2010’s SOAW Sunday Protesters Get Six Months in Prison


School of the Americas Watch protesters, who commited civil disobedience the 2010 SOAW protest on Sunday, have been sentenced to six months in federal prison.  This is separate from those who were arrested in Saturday in a separate action that ended up getting innocent by-standers arrested, as previously reported by APN.

Nancy Smith from New York, and Chris Spicer from Illinois, were both sentenced to six months by Magistrate Judge Stephen Hyles.

During the trial, Smith said she “felt a strong moral imperative” to carry out her nonviolent act of civil disobedience “on behalf of those who have suffered so terribly,” according to an email from SOAW.  Smith pleaded no contest.

Spicer pled not guilty but was declared guilty by Judge Hyles.

In his closing statement before sentencing, Spicer “addressed the ongoing human rights abuses in Latin America carried out by graduates of the School of the Americas, and his need to confront the ‘paralysis of fear’ that has gripped the country in recent times.”

In November, Franciscan priest Fr. Louis Vitale, OFM and David Omondi of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker Community both pled no contest and were sentenced to the maximum 6 months in jail.

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