I’m just back from Columbus, Georgia after participating in the 20th annual School of the Americas Watch gathering over the weekend Nov. 19-21.
The School of the Americas, also called the School of the Assassins, located at Fort Benning trains troops of Central and South American repressive regimes in police state tactics, including torture.
I was named by Pax Christi USA as their 2010 Teacher of Peace and given an award as part of the weekend activities. Each year Pax Christi USA names one Teacher of Peace.
Some of the past Teacher’s of Peace are: Daniel Berrigan, SJ, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, MM, Shelley and Jim Douglass, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Kathy Kelly, Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, Martin Sheen, Helen Prejean, CSJ, Liz McAlister and Fr. Louis Vitale, OFM.
I’m a small potato compared to the above spiritual giants, but I told the gathering that I accepted the award on behalf of all the small potatoes of the world standing up to ending the war against the planet (the poisoning of land, water and air) and making peace with mother earth.
Beyond the wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. — the wars for oil, are the wars for food, wars for water, wars against species, so it is good to honor all the small potatoes who believe we need to end all the wars. All species, people, cultures should be respected and the resources of the earth should be shared in a just, sustainable manner.
The weekend activities were very inspiring. It was great to see such a cross cultural/age gathering of thousands. The entire weekend was very well organized with lots of workshops, speakers, and music. The weekend concluded at the main gate of Fort Benning with a solemn procession of people holding crosses and the chanting of thousands of names of those killed by people trained at the School of the Americas. Several dozen were arrested in peaceful protests over the weekend in acts of conscience.
The work will continue on many levels until the School is shut down.
Below are a few links for more info.
Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action
Kurtistown, Hawai’i 96760
Visit us on the web at: www.malu-aina.org