For those who are not already aware of the case of the ‘SOA-6’, ‘School of the Americas-6’, Rev. Louis Barrios, PhD Chair of the John Jay Latina/o Studies Program was sentenced to two months in federal prison along with five fellow protesters for ‘trespassing on Fort Benning military base in Georgia. A short article by his colleague, co-author and close friend David Brotherton in the Guardian today helped to raise the profile of the case.
When my colleague Luis Barrios was sent to federal prison five weeks ago, after being convicted of trespassing – a “class B” misdemeanor typically warranting a fine, community service or short-term imprisonment in a county jail – during a protest at the infamous School of the Americas, I said to him: “At least you’ll be in Manhattan, at least you’ll be near family and friends.” “Yes,” he said, “but you never know what will happen. You can go in there for a month and come out in a year.”
For more information on Rev. Dr. Barrios and his fellow protesters please see the School of the Americas Watch page dedicated to their cases. Included in their profiles are addresses where letters can be sent for them.