School of the Americas Protest Trip
SJP students took part in an annual protest against the School of the Americas.
In 1996, Students for Justice & Peace took its first annual trip to a nonviolent protest at the School of the Americas in Bennington, Georgia. SOA is a military training academy that trains Latin American soldiers in battle tactics such as psychological warfare and torture.
Until 2014, SJP participated in this annual event, which included a peaceful protest and a vigil for lives lost at the hands of SOA-trained soldiers. Students traveled with others from nearby schools. The event is led by SOA Watch, an organization dedicated to closing the academy.
As our name suggests, SJP believes in overcoming conflict without violence, which is why we feel so strongly against the SOA. SOA graduates have been involved in violence and murder since the school's founding, and many of their targets are peaceful human rights workers. Though we no longer participate in these protests, we still support the mission of SOA Watch.