The Convention adopted the resolution "School of the Americas: The Ultimate Union Buster," and heard from a speaker who is devoting his life to closing down that institution.
Roy Bourgeois earned a Purple Heart during the Vietnam War; following the U.S. Navy he became a Catholic priest and Maryknoll missionary. His work among the poor in Bolivia gave him understanding about the reality of poverty and oppression in the developing world.
The assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the rape and murder of four U.S. churchwomen in El Salvador that led Bourgeois to a concerted effort to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA). The killers, Salvadoran military, had been trained at the school.
'TRAINED TO WAGE WAR
Located at Fort Benning, Georgia, the SOA is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers. Over a period of 50 years, the SOA has trained 60,000 troops in commando tactics, military intelligence and psychological operations.
The training takes place so that the military forces of dictators can wage war on their own people, Father Bourgeois said. He pointed out that SOA military training manuals target union organizers, those who distribute leaflets in favor of working people or accuse the government of failing to meet the basic needs of the people. The numbers of those taking part in annual November demonstrations against the SOA have grown steadily in recent years, said Father Bourgeois, who urged greater UE participation in the event.
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