SOA Protesters Won't Face Metal Detectors

By Feuerherd, Joe | National Catholic Reporter, October 29, 2004 | Go to article overview
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SOA Protesters Won't Face Metal Detectors


Feuerherd, Joe, National Catholic Reporter


When thousands of demonstrators descend on Fort Benning, Ga., the end of next month to protest U.S. military training of Latin American soldiers, they will not have to go through metal detectors local officials said were necessary to protect against terrorist threats.

That's the immediate result of a three-judge federal circuit court ruling issued Oct. 15.

According to civil libertarians, the implications of the case go beyond the annual protest at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, previously known as the School of the Americas.

"It is going to be a case that is cited in a lot of situations where you have the government asserting that there is a threat of terrorism," said Gerry Weber, the American Civil Liberties Union attorney who brought the case on behalf of School of Americas (SOA) Watch. "Now, they are going to have to have factual, predicate, real evidence" that terrorism is a legitimate threat at otherwise peaceful gatherings.

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