Statement of Solidarity with School of the Americas Watch
Sister Michelle spoke at the School of the Americas vigil on November 21, 2011 accompanied by Mercy Associate Nelly from Honduras, Sister Tita from Panama and Sister Anita from Argentina.
I am here to represent the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Mercy Associates, Mercy Volunteers, Mercy College Students, and Ministry Partners who are standing in solidarity with you and with all those negatively affected by the graduates of the SOA. We come with mercy, compassion, and hope, but also with a sense of urgency and impatience:
- As the Mercy Family, we are scandalized that we, the USA, who are 4% of the world’s population, have 50% of the world’s military;
- We are scandalized that the US has troops in 130 or so countries currently;
- We are scandalized that in a country where 80% of us claim to be Christian, many seem to have forgotten the words of Jesus- that we should actually love our neighbor as ourselves.
We all know whose interests our numerous military bases are protecting.
And yet there is hope:
- There is hope in our Honduran Mercy Sisters and Associates who are part of the “women resisting violence” movement in Honduras;
- Our Panama sisters gave us hope, when in 1984, their efforts and those of others succeeded in getting the SOA out of Panama;
- And there is hope in you, who come here year after year to say NO to the oppressive, unjust structures of a military culture.
You know what solidarity is: standing with our brothers and sisters in love and compassion- to the end.
So we must continue this SOA Watch here and at home- as our sisters from Latin America have reminded us, we must connect the dots and be awake and alert to what’s happening around us.
Let us continue until that day when right relationships, non-violence, the common good, and finally, peace, will prevail in the Americas and all over our planet. Thank you!
For more photos from this year’s watch, visit our Facebook album. Take action and add your voice to the chorus demanding the closure of the School of the Americas. Read about Sister Michelle’s impressions about attending the School of the Americas vigil for the first time. Watch Sister Michelle speak at the School of the Americas.