Thursday, November 24, 2011

School of the Americas Protest

Thousands of protesters descend on Ft. Benning for a weekend every November to protest the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly known as the School of the Americas. My BOLC class was warned we'd be ticketed my MPs if we tried to drive on Ft. Benning Road - though if you did that, you'd have more serious charges to worry about, since you would also have had to drive over fences and a number of protestors. My friend in the Armor School was advised that military personnel discovered at the protest would be arrested by MPs - which would have raised some interesting legal issues, since the protest was held outside of the installation, and also the Bill of Rights.

There were no MPs there.


  1. As you said, no MPs there and no chances of getting arrested. I, the old Public Affairs Officer of WHINSEC, go every year to talk with those I have worked with in past years to show the Institute to them. This year, I even had a little 'debate' with Martin Sheen at the end of the event. He won't come out, but you are welcome to come over when you have free time to see what the Institute is all about. We don't have a BOLC, but do offer a Captains Career Course. By the time you are ready for CCC, if you speak Spanish you should be able to take that course here. Lee Rials

  2. For the future, should you ever get caught doing something like this, no the Bill of Rights does not necessarily apply to you (us).

    "Military Courts, backed by the U.S. Supreme Court, have consistently held that rights under the First Amendment and Freedom of Association can be lawfully restricted when applied to military personnel."

    That's from the Military Legal Task Force of the National Guild of Lawyers (what one might consider SME's on it).

  3. Their PAO didn't seem to mind. If I still speak Spanish in a few years, maybe they could use me...