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Al Simmons is going to jail for 2 months on Monday

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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 02:03 PM
Original message
Al Simmons is going to jail for 2 months on Monday
VIDEO at link
http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/columnists_news/a... /

Al Simmons walked through the gate of Fort Benning, Ga., with five other peace activists. Within seconds, 18 military police surrounded them.

Simmons and the other activ ists were calling for the closure of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, better known by its former name, the School of the Americas.

The institute calls itself a democracy, ethics and human-rights training program. But School of the Americas Watch, an independent Washington-based organization that seeks to close the school through nonviolent protest, publicity and legislation, says Latin American military and civilian officials trained at the institute have returned home to commit human-rights abuses including rape, torture and execution.

Arrested Nov. 23, Simmons was convicted of trespassing in January. On Monday, he begins a two-month sentence at Butner Federal Correctional Institution in North Carolina.

Simmons, a Bluefield, W.Va., native, evolved from a Vietnam War artilleryman to a veteran with a drinking problem to a career child-care professional and activist who has also demonstrated against the death penalty and the Iraqi occupation.

In November -- now retired, and inspired by the election of Barack Obama, who he felt would be more open to closing the institute -- Simmons decided he would "cross over" and be arrested.

In his statement to the court, Simmons spoke of helping his preschoolers move toward nonviolent problem-solving and spoke of the growth that led him toward what is essentially a voluntary incarceration.

Simmons concluded that the instruction taking place at Fort Benning is inconsistent with what he had taught his preschoolers. Mainly, "Don't hurt, use words."

"I need a stronger, more spacious heart to wrap around that thought, 'As you do to the least of those, you do also unto me,'" he said. "That's the world I want to leave to our children and their children."

It won't happen unless more people are willing to pay the price that comes with taking a stand.

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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
1. Political prisoners are a hallmark of a fascist state

It shouldn't be happening in democracies.

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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. How do you trespass on something owned by your government?
:shrug:

smart assed question I know but still How can you trespass on something you own?
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