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Protest soa nov02

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AP World Politics

Group against U.S. training school for Latin American soldiers seeks injunction against security measures
Thu Nov 14, 9:14 AM ET

COLUMBUS, Georgia - A group that organizes an annual protest against a U.S. training academy for Latin American soldiers and police is seeking an injunction against use of metal detectors to screen demonstrators.

Thousands of demonstrators are expected for the vigil organized by SOA Watch at Fort Benning this weekend. Mayor Bobby Peters said the police department intends to use hand-held wands as a precaution.

SOA Watch filed the request in U.S. District Court on Wednesday asking Judge Clay Land to block a city plan that they believe will prohibit their group's constitutional right to assemble.

A hearing will be held Friday.

SOA Watch has been protesting at Fort Benning since 1990, demanding the closing of the center formerly known as the School of the Americas. The school was reopened in January 2001 as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

Protesters claim the school still contributes to violence and terrorism in Latin American countries. Officials say it doesn't share the more aggressive Cold War policy of its predecessor and that it has placed greater emphasis on human rights training.


On the Net:

School of the Americas Watch,

Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation,

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