Seattle protest against recruiters

By Jorge Torres

SEATTLE--Antiwar activists at the Seattle Central Community College organized a protest of military recruiters on November 20--the first counter-recruitment protest here in over three years.

Ever since hundreds of students took part in an impromptu counter-recruiting action in 2005--in which a 300-student walkout to protest George Bush's second inauguration turned into a counter-recruitment action that chased off the Army--visits by the military have been few and far between.

While recruiters come to campus since, they have faced little to no opposition. But this time a group of antiwar students were ready.

When activists in the Anti-War Collective and the International Socialist Organization heard two days ahead of time that Air Force, Army and Coast Guard recruiters had all reserved tables in the school atrium for two hours during the busiest time of the day, they quickly publicized a protest by text messaging and passing out flyers.

The events started with the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society Club taking over the Air Force recruiters' table at 9 a.m. In the words of one PTK staffer, "They don't need a table, we're more important."

Some 20 students--some who were passing by--joined the action throughout the two hours. Students held picket signs, passed out fact sheets about the military and the lies recruiters tell, and chanted "Recruiters off campus!" and "Education is essential, military off of Central!"

Students set up a poll for passersby to mark down if military recruiters should be allowed on campus.