Hope, excitement, ambition and motivation seem the profit of the first two days at the SOA Protest and Ingnatian Family Teach-In. If that's the case, it's all underwritten by the solemn reflection that takes place on the event's final morning.
After two days of discussion and sharing ideas - the silent procession in remembrance of those throughout Latin America, victims of the SOA's training, is powerful in its simplicity. I was unable to learn how many entered the Fort's grounds this year, though one of the event's organizers told me last night he thought there would be about ten people.
As promised, here are photos from this afternoon's events at the gates of Ft. Benning. Tomorrow morning, the silent procession and vigil will take place. Today, however, offered music, dancing, and a gathering of people looking for the opportunity to share a common belief in peace and justice - under a gorgeous Georgia sky.
This morning began with the same enthusiasm last night ended with. The crowd gathered early in the hall of the Convention Center to hear Pamela Bowman deliver the annual update regarding the legislative effort to shut down the School of the Americas. Her news was, from those I talked to who have been attending the event regularly for years, more optimistic than ever.
She noted that last year, legislation put before the U.S. House of Representatives fell just 7 votes shy of passing. Turnover in the recent elections has left her, and others, hoping this is the year efforts to shut down the School receives the legislative support it needs. A hopeful morning for those looking to bring about change.
Check out photos from tonight's events. There are a relative few, as the evening was busy and pretty much confined to a single room. Tomorrow, I promise more photos. See them here.