Monday, July 30, 2007

Priests prepare for court, possible prison, to expose U.S. torture


By Brenda Norrell

TUCSON -- Two priests willing to go to prison to expose U.S. torture and torture training at Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona are prepared for their pre-trial motions.
Fr. Louis Vitale (left) and Fr. Stephen Kelly will join human rights attorney William Quigley in Tucson on Sunday evening, August 12. It is the evening before the August 13 pre-trial motions hearing. The gathering will be held at Southside Presbyterian Church, 317 W. 23rd. That's one block south of 22nd St. at 10th Ave., at 7:00 pm.
Fr. Louie Vitale, a Franciscan priest, is an Action Advocate for Pace e Bene, co-founder of the Nevada Desert Experience and SOA Watch Prisoner of Conscience.
Fr. Steve Kelly (right), a Jesuit priest, has served time in prison for his participation in several Plowshares direct disarmament actions. Fr. Kelly literary attempted to turn a weapon of mass destruction into a plowshare and went to prison for it.
In December, 2005, Fr. Kelly served as chaplain for Witness to Torture, a delegation which marched through Cuba to the gates of the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Bill Quigley is a law professor and Director of the Law Clinic and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University, New Orleans. He's been an active public interest lawyer since 1977, volunteering with School of the Americas Watch, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and many other groups.
On August 13 (and possibly 14), Fr. Louie Vitale and Fr. Steve Kelly, represented by Bill Quigley, will have a pre-trial motions hearing in federal court in Tucson on charges of trespass and failure to obey an officer's orders for their nonviolent witness on Nov. 19, 2006 at Fort Huachuca.
The priests attempted to give a letter to the post commander of Fort Huachuca because of the leading role that the Fort has played in the development of the manuals advocating torture used at the SOA (School of Americas) and current interrogation techniques being used by the Army.
On August 13, there will be a support circle in the courtyard outside the federal courthouse, 405 W. Congress, time to be announced.
Please regularly check http://tortureontrial.org/ for details, updated information about the case and related events, or call 520-323-8697.
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Torture protests outside federal court in Tucson. Photos by Brenda Norrell

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