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Burlington activist fined, given jail time for Fort Benning arrest

COLUMUBS, GA — A federal judge Tuesday sentenced Burlington resident Robin Lloyd, to three months in federal prison and a $500 fine after she was found guilty of trespassing onto Fort Benning military base in November.

Lloyd, 67, is among 32 defendants, ranging in age from 19 to 81, who were charged with in protest of the controversial Western Hemisphere Institute of Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), which was once known as the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas (SOA).

“This trial was challenging, but I was glad to have the opportunity to talk on the stand about international law and the necessity defense,” said Lloyd after her conviction. “I only wish the court had lived up to the quote by Jimmy Carter on its wall, that the laws of humanity are upheld in that place.”

Judge G. Mallon Faircloth sentenced 17 human rights advocates, including Robin Lloyd, a member of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, to between one and six months in prison; 13 of those individuals were also fined between $500 and $1,000. Trials are expected to continue for at least one more day. Each person faces a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Since protests against the SOA/ WHINSEC began more than a decade ago, 183 people have served a total of over 81 years in prison for engaging in nonviolent resistance in a broad-based campaign to close the school, according to SOA Watch, a non-profit group.

Lloyd and the 40 arrested were among 19,000 who gathered at Ft. Benning to protest U.S. foreign policy and call for the closure of the school.

posted February 1, 2006

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