Saturday, November 14, 2015
Ben has lived in new Orleans since 1982. Worked as a Registered Respiratory Therapist at Charity Hospital for 17+ of those years. Also worked as an R.R.T at Hotel Dieu Hospital (now closed),New Orleans General Hospital(now closed), and , Tulane Medical Center for a short period of time. Post Katrina he worked at L.S.U Interim Hospital until 2010 as an R.R.T, leaving because of his objection to the closure of Charity. Now he is semi-retired and volunteering with groups such as Pax Christi National Catholic Peace Group, The Gillespie Memorial Community Breakfast, and the NOLA Interfaith Peace Initiative.
What is the SOA/WHINSEC?
Founded in 1946 in the Panama Canal Zone, the School of the Americas (SOA) is a U.S. Army training school that trains soldiers, military personnel and police from Latin American countries in subjects like counter-insurgency, military intelligence and counter-narcotics operations.
SOA/WHINSEC graduates have included some of the worst and most notorious human rights abusers in Latin American history, and for much of the world, the school, under any name, is synonymous with torture and impunity.
Under Department of Defense jurisdiction, this school is funded by U.S. taxpayer money. According to the SOA itself, more than 60,000 members of Latin American militaries have attended the SOA since its inception. SOA graduates have led military coups and are responsible for massacres of hundreds of people. Among many others, these include:
- Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama
- Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina
- Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru
- Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador
- Hugo Banzer Suárez of Bolivia
- General Romeo Vásquez Velásquez of Honduras
SOA graduates were responsible for the Uraba massacre in Colombia, the El Mozote massacre of 900 civilians in El Salvador, the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the massacre of 14-year-old Celina Ramos, her mother Elba Ramos and six Jesuit priests in El Salvador, the assassination of Bishop Juan Gerardi of Guatemala and hundreds of other human rights abuses. Closing the school would send a strong human rights message to Latin America and the world.
First Unitarian Universalist Church
5212 South Claiborne Av. New Orleans
(Enter via posted signs at Soniat and South Claiborne)
10am – Progressive, Social Justice Community Networking
with Coffee, Juice and Light Breakfast Pastries*
11am to Noon- Featured Presentation
*$3.00 suggested donation
Held every second Saturday of each month, the Gillespie Memorial Community Breakfast has been a project of the First Unitarian Universalist Church Social Justice Committee
since May 1983.