Yesterday, I arrived in
The first event we attended was “Respect Democracy: How your tax dollars buy Latin American elections.” I don’t think this was part of the program, but a women named Maria Guardado got up and spoke about her time being tortured, raped and kidnapped. I didn’t take notes, so I cannot fill you in on the details, but I can tell you that it was difficult to hear her story….. and I have no doubt she was speaking the truth.
The session was about the Respect for Democracy Campaign. They spoke about the taxpayer funded ‘National Endowment for Democracy’ and how this organization is NOT promoting democracy, but instead promoting corporate interests in other countries. They manipulate elections around the world in ways that would be quite illegal here in the
One example of what they have done is the election in
Whenever and wherever people say NO to corporate privatization of natural resources and public services, whenever and wherever people demand fair wages and economic opportunities versus mega-profits for the few, the US government steps in to try and manipulate the electoral process. Whether by funding campaigns, buying votes, making threats, or even sponsoring coup d’etats, the goal is the same: where there’s a conflict, make sure corporate greed trumps human needs.They are asking for the National Endowment for Democracy to be shut down. And, really, even if it was a good thing (which it is not), why are we spending our tax dollars on elections in other countries? That is just stupid. The Respect for Democracy Campaign is a project of the
This was followed by a movie on Don White. Now, I had not heard of Don White, and I clearly missed something by not knowing him personally. He died earlier this year, and he was clearly quite the activist and funny as can be. The movie was called “Don White in His Own Words”. I recommend watching that if you have chance.
Saturday morning started with a large Plenary Session, with speakers, singers, musicians. They had everyone who had crossed the line and gone to prison stand up, and they had all the first-timers to the SOA Watch raise their hands. It was a good sized crowd, and this was held in the
This was followed by the Rally at the Gates of Fort Benning. More good music, more speeches and motivational talks, more stories of horror that came directly from the US Government’s policies. I left the rally early to share my day with you, so thank you for reading! I am leaving shortly to go to a workshop on depleted uranium, and later tonight will see a film called “Soldiers of Conscience”.
I want to dedicate this blog post to Ruth, an