Four Bethel College students joined more than 10,000 other protesters who carried white crosses Nov. 17 in Columbus, Ga., for the 13th annual demonstration by the School of the Americas (SOA) Watch. On campus, Bethel students, most of them members of the college's Students for Social Change organization, made more than 100 white crosses out of paint sticks to remember those who had died at the hands of killers trained at the school and planted the crosses in the ground near the Fine Arts Center. The SOA protests marked the anniversary of the killings of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador on Nov. 19, 1989. Some of the killers had attended the Army’s SOA, which was replaced last year by a Department of Defense school called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.
Bethel students attending the protest in Georgia were John Eads, junior from Denver City, Texas; Heidi Holliday, freshman from Andover; Erin Langel, freshman from Omaha, Neb.; and Maria Tschetter, junior from Freeman, S.D. "This demonstration was especially important because our country is now in the middle of fighting a ‘war on terrorism.’ Ridding the world of terrorism must include closing down terrorist training camps in our own backyard, like the School of the Americas," Holliday said.