26 Arrested, Most in Error, at SOA Rally
(APN) FORT BENNING, Georgia — At the School of the Americas protest last year, 2009, the Puppetistas–a group of artists and activists dressed up in costumes, some on stilts–decided to participate in a nonviolent civil disobedience action by marching out of the assigned SOA rally area and taking their demand to shut down SOA to Veterans highway, about two blocks away.
The local police were caught off guard and did not know what to do with over 100 Puppetistas not behaving as usual. The Puppetistas were not arrested last year and eventually marched back to their assigned area.
This year, on Saturday, November 20, 2010, according to eyewitness reports, things went wildly wrong. The police not only arrested some of the nonviolent Puppetistas as they marched outside their permit zone to Veterans highway but also many people just trying to walk to their car and go home. One man walked out of a barber shop next to the SOA rally area and was taking pictures of the action when he was arrested. Three members of a Russian news crew, who were filming the arrest of innocent rally participants, were also arrested.
The police indiscriminately arrested people who did not commit any crimes nor engage in civil disobedience. All 26 people arrested were taken to Muscogee County Jail and held for bond as high as 5,500 dollars.