Joe Jencks


Thanks for the Love & Close the SOA!

Thanks for the Love amp Close the SOA
Dear Friends,

THANKS for your kind support these last several weeks. My broken foot is well on the mend. I received so many generous letters and comments from folks, drawings from some young fans, and phone calls… I was humbled. Thanks for letting me know what the music means to you. Your encouragement did wonders to help speed along my recovery, and elevate my spirits. I am genuinely grateful. I have a long ways to go, but I am in great spirits and the Dr. says I have dodged the need for surgery. Thanks for the love. I am SURE it helped.

This month I am doing something a little different with my newsletter. I am in Georgia for the School Of The Americas Watch gathering. I will give a brief outline of the history of the event, and then steer you to my website for some pictures from last years event.

I will send a full concert listing in the December Newsletter, but as always, feel free to check the concert page for listings.

In Gratitude…


What is this all about? Well, the US Government has a training program based out of Ft. Benning, in Columbus, GA. It used to be called the School of The Americas. The name has been changed over the years, but the core mission has been the same. That mission is to train soldiers from third world countries in torture, terror and intimidation tactics, so that they can suppress their own people and keep those people scared enough that they will not resist predatory economic policy and practices on the part of the US Government and US Corporations.

Many of you may recall that back in the early 1980s that there was a rash of violent crime against Religious Leaders in Central America. At this time scores of Catholic Clergy were assassinated, raped and/or murdered, mostly in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Fr. Roy Bourgeois lost one of his dearest friends, Sr. Ita Ford. They were both of the Mary Knoll order.
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Fr. Roy, in a state of grief, climbed over the gates of Ft. Benning in Columbus, Georgia, with a boom box tied to his belt. The tape recording he had with him was the last sermon of the martyred Catholic Arch Bishop, Oscar Romero. Fr. Roy climbed a tree outside the barracks of the Central American soldiers who were being trained there, and he played the sermon full blast. The sermon was an entreaty to the soldiers to stand in solidarity with their countrymen, and to quit killing and terrorizing their own people.

Fr. Roy was arrested for trespassing, and spent some time in jail. The next year he was back with a group of friends. Several were arrested as they again crossed onto the property of Ft. Benning. And every year since, the gathering has grown as more and more people come to Georgia to be witnesses of conscience. Last year we had nearly 27,000 people. WOW! Amazing.

People gather to grieve the dead and disappeared, to celebrate the beauty of the human experience, to challenge the constant state of fear and terror that remains a part of our culture, and to sing for a new day and a more healed and peaceful world.

Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon, Holly Near, The Indigo Girls, Dennis Kucinich, and scores of other well known musicians and actors, politicians and religious people have made raising the public awareness of this issue a high priority. And tens of thousands of people from all over the US, Canada, Mexico and Central America have joined together to speak out against this atrocity. It is a very singing movement, and it is an honor to be a part of it. We are making a difference, and the tide of political and public opinion seems to move a little more in the direction of humanity and decency every year as a result.
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Please go to my website, and look at the photos page by following the links below, or by going to the home page and clicking on the photos link. Then click on the SOA Watch 2007 button. Each photo has a bit of the story. There are 28 photos in all. Click on the links below or paste them into your browser. These are all photos from last year.
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The first 24 pictures are here:

And the last 4 are here:

And for more information on the effort to close the School of the Americas, please go to

I have also written a new song about the effort to close the fort. Crossing Over is the title, and the lyrics can be found on my website by clicking the Lyrics link, or by following this link:

I wish you all a marvelous Thanksgiving!

In Gratitude, Solidarity and Song…

•Joe Jencks