Monday April 16th, human rights activists took to the streets around Capitol Hill in a spirited parade, culminating a week of trainings, workshops, music and lobbying to close the School of the Americas. Police on foot, bicycle, motorcycle and in vehicles prohibited free passage of the march, limiting SOA Watch activists abilities to be heard and seen by Congressional staff. Thirteen were arrested as they tried to lead the march down Independence Avenue in front of the Congressional buildings, but were impeded by dozens of police who blockaded their passage and expression of free speech.
Dorothy Day Catholic Workers Amber & Kevin Mason were among the 13 arrested for taking the demand for the closure of SOA into the streets on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC
The 13 were released over 6 hours later and ironically charged with “blocking passage”. They are to appear at Superior Court on Tuesday, May 8th in room 115 at 8:30am where a trial date will be given.
Who are the SOA 13?
Amber Mason- Dorothy Day Catholic Worker (26; Washington, DC): “I refuse to be complicit in war and injustice committed by my government in my name and I believe you can not claim to be for peace and justice unless you are publicly actively against war and injustice. For these reasons, I chose to risk arrest, and stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Latin America, and all around the world calling for end to all militarization. As Dr Martin Luther King Jr said, ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’.”
Kevin Mason- Dorothy Day Catholic Worker (29; Washington, DC): “The reasons for my actions had a lot to do with my faith, and my conscience. I believe we are all one family in the human race. We need to get to a place where we do for others as we would want them to do for us. I believe then that justice would flow like a mighty river. Dorothy Day put it this way: ‘Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy rotten system’, and this is part of my motivation.”