Thursday, November 11, 2010
On Thursday, November 11th, Nico Udu-Gama will be coming to discuss the School of the Americas and his role as a field organizer with the School of the Americas Watch, an independent, grassroots organization devoted to closing the SOA in Fort Benning, Georgia and changing the oppressive U.S foreign policy it represents. Since its establishment in 1946, the SOA, or, as it is now known, the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in clandestine military operations, often used to carry out violent campaigns against their own people. Those targeted by SOA graduates include union and community organizers, educators and student leaders, as well as others working for social and economic justice. SOA Watch organizes fasts, demonstrations and other nonviolent protests against the School of the Americas, and also engages in media and legislative work. Udu-Gama was trained in resistance by the campesinos and campesinas of Colombia and spent a year in the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, as well as three years with the communities in the Magdalena Medio, Arauca, Catatumbo and Bogotá. He has also worked in the US with tenants facing displacement in Brooklyn, NY, and with villagers in Palestine resisting the Apartheid Wall.
This event is sponsored by Students for a Democratic Society, Swarthmore Labor Action Project, and the Program in Peace and Conflict Studies.