For Immediate Release
Contact in Tucson: Jack or Felice Cohen-Joppa, 520-323-8697
Five Arrested at Fort Huachuca Drone and Torture Protest
TUCSON, Ariz. - More than 150 people rallied against torture on Sunday, November 15, at
Len Roberts Park in Sierra Vista, Arizona. After listening to speakers
and music, the group carried signs and candles remembering the victims
of torture in a one mile procession to the main gate of Ft. Huachuca,
home of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center where interrogators are
trained. Along the way, names of people killed as a result of torture
were called out, and the group responded with "Presente!". The
procession stopped at the office of CACI, a private military contractor
implicated in the abuse of Iraqi detainees.
Soon after the protesters arrived at the gate, five people, including
two Roman Catholic priests, crossed the street and entered the base
with a message for military personnel and civilian employees. They
carried a statement (below) opposing the cruel treatment and abuse of
detainees from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and calling for the
civilian oversight of all military interrogation practices. The
statement also condemned the use of armed drones in warfare.
Arrested were Joshua Harris, 33, Santa Barbara, California; Mariah
Klusmire, 20, Albuquerque, New Mexico; John Heid, 54, Fr. Jerry Zawada,
72, and Fr. Bob Carney, 66, all of Tucson, Arizona. The five received
a formal letter barring them from entering the base for one year. Four
were released within an hour. Joshua Harris initially refused to
identify himself, instead saying he was there representing a victim of
torture. He was released that evening and charged under Arizona law
with trespass and refusing to provide a truthful name.
Three people arrested at last year's Ft. Huachuca protest were given
ban and bar letters but never prosecuted, because "the Ft. Huachuca
Commander does not want the potential negative publicity", according to
a May 15, 2009 letter to the FBI from Robert Fellrath, Assistant U.S.
Attorney for Arizona.
Thousands of people will gather at Ft. Benning this coming weekend,
November 20-22, for the annual vigil to close the School of the
Americas. Human rights abuses in Latin America, including torture and
murder, have been carried out by graduates of the school. The torture
manual that was used at the School of the Americas came from Ft.
Photos may be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/
Photo credit: TortureOnTrial.org
An extensive report featuring audio and video from the protest can be found at http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.