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MILITARY OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS
"Hey recruiters, go away!”;

April 15, 2005 | Page 11

SAN FRANCISCO--San Francisco State University (SFSU) is targeting two students and several student organizations for participating in a March 9 counter-recruitment protest at a campus job fair.

The administration is targeting Katrina Yeaw and Michael Hoffman--both members of Students Against War (SAW) and the ISO--for individual discipline, while all the groups whose names appeared on the flyer for the March 9 protest have received disciplinary notices.

The administration's plan is to isolate the most radical elements involved in the protest while pitting the groups against each other, figuring that some less-involved groups may want to negotiate. The groups will soon meet to decide on a united strategy to fight these attacks.

The administration claims that many of the employers at the job fair wanted their money back because students were surrounding the military recruiters' tables, chanting and making speeches for three hours until the recruiters left. What the administration is forgetting is that rising student fees pay for these job fairs and the building they're held in--and that the military's openly antigay "don't ask, don't tell" policy violates the campus' non-discrimination policy. If the administration didn't want the job fair to be disrupted for three hours, they should have asked the recruiters to leave.

Lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild are helping defend the activists and also want to put the recruitment at job fairs on trial as well. But victory will depend on continuing to build a united movement to bring public pressure to bear on the administration.

Send e-mails of support to SAW at [email protected] and to SFSU President Robert Corrigan at [email protected].

-- In Santa Cruz, Calif., some 300 students descended on an April 5 table set up by military recruiters on the University of California-Santa Cruz (UCSC) campus.

Chanting "Racist, sexist, antigay, hey recruiters, go away!" rally participants marched to the Stevenson Event Center, where they were met by security guards who tried to keep them out of the building by closing the doors. But a student opened a side door of the building and signaled the protesters to enter.

When they rushed into the building, they immediately headed towards the corner where the recruiters were tabling, and about 80 students surrounded the table while about 200 stayed outside chanting in support of those inside. Twenty minutes later, the Army and Navy recruiters packed up their propaganda and hid behind the curtains of the stage, and while Marine recruiters remained some time longer, they were eventually escorted to their cars by several riot police.

"The victory at UCSC demonstrates the movement's strength in numbers and our effectiveness when we define a goal and focus on achieving it," said Juan Reardon, a member of Friends of the Landless Workers' Movement at UCSC. There will soon be a meeting between Career Center administrators and USCS Students Against War to discuss the future of the military recruiters on campus.

-- In New Haven, Conn., about 15 students from the AntiWar Coalition (AWC) at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) surrounded military recruiters at an April 6 career fair. A dozen police tried to intimidate protesters, but protesters refused to back down and peppered the recruiters with questions aimed at exposing the dead-end of military "careers."

When one protester challenged the military's antigay policies, one of the recruiters went on a homophobic rant against him. Three police responded by removing the student from the building, saying that he had been "too sarcastic in his approach to the Army recruiter." Call SCSU Career Services at 203-392-6536 and Student Affairs at 203-392-6188 to demand that the military be silenced, not SCSU students.

-- In Holyoke, Mass., military recruiters were evicted from Holyoke Community College after failing to abide by restrictions placed on them by the administration. Recruiters are required to schedule appointments a week in advance and remain at a designated table outside the cafeteria. When students saw recruiters flouting these rules, they quickly made up signs, mobilized others and challenged the recruiters.

After the appropriate bureaucrats were informed, the recruiters were told to leave amid cheering from students. The same day, the Student Senate suspended several College Republican senators for improperly trying to rescind recognition of the student antiwar group on campus.

-- In Atlanta, Students for Peace and Justice (SPJ) at Georgia State University (GSU), a campus aggressively targeted by military recruiters, collected about 500 signatures this semester on a petition opposing the presence of military recruiters. Then, on March 17, some 50 students marched on the president's office to deliver the petitions. The struggle continues as the president passed the buck, saying that his hands are tied and that students should target the Board of Regents instead.

Hector Agredano, Todd Dewey, Michael Hoffman, Craig Johnson, Bernie Kuszewski and Charles Peterson contributed to this report.

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