SOA Watch, June 22, 2007
Last night at 11:52 PM, Congress defeated the McGovern/Lewis amendment to cut the funding for the SOA/WHINSEC by a margin of six votes.
The grassroots mobilizing effort was tremendous: Tens of thousands of emails, faxes and calls flooded the halls of Congress over the past three days. Students, clergy, union members and veterans travelled to DC and visited with hundreds of Congressional offices to communicate clearly that there is no room for institutions like the SOA/WHINSEC in our future. Despite this, 214 Members of Congress missed the chance to stand up for human rights, justice and democracy, and voted to keep the funding for the SOA/WHINSEC flowing.
The WHINSEC PR machine and high-ranking Pentagon officials used taxpayer money to put a lot of pressure on Members of Congress. However, this is no excuse for Representatives to not be accountable to their constituents. There were Representatives this week that committed to vote to cut funding for the SOA/WHINSEC, and then shifted their vote. Those people need hear from all of us, loudly and in public. If we can mobilize around the vote the way that we have, we can mobilize around targeted primary elections and make clear to constituents in those districts how their candidates feel about supporting the Pentagon policies and this school of shame.
Please visit www.soaw.org/legislative, check the roll call to see how your Representative voted and contact her/him with thanks if they voted to cut SOA/WHINSEC funding. Express your displeasure to those who sided with the SOA/WHINSEC and your extreme displeasure to those who said that they would vote with us but didn't.
WE WILL CLOSE THE SOA/WHINSEC
While we did not get enough Members of Congress to vote with us, it was clear to us and to our supporters in the House that we have tremendous power when we mobilize together. We gained the support of new Republicans and new members of Congress, the margin of SOA/ WHINSEC survival is rapidly dwindling, and this week due to grassroots pressure, we added several new cosponsors to HR 1707 bringing our total to 111.
Your work these past weeks was remarkable. Because of your persistence, 203 Members of Congress voted with us, despite the pressure that was exerted by the Pentagon. Please take the time to thank your Representative if she/he stood up for human rights and voted with us. Together we educated hundreds of Representatives and staffers about the SOA/WHINSEC. We built new relationships and strengthened long-term ones. We have gained a lot of ground in Congress and our goal of closing this School of the Death is coming closer and closer.
We thank you for all your amazing work, sacrifice, commitment and support!
For more information, visit the SOA Watch website and the Legislative Action Index.