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Activist nun returns home after six months in prison


A 76-year-old nun has been released after serving six months in a federal prison in the US.

Sr Miriam Spencer was convicted of trespassing during a protest two years ago at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas, at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Activists contend the school trains South American military leaders in torture and insurrection.

The US government says those attending the school are trained in democratic principles.

"The worst thing was being treated like dirt by some of the guards," Sr Spencer said at the retirement home for the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace.

She was released last Thursday from the women's federal minimum-security camp at Pekin, Illinois.

"Of course, I'm not going to stop protesting," Sr Spencer said. "They haven't closed the school yet." She added she may not trespass if she ever goes back.

Four of the 26 protesters convicted in the 2000 protest were elderly nuns. And Spencer's conviction only expanded her list of causes, which now includes concerns about the injustices of mandatory minimum sentencing.

"I promised the women before I left there that I would try to do something about it," she said.

LINKS
Nun quietly awaits prison for protest (Seattle Post-Intelligencer Reporter)

SOURCE
Ananova

12-Feb-02