anniversary of the slaughter of six Jesuit priests at the hands of U.S. Army
School of the Americas graduates, many thousands from around the country
protested outside the military training camp here Nov. 20-21 in the largest
demonstration to date against a school regarded as a training ground for
assassins and dictators.
Groups representing labor, students, war veterans and a
diversity of faiths joined actor Martin Sheen in calling for the school’s
"We do not want this school of war," said Rev. Roy
Bourgeois, a founder of the nine-year-old movement to close the School of the
Americas (SOA). "It can only be closed. It cannot be changed."
UE called for the school’s closure
at its national convention in late August; the AFL-CIO followed suit a few
weeks later. The UE resolution cites the prominent role of SOA graduates in
the assassination of union leaders and massacres of workers and peasants.
UE Genl. Vice Pres. John Lambiase, a rally speaker, described
closure of the School of the Americas as a trade union issue. "The
victims of the SOA are the poor, the unions, the workers. The victims of the
SOA are also the American working class."
The UE leader explained that the suppression of free unions in
Latin America encourages the loss of jobs in the U.S. and the general lowering
of living standards. "There can be no free or fair trade without the free
association of working people, without the right to organize," Lambiase