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XU students to attend SOA protest in Georgia in November

By Molly Boes
On October 28, 2012

This semester a group of students will be continuing the
tradition of making the journey to Fort Benning, Georgia
to attend the School of the Americas (SOA), now known
as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). WHINSEC is a military institution dedicated to training soldiers from Latin America. This year's protest falls on Nov. 16-18. Xavier University has sent a group of students and faculty to the protest for years. The protest is hosted by the SOA Watch and was started in 1990 following the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests, their co-worker and their coworker's daughter. According to the SOA Watch website, a U.S. Congressional Task Force stated that the people who
took part in the massacre were trained by SOA. The students will leave Xavier the night of Nov. 16. Saturday will consist of attending the protest, a rally at the gates of WHINSEC and
speakers on a variety of related topics at a nearby conferenc e center. Sunday will consist of a funeral procession for individuals killed by people trained at WHINSEC and a vigil at the gate. The SOA trip is planned by a group of five students an hope to get 40 students to go down for the protest. "As a board member and organizer for this year's group, I'm simply hoping that we can all go and return in safety and get something out of this experience. As an individual though, I look forward the most to the funeral procession and the very cohesive collective experience immediately after," sophomore co-student organizer for the trip Taylor Fulkerson said. "Everyone is
on the same page, we all feel very strongly about why we are present, and it's a moment of realization for a temporary
community. We are one in our call to action." The trip costs $60 and students can sign up in the Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice. A fund is also available for students who
need assistance paying for the trip through CFJ.  

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