Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"SOA 6" sentenced to prison

From: SOA Watch Legal Team <info@soaw.org>

Date: Mon, Jan 26, 2009

 

http://www.soaw.org/article.php?id=1712

 

Today, on January 26, six human rights advocates appeared in a federal

courthouse in Georgia. The "SOA 6," ranging in age from 21 to 68, were

found "guilty" of carrying the protest against the School of the

Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) onto the Fort Benning military base. The six

were among the thousands who gathered on November 22 and 23, 2008

outside the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia to demand a change in U.S.

policy towards Latin America and the closure of the SOA/WHINSEC.

 

The "SOA 6" spoke out clearly and powerful in court today. They made a

compelling case for the closure of the school and creation of a

culture of justice and peace, where there is no place for the SOA

mindset that promotes military "solutions" to social and economic

problems. The six spent the weekend preparing for their trials with a

team of lawyers, legal workers and volunteers, and today they stood up

for all of us working for a more just world.

 

The "SOA 6":

 

Father Luis Barrios, 56, from North Bergen, NJ, was sentenced to 2

months in federal prison and a $250 fine

 

Theresa Cusimano, 40, Denver, Colorado, found guilty and awaiting sentencing

 

Kristin Holm, from Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced to 2 months in

federal prison and a $250 fine

 

Sr. Diane Pinchot, OSU, 63, from Cleveland, Ohio, was sentenced to 2

months in federal prison

 

Al Simmons, 64, from Richmond, Virginia, was sentenced to 2 months in

federal prison

 

Louis Wolf, 68, from Washington, DC, found guilty and awaiting sentencing

 

Support the "SOA 6" http://www.soaw.org/site/article.php?id=129

 

Fr. Luis Barrios

 

Father Luis Barrios is the Chairperson of the Department of Latin

American & Latina/o Studies at John Jay College of Criminal

Justice-City University of New York and a Board Certified Forensic

Examiner with the American College of Forensic Examiners. He is also

an Associate Priest at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Manhattan, New

York City. Fr. Barrios, as well is a Board Member of Interreligious

Foundation for Community Organizing-Pastor for Peace. Professor

Barrios is a columnist with El Diario La Prensa and has been honored

with the Media Award-2006-GLAAD as an Outstanding Spanish Language

Newspaper Columnist and was nominated again in the year 2008. He

teaches courses on gangs, criminal justice, cultural criminology,

forensic psychology, US foreign policy in Latin America, Puerto Rican

Studies, race and ethnicity, and Latina/os Studies.

 

Theresa Cusimano

 

Theresa M. Cusimano, J.D., served as a public interest advocate for

twenty years. Her Italian/Irish passion for social justice has led her

to work with: the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops on immigration

and refugee issues, the federal Department of Education on the

Americans with Disabilities Act and more recently with Colorado Campus

Compact to support college campus engagement in community problem

solving. Cusimano was born in New York, raised outside of Philadelphia

and has the joy of living in the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado. She

is both honored and extremely humbled to have participated in

nonviolent civil disobedience with her five co-defendants who

together, face trial on Monday, January 26th.

 

Kristin Holm

 

On November 23rd, 2008, Kristin Holm, a first year student at the

Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), along with five others,

entered the base of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation's (WHINSEC).

 

Kristin is the third seminary student from Chicago to stand trial for

civil disobedience at the WHINSEC vigil in the past five years. The

others are Elizabeth Deligio, CTU, 2005; and Le Anne Clausen, CTS, 2008.

 

Sister Diane Therese Pinchot, OSF

 

Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, second oldest of six children,

Diane Pinchot entered the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland after

graduating from Villa Angela High School in 1963. She graduated from

Ursuline College with a BA in Art Education in 1968 and has been

teaching since. Her assignments have included Saint Ann's School in

Cleveland Heights, Lake Catholic High School in Mentor, Beaumont

School in Cleveland Heights and, for the last 26 years, Ursuline

College in Pepper Pike. After completing several degrees -- an MALS at

Wesleyan University in Conn. concentrating in metals and a terminal

degree an MFA in Ceramic Sculpture in 1990 at Ohio University -- the

Diocesan Cleveland Mission Team in El Salvador in 1992 asked her to

come and help design and build an altar on the spot where the

Churchwomen were found in a shallow grave after they were raped and

killed. This significant action slowly changed Diane's life and over

time the Central American martyrs, especially Dorothy Kazel, a member

of the Ursuline community, inspired her to become more active in

social justice groups within the community and other national

organizations. Her artwork has also reflected this transformation,

becoming more narrative and engaging the viewer to question the

meaning behind the form. She has exhibited her work internationally,

nationally and regionally and has come to realize the sacred

connection of justice and art making especially when it is grounded in peace and love.

 

Al Simmons

 

I' m a 64 year old pre-school teacher who retired last year. I was a

teacher and director in pre-school programs in Richmond, VA. I have

been married for 32 years to Marcia Deckinson.

 

We enjoy birding, camping, scrabble, reading, silliness and each other.

 

I'm a Vietnam Veteran from 1968 and it was then that'd realized there

had to be a better way. The past forthy years I've been involved in

peace, social and economic justice, gay rights, woman's rights and

death penalty issues.

 

As I had said often to my four year olds in pre-school "Don't hurt-

use words". I have been saying that, in various ways, to my government

for many years.

 

Louis Wolf

 

Born October 31, 1940 in Dresher, Pennsylvania (then some 30 miles

outside of Philadelphia), and grew up on a farm there. Attended

Goddard College in Vermont (1958-63), graduated BA in 1963.

 

Spent one year (1961) in Denmark in work-study program. Job Training

Officer (1964) with Flanner House, Indianapolis. Alternative service

as a conscientious objector to military service in Laos (1964-67)

building wells, water-seal latrines, and a school.

 

Did postgraduate studies (1967-72) at the University of the

Philippines, College of Agriculture. Freelance correspondent in the

Philippines.(1969-72) with Dispatch News Service International and

American Report. Freelance writer and researcher in London (1972-77)

with Transnational Research Associates International.

 

Co-founder and research director (1978-2005) of CovertAction

Information Bulletin renamed CovertAction Quarterly, Washington, DC.

Staff member (2007-present), Rock Creek Free Press, Bethesda, MD.

Co-editor of two books, "Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe" (1978)

and "Dirty Work II: The CIA in Africa" (1980). Have traveled

throughout the Third World.

 

SOA Watch, PO Box 4566, Washington, D.C. 20017, USA (202) 234 3440

 

1 comment:

Parke Burgess said...

These courageous women and men have really lived out their principles, risking arrest, jail time, and fines. May they serve as inspiration for us all.