This evening the four of us at SOA Watch attended workshops and presentations connected with the protest event. Emily Brewer, John Allen, and I attended a screening of “Harvest of Empire.” The film bills itself as “the untold story of Latinos in the United States” and explored the traumatic events and militaristic history, in particular our country’s involvement with others’ militaries, that leads people in many Latin American countries to immigrate to the US.
While the film lacked a cohesive narrative, I still found it to be a powerful experience. Viewed as separate vignettes, each country’s story was informative and moving. The personal experiences of immigrants from affected countries combined with the harsh statistics of how few people have access to a safe home shook me.
“Harvest of Empire” highlighted the United States’ role in developing militaries (largely through training at the School of the Americas) in other countries and then followed that by noting the very small number of people who, when targeted by death squads in their own countries, are refused political asylum here in the US. Through the SOA, we are creating large populations who are unsafe in their own homes and unable to safely and consistently establish new homes.