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Chani Geigle-Teller Sentenced To Federal Prison

Former OregonPeaceWorks Program Assistant Chani Geigle-Teller was sentenced today to 6 months in a federal minimum security prison and fined $1000 for her role in last year's national protest at School of the Americas. She was released on her own recognizance and will need to turn herself in to begin serving her sentence in about one month.
Chani Geigle-Teller Sentenced To Federal Prison

Former OregonPeaceWorks Program Assistant Chani Geigle-Teller was sentenced today to 6 months in a federal minimum security prison
and fined $1000 for her role in last year's national protest at School of the Americas. She was released on her own recognizance and will
need to turn herself in to begin serving her sentence in about one month.

Former Portland resident Lisa Hughes was aquitted of a similar charge.

US Magistrate Judge G. Mallon Faircloth presided over the week-long trial at the Federal Courthouse in Columbus, Georgia. Of the 37
defendants brought before him, only Hughes was acquitted. Sentences ranged from 90 days to 6 months and up to $5,000 fines.


At sentencing, Chani made the following statement:

"I come before you today with a heavy heart. I am really angry that I have been called here today. I am angry I've had to quit my job at a non profit peace and justice group in Salem. I am angry I've had to put my educational plans on hold. I am angry I am having to prepare to leave my community, my friends and my family.

"But that anger is nothing compared to the anger I have over the honest jobs stolen by corrupt corporations, over situations where children do not have school as an option because they have to apply themselves to slave-labor jobs in order to help their families survive, over communities being torn apart, over lands being raped, over family members losing loved ones to the hands of state perpetrated violence. I am enraged at the injustices perpetrated by this country. I am filled with indignation towards the injustice that you and the system you represent are carrying forward.

"I will never apologize to you or the United States government or to anyone else for protesting these injustices. But I do have one apology to make. I beg the mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, grandmothers, grandfathers, sisters and brothers of Chiapas, of El Mozote, of Colombia, of Guatemala and all of Central and South America, to forgive me for my participation in a system that oppresses, tortures and murders them daily. I ask the God of Life and Truth that sustains those people to forgive me. I beg that they hear my cries of repentence as I hear their cries of "Basta - enough is enough!". I also know that I cannot even ask for forgiveness if I am not willing to change my greedy lifestyle. Not only change my own lifestyle, slowly, day by day, decision by decision, but I must stand up to that lifestyle of greed and violence if I am truly sorry in my heart for the grief I have helped put in this world. I am determined to spend the rest of my life doing everything in my power to correct my wrongdoings.

"That is why I am here.

"I am not guilty because I protest and resist the School of the Americas and other violent institutions under your authority. Your authority will crumble and wash away. I have no faith in your authority. My authority comes from the same voice and heart of which I ask forgiveness from. It is those same mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers that empower me to make my stand. It is God and life itself that says I am not guilty. That love and light and life of me and my co-defendants and the spirit of those affected by the SOA and other horrible U.S. foreign policies. We have brought that spirit here today and I swear to you, it is a force to be reckoned with. Go ahead, sit in your throne of injustice and sentence us to probation, prison and fines. But I am warning you now - the people will rise up - the people ARE rising up and we will be stronger than we ever have been before and the laws and systems and vaules of hate and fear that you are grasping onto now WILL FALL. For your own sake, Mr Faircloth, I invite you to join us. Basta - no mas! I invite you to stand up and make your plea.

"We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never forget the infinite hope."

Organizing efforts will continue regarding this issue. Contact the Oregon Progressive Alliance, Oregon PeaceWorks, Marion-Polk Green Party or Chani herself.

homepage: homepage: http://www.oregonpeaceworks.org

photo of chani 12.Jul.2002 23:43

indy ed

photo of chani
photo of chani

isn't it getting old? 13.Jul.2002 15:22


I thought the tiresome "school of the americas" fad was over a couple of years ago. How self-indulgent and self-congratulatory can you get? Maybe dopeheads can appreciate your dream world. This video game fantasy conspiracy that you indulge in does not reflect what happens in reality,and it's unfortunate that anyone would admire you. It's probably "only in America" that you can get away with such self-centred garbage. At least be aware that you come across as a joke to many people. For your own sake, I hope you will get enlightened in this lifetime.

Dear Zephyr 13.Jul.2002 16:10

your conscience

hmm..." thought the tiresome "school of the americas" fad was over a couple of years ago." interesting statement. what do you base it on? At last year's annual "Funeral Procession" at the gates of Ft. Benning, over 12,000 people attended. More than 5,000 crossed the arbitrary "line"
So many white crosses blocked the gates, solders who came to clear them had to "push and kick" at them from the other side just to gain an opening. They had to bring out an entire platoon of troops to clear them.

tiresome fad? nahhh....come on down this November to Georgia and find out for yourself. Activists will continue to rally for closure of this inhumane institution, after all, it's a war on terrorism - US financed terrorism

Zephyr, what are you talking about? 13.Jul.2002 17:11


I know it might pain you but try and explain what
the hell it is your talking about.

Do you not believe the SOA exists? God I hope not.
If so tying your shoes must be incredible
frustrating. Even the most cursory examination of
the facts will prove beyond a doubt it indeed exists.

Are you a SOA supporter? If so I hope you aren't a
religious man because you will have a lot of explaining
to do in the afterlife. Or maybe you will just
be reincarnated as a pile of shit.

As far as a "fad" goes, god help us if social concern
was the latest thing! We wouldn't want to take
peoples attention away from speed dating or reality
television! THE HORROR!

zephyr...hum. Appropriate name, I'm definitely feeling
a breeze of hot air.

Kudos to Chani & the SOA 37 true patriots 14.Jul.2002 15:04


Thanks to the dedication & courage of the SOA 37 as well as thousands of other demonstrators who stood up against the Axis of Evil in Ft. Benning. Your bravery has inspired--and will continue to do so--many thousands more across the nation to oppose U.S. militarism. I salute your actions and your convictions(not the Feds' immoral 'convictions' on 36 of you.) You are part of a growing list of Political Prisoners of conscience that Uncle Samshould be ashamed of keeping in jails.

Keep up the Good Fight--we shall overome Tyranny one day.

Thank you Chani Geigle-Teller 14.Jul.2002 22:14


for your courage and conviction to speak the truth. There is hope in the world as long as there are leaders like you. I am inspired and humbled.

beautiful speech 16.Jul.2002 18:50

peace rebel boy

Chani's speech is one for the ages. so beautiful, so inspiring, so real. i am rededicating myself to the cause. thank you, Chani, and everyone else who stood up to the monsters at the SOA.

Infinite hope 21.Jul.2002 10:11

Hope hmarston@epud.net

I am moved to tears by the statement Chani made to the court. Powerful words, backed up by her own commitment to be the change she wishes to see in the world.

I hope for us that more people will take responsibility for the small bits each of us do to contribute to a society, culture and nation that oppresses the rest of the world through our consumerism, addiction to television, and gas-guzzling greed. We must live the change we wish to see -- not only throw stones at the inherently blind GW Bushes out there making a spectacle of their avarice and violence. Each of us, like Chani, is powerful enough to ripple out to the wider body of humanity just by example. Our own example is all we have. Stronger than any words.

Thank you Chani for your example. That some are blind to it does not diminish its light.

A beautiful and brave person 25.Sep.2002 01:40

Chani is right


you are a brave and beautiful person. Thank you for standing up for justice and making such an eloquent statement.

Self-indulgent crap 07.Nov.2002 14:07

Plurality plurality@hotmail.com

The above self-centered crap -- she actually gets messages from the God of Truth, Love, Justice, whatnot -- is Exhibit A on why these protestors are worthless. Whether they're falling out of trees, running around with anti-America signs, or blabbing endlessly about Starbucks, they accomplish zip. do they go to law school and try to get policy-making jobs in the executive branch? do they run for office in any branch? No, they take it out on the judicial branch. the one part of government all sane people agree is the jewel in the crown. Well, what's the use...you can't argue with fanatics. If God talks to you, who am I to butt in?