Wearing white masks and black robes and carrying cardboard coffins and crosses, thousands of demonstrators marched slowly through the gates of Fort Benning.
As they’ve done every year since 1989, they went yesterday to demand the closing of the Army’s School of the Americas, which trains Latin American military personnel, many of whom are known human rights violators. Graduates of the SOA include prominent members of Salvadoran army death squads, top commanders of the Guatemalan army who ordered and approved massacres, as well as the jailed former president of Panama Manuel Noriega, who was on the CIA payroll for many years.
About 1700 demonstrators were arrested, including actor Martin Sheen, who plays the US President in the television series "The West Wing."
- Father Roy Bourgeois, head of School of the Americas Watch.