Three arrested after Fort Benning protest
Sunday, August 11th 2002
The Associated Press
FORT BENNING, Ga. - Three people protesting against the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation at Fort Benning were arrested Sunday after climbing the post's main gate, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported.
Sean Donahue, 28, of Lawrence, Mass., Betsy Lamb, 63, of Columbia, Md., and Barbara Howe, 26, of Gainesville, Fla., were arrested by federal authorities for criminal trespassing and damage to government property. After being given letters banning them from Fort Benning, the three were released. They face prosecution in federal court at a later date.
The three arrested were among a group of about 35 protesters from Witness for Peace, a group affiliated with the School of Americas Watch, who congregated outside the gate.
According to Carol Richardson, a coordinator for Witness for Peace, the group's mission is to end military aid and fumigation practices in Colombia and to shut down the institute.
SOA Watch holds annual demonstrations at Fort Benning's main gate to protest the training center once known as the School of the Americas, a U.S. Army school for Latin American soldiers. SOA Watch blames the school for human rights abuses committed by some of its graduates.
The school is now operated by the Department of Defense as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.