More arrests, march of solidarity at SOA vigil

by Joshua J. McElwee

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -- At least two activists were arrested for trespassing onto Fort Benning here today as thousands more held a vigil outside the gates of the military complex, calling attention to the use of the facility as an international military training school.

Speaking to NCR minutes before he jumped the fence onto the military complex to be arrested, Chris Spicer said he wanted to show love and solidarity for those in Latin America who have been killed by those trained at the facility.

Spicer, a former Jesuit seminarian and member of the White Rose Catholic Worker Community in Chicago, climbed over the barbed wire fence separating the activists from the military base. He was immediately arrested by military personnel.

The arrests came after a morning long vigil and funeral procession outside the gates of the training school, now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

Groups from across the country walked together during the vigil, chanting the names of those who have been killed by graduates of the school. As they approached the grounds of the base they placed crosses and other memorial items in the fence between them and the complex.

NCR took photos from the event. Below is a slideshow of a selection of those photos, including a few of Spicer climbing over the fence. Stay tuned to NCRToday for an update on yesterday's arrests of dozens of activists and a conversation with SOA Watch founder Fr. Roy Bourgeois.

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