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Algorem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-18-06 03:22 PM
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Victims of torture, abuse win compensation

...No one in the Philippines has ever been held accountable for the indescribable suffering that so many brave and freedom loving Filipinos endured for having the courage to speak against the human-rights abuses and work for justice and freedom. Many thousands disappeared, and were assassinated and others like Michael were tortured, imprisoned and abused. All these techniques were taught to the Filipino military in US training faculties at Fort Benning, Fort Bragg and the School of the Americas and preserved in the training manuals brought back to the Philippines to train others how to abuse their own people. The higher officers were trained in West Point and were trained to do the bidding of the USA...

How the disgraced US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld could shamelessly justify torture techniques before the American people is beyond understanding and Bush made it legal by repudiating the Geneva Convention. Let’s hope that the resounding defeat of the Republicans in the midterm elections will give the Democrats the strength to reverse these wicked policies that violate human rights. The American people have always believed in the sacred dignity of every human being and rejected torture and abuse. Let’s hope they return to their true values.

Now comes in a decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granting the victims of human-rights abuses under the Marcos tyranny an award of US$35 million of the Marcos billions of ill-gotten wealth as compensation for the suffering they endured. There are about 10 thousand registered and each will hopefully get a meager US$2,000. If Michael’s name was registered, we have no idea for he was never recognized as a victim.

We ought to be rejoicing yet inexplicitly a Philippine government agency tasked with recovering the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos regime has opposed any claim by the victims to the money. It is the government and it should go to land reform they claim. This sounds very legalistic but behind all this is the greedy desire of the rich and powerful to get their hands on that money. This decision coming after years of litigation and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and all for nothing other than denying the victims their compensation. This has to stop and those who suffered must get what is due to them. It is small enough justice after what they have suffered.

Fort Benning protest looks to attract a record 20,000

By Elliott Minor,
Associated Press

Columbus, Ga. | Excited by the changes in Washington, organizers hope for a record 20,000 protesters at Fort Benning's heavily fortified main gate this weekend, continuing a 17-year effort to close a military school they blame for assassinations, torture and other human rights abuses in Latin America.

The protesters will be joined by opponents of the war in Iraq, including war veterans and relatives of those killed, said the Rev. Roy Bourgeois, a Catholic priest who has been leading the demonstrations since 1990.

"It's not possible for people who are gathering in the name of peace not to also address Iraq," he said.

Bourgeois said the populist wave sweeping Latin America and the recent U.S. election, where Democrats won control of Congress for the first time since 1994, has energized the peace movement...

SOA Watch Updates & Actions
Converge on Fort Benning: November 17-19, 2006

Commemorate the Victims and Celebrate the Resistance Concerted actions against militarization to take place in 10 countries.

Click here for today's and tomorrow's schedule of events

Click here for coverage of the November vigil
Saturday, November 18 - 2006

3:oo pm - Thousands are now gathered at the gates of Ft. Benning and thousands more continue to arrive. As civil rights marchers and human rights activists began their pilgrimage to the gates of the SOA/WHINSEC they were met with an early morning chill but found warmth in the inspiring songs of resistance performed by the Musicians Collective and words of welcome and solidarity of SOA Watch Activsts from around the country...

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