Judge Faircloth Change of Heart? Michael Walli Released from Jail!
6/18/2010// Today, only three days after he was sentenced to six months of federal prison for carrying the protest against the School of the Americas onto Fort Benning, Michael Walli was released from jail.
Early Thursday, Michael was ordered to pack up his belongings from his jail cell. He expected that he would be transferred to a federal facility but was then told by the wardens that he is free to go, without any further explanation.
From the jail, Michael managed to get to Father Roy Bourgeois' apartment at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia. The two celebrated his release and Michael is now on a bus headed to his home in Washington, DC.
According to the Columbus Ledger Enquirer, U.S. Magistrate G. Mallon Faircloth, who had only days ago handed down the maximum sentence to Michael, reduced Michael's sentence to time served.
SOA Watch activists are full of joy that Michael is out and that he will soon be reunited with the great folks at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House in DC. Michael can be reached at 503 Rock Creek Church Road Northwest, Washington, DC 20010-1612. Phone: (202) 882-9649
At the same time, the human rights defenders Ken Hayes, Father Louis Vitale and Nancy Gwin, all of whom were arrested with Michael during the 2009 vigil at the SOA/WHINSEC, remain in federal prison where they serve their harsh prison sentences.
Please contact Judge G. Mallon Faircloth to commend him for doing the right thing in Michael Walli's case and to also demand the release of ALL Prisoners of Conscience that he incarcerated. There is no justification that our friends Nancy, Ken, and Louis are spending their days and nights in prison for speaking out against the SOA, while those responsible for the training of human rights abusers and for the use of torture manuals at the SOA have never even been investigated:
G. Mallon Faircloth U.S. Magistrate Judge Post Office Box 117 Columbus, GA 31902-0117
Consider engaging in nonviolent direct action: Keep the pressure on! People who put their bodies on the line to speak in solidarity with the people of Latin America are crucial in the struggle to close the SOA/ WHINSEC.