School of the Americas
Overview: Organize a discussion and develop a relationship with the local or regional School of the Americas Watch (SOA) organization dedicated to addressing the military school in Geogia run by the US Army and held responsible for violent, repressive and corrupt leadership training of Latin American and other overseas soldiers and politicians. Organize your group to be educated about SOA issues, peace principles, and be able to provide support for people who are participating in direct action around the SOA.
Theme or Background: Learn more about the School of the Americas by visiting the SOA Watch website, There are a number of Unitarian Universalists (Uus) who are involved with the campaign to close the SOA, putting their faith into action. There is an annual convergence of UU Youth & Young Adults at the SOA in Columbus GA, which is 2 hours outside Atlanta, GA. 100-200 folks gather among the 5,000 SOA Protesters (an amazing interfaith collection of people!)
Materials involved: SOA and the UU IGNITE (care of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Young Adult/Campus Ministry Office) have resource guides and discussion guides available. Mostly what you need is a phone book or internet access, information about SOA and some questions.
Details: Specific Suggested Programming:
Phone the regional SOA Watch organization and let them know who you are and let them know you would like to educate and participate in SOA Watch.
Watch one of the SOA Watch Videos or a video from your regional SOA Watch organization. Discuss.
Receive SOA Watch materials, copy one of the handouts about the issue, distribute and discuss. Make a list of 3 to 5 questions to ask to get the group going into a discussion, such as:
Why as UU's should we support this issue?
How do you feel about the US funding SOA with tax dollars?
Coordinate with local or regional SOA Watch to participate in a SOA Vigil or other community event, demonstration, speak out. Offer to help organize space and logistics at your UU Congregation.
Liaise with UU IGNITE, the UU Youth & YA Social Justice Network and let them know what you are doing.
Fundraise with a letter to your congregation social justice committee, bake sale, car wash, garage sale, to send members of your group to Columbus GA for the annual November SOA Watch demonstration.