Eight Other Defendants - Including Two High School Students - Await Trial for Nonviolent Actions to Close School of the Americas
WASHINGTON -- January 25 --Yesterday, January 24, five human rights advocates - including a chaplain, students, a Steelworker, a farmer and a 79-year-old retiree --were sentenced to three months in federal prison and fines of up to $500 for their acts of nonviolent civil disobedience calling for the closure of the US Army's School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC). Another defendant was sentenced to one year of probation with a $1,000 fine. Eight of their co-defendants - two of whom are high school students - will continue their trials tomorrow.
"It's a sad day when peace protestors go to prison," said Liz Deligio, 28, a chaplain and student from Chicago, Illinois sentenced to three months in prison, "and the perpetrators of human rights violations will never see the inside of a courthouse - let alone a jail."
This morning, trials continue. Court commenced at 9 am, with Alice Gerard's trial continuing from yesterday. Supporters have packed the tiny courtroom, and a number of them were turned away due to lack of space. The SOA Watch website, www.SOAW.org, is being regularly updated. Continue to check throughout the day for the latest in the judicial proceedings.
To read more about the SOA 14 and what steps you can take to support them, visit http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=322.
Leaving the courthouse yesterday, defendant Liz Deligio commented, "The spirit of hope and the courage of the defendants rose above the punitive verdicts handed down in court."
THE 14 SOA/ WHINSEC DEFENDANTS
Liz Deligio, 28, Chicago, IL - 3 months in prison; $500 fine Meagan Doty, 22, St. Louis, MO, student in Dayton, OH - 3 months in
prison, $500 fine
Tom MacLean, 79, Ashfield, MA - 3 months in federal medical facility Elizabeth Nadeau, 27, Minneapolis, MN - 3 months in prison; $500 fine Mike Ring, 65, Wall, NJ - 1 year of probation; $1,000 fine Dan Schwankl, 31, Siler City, NC - 3 months in prison; $500 fine
Robert "Nashua" Chantal, 52, Americus, GA
Brian DeRouen, 27, Fairfield, CA, student in Dayton, OH
Ron Durham, 24, Chicago, IL
Alice Gerard, 48, Buffalo, NY
Sr. Lelia "Lil" Mattingly, 63, Maryknoll, NY
Aaron Shuman, 32, Oakland, CA
And two minors
CONTACT: School of the Americas Watch