To learn more about Salvadoran Pastors Ruth and Alex Orantes, and for information about contributing to support their ministries in El Salvador, please visit

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Photos from Nov 2007 SOA protests

Kathy, Gwenyth, and Caroline returned on Monday night from the weekend events at the SOA in Columbus, GA. We were inspired by lots of great music (Holly Near and Indigo Girls, for starters), great speakers (Rabbi Michael Lerner, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, others), workshops on non-violence, theater performances. On Sunday, we carried the set of crosses made at CBC and shared several of them with others in the crowd as we all took part in the solemn procession. We'll be writing up some reflections from the experience, and we brought home resources to share at CBC.

A few things to look for in the slide show above:
  • college and high school students, grandmothers and grandfathers, Salvadorans, families, friends from SHARE and the Baptist Peace Fellowship
  • "non-conforming" crosses from CBC being broken down to size as required by police before we could enter the vigil area
  • chain link and barbed wire fence lined with crosses and one Star of David
  • military police surveying the crowd from raised platforms and police helicopter circling the events
  • giant puppet of Rufina Amaya (sole survivor of the El Mozote massacre) with outstretched arms placed against the chain link fence at the very end of the day
The SOA Watch estimates that there were 25,000 - 30,000 people attending the protests. (The police estimate was 11,000.) Eleven people ranging in age from 25 to 76, including one man from Pennsylvania, were arrested on Sunday for acts of civil disobedience and are scheduled for federal criminal trial January 28, 2008 for trespass - punishable up to six months in federal prison. Three others were arrested at the entrance of the vigil site for refusing to relinquish crosses whose size exceeded Columbus police regulations. Read all of their stories and see photos and videos from the weekend at