bring your creative, vigorous resistance. As part of our 2004 Spring Mobilization and Lobby Day, we are calling for independent and autonomous actions around Capitol Hill on Monday, March 29th. Nonviolent Direct Action has a long history of bringing submerged issues to the surface. With our bodies and commitment, we can bring the School of the Americas issue to the foreground of Capitol Hill in anticipation for our intensive Lobby Day, Tuesday, March 30th.

To maximize our collective impact we suggest you discuss and plan your actions before arriving. Nonviolent Direct Action doesn't necessarily mean that the action has to end in an arrest scenario. Form an affinity group. Please take time to figure out what kind of actions you are excited about and come with some of your preparations done.

Additional preparations will happen in the evening of Sunday, March 29th at the Action Planning and Affinity Group Formation Meeting. There will be local people from DC who can offer input, as well as lawyers and other people with experience navigating the legal system to help with risk assessment.

There have recently been increased attempts at repression against people engaged in peace work and civil resistance. (Last month we saw draconian sentences handed down to SOA Watch activists in Columbus GA. Last week it came to light that nonviolent civil disobedience against the war and occupation of Iraq was the target of a federal grand jury in Iowa.) By refusing this intimidation and standing in solidarity with targeted people in Latin America, we will highlight the SOA issue and defend our right to engage in protest against US government policy.

Map of Capitol Hill:


- Street Theatre (, die-Ins and fake-executions ( in front of the entrances and inside the House and Senate office buildings and in front of the nearest Metro Stations.

- Plant crosses with the names of victims of SOA violence on the Capitol lawn

- Chalk body outlines on the sidewalks and in the streets around Capitol Hill

- Banner drops and wheat-pasting.

- People with letter signs in front of the White House and the Capitol, spelling out C L O S E T H E S O A !

Many of the inspiring actions we have seen have been ideas that affinity groups have brought with them and have included a framework for other people to participate in various roles. If you are coming alone, or do not have an affinity group, please reflect on how you would like to participate in the various kinds of nonviolent direct action that might be occurring.


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