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(en) US, Issue #1 - The Perspectives of the NorthWest Anarchist Federation Recruiters Out!, Lucas-Anarchist Communist Union of Seattle

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 6 Mar 2005 08:49:48 +0100 (CET)


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Recruiters Out! Students at SCCC kick military recruiters off campus.
-an individual account of the events of January 20th in Seattle by a
member of SCCC Students Against War and the Northwest Anarchist
Federation. Note: this article portrays the opinions of an individual and
not Students Against War as an organization.
Prior to January 20th, U.S. Army recruiters scheduled a regular
recruitment visit to the Seattle Central Community College campus.
They had received due warning from the SCCC administration to
postpone their visit, based on the knowledge that students were
planning a walkout that day in response to the war in Iraq. The walk
out had been organized by Students Against War, a SCCC student
coalition group, composed of members of several organizations at
SCCC. The recruiters arrogantly ignored the administrations warning,
choosing instead to visit our campus and peddle military propaganda to
the student population.
The walkout began at 12:00 noon, on the bottom floor of SCCC.
Students rallied together and marched through the entire campus,
drawing more students out of classrooms and hallways. The student
contingent marched back to the bottom floor of SCCC in front of the
Atrium. Three military recruiters had foolishly chosen to set up their
literature table in front of where the student march intended to rally.
Nearly 400 SCCC students marched to our rallying point on the first
floor of SCCC, surrounding the three military recruiters and
demanding that they leave the campus immediately. Thoroughly
intimidated, the recruiters promptly gathered their possessions and left
under the escort of SCCC security.
Following the events of January 20th, the SCCC administration sent a
formal letter threatening to withdraw the right of the organizers of the
walkout, Students Against War, to host a legitimate student
organization at SCCC. The administration alleged that students acted
'uncivilly' towards 'our guests on campus' and assaulted their right to
free speech. The letter further stated that recruiters possessed equal
rights to free speech on our campus as any student organization. We
were told that if we did not present an apology to the administration
and the recruiters by February 3rd, our organizational charter would be
withdrawn.
Following the administrations threat to withdraw our student charter,
we organized a press conference, galvanizing our support from local
community organizations such as Jobs with Justice, Peoples Coalition
for Justice, Students for Fair Trade, and a local chapter of the
Democratic Party. The SCCC administration withdrew their demand
for an apology on February 2nd, with many students speculating that
the administration was motivated by fear of deepening the conflict
between students and the administration. Students Against War chose
to hold our press conference regardless of the administrations
concessionary moves. On February 3rd, we held our press conference,
with media present from several local news channels and newspapers.
In the following weeks, we have received
additional coverage from other local news groups that are curious
about our stance on recruiters on campus.
We don't owe the army recruiters an apology. The recruiters owe us
one.
When the SCCC administration chose to demand an apology from our
organization, they failed to realize that the recruiters are not students.
Recruiters do not have a right to free speech on our campus, because
they have absolutely no place in our school. They are not students, and
they are not faculty. they are outsiders that do not have the support of
either the student population or the SCCC faculty. In reality, it is the
recruiters who owed us an apology. They owe us an apology for
visiting our campus to prey on the student population with the promise
of paid tuition for students who cannot afford an education. They owe
us an apology for enlisting students with outright lies and false
promises about the opportunities that the military offers. They owe us
an apology for sending our people overseas to Iraq to die in an unjust
war that is not sanctioned by the American people. The action taken by
students on January 20th was our way of demanding an apology from
the military recruiters for all these offenses.
While it was alleged that students behavior towards the recruiters was
out of hand, the only thing students were guilty of is making it clear
that we neither appreciate nor will allow the arrogant presence of
military recruiters who are not students and do not belong on our
campus. Because no democratic outlets exist for students to address
the issue of recruiters on campus, the SCCC administration and the
recruiters on campus made their forceful expulsion inevitable.
Students simply acted in line with the only recourse left to us.
This is our campus and we deserve a say in how it is run.

Email exchange between military recruiter and anti-war veteran,
community college student.

College Students,

What your college did last week to our Army Recruiters was not only a
disgrace to our country, but a disappointment to our state and local
community. Most of you have no idea what it is like to serve your
country and be proud of a nation that has been free for centuries. Our
Grandfathers and Fathers paid the ultimate sacrifice in past wars for
you to enjoy sipping a coke in your college dorm. Millions of veterans
scattered across this great land of ours are limbless or scared with
battle wounds so that you can walk freely at your local mall without
fear of a volley of missiles coming down on you. We are not on your
campus to fill our Army with bodies to fight a war. We are on your
campus to offer you and your fellow classmates a chance to serve in
the greatest Armed Forces this world has ever seen. A chance to be a
part of an organization that spews pride amongst its ranks. For you and
your college schoolmates to scream obscenities and throw trash at my
fellow soldiers should think about the day to day sacrifices our military
endures. Whether overseas fighting door to door, or sitting in an office
ensuring supplies get to the right location, our soldiers around the
world do not deserve the kind of treatment you displayed. We will be at
your college another day and we will recruit the fine young men and
women who are upstanding and patriotic and want nothing more than
the opportunity to serve our country. We have a popular saying in our
military about folks like you...Lead, Follow or get out of the way.

CPT Jim Dupras
Executive Officer
Seattle Recruiting Battalion

I am writing you this email in response to one that you sent deriding
the actions of the students at Seattle Central Community College. I am
a veteran of the Navy. My comments to your email are as follows:

1) You state, "Most of you have no idea what it is like to serve your
country and be proud of a nation that has been free for centuries."-
This is incorrect. Many of the students, like myself, who oppose the
lies that recruiters tell the youth of this country in order to fulfill
quotas, have served this country proudly. Don't you dare ever again
make assumptions about who we are and try to elevate yourself above
us. We are in the ranks, retired, officers, enlisted, and civilian. Do not
forget this.

2) "Millions of veterans scattered across this great land of ours are
limbless or scared with battle wounds so that you can walk freely at
your local mall without fear of a volley of missiles coming down on
you." - This is correct. But you also forget that they accumulated these
injuries so that we could have freedom of speech, so that the people
can stand up to the government when it becomes oppressive, or lies to
its citizens and tries to trick them into folly.

3) "A chance to be a part of an organization that spews pride amongst
its ranks." - This is incorrect if your recruiters at Seattle Central
Community College are the typical example. Student-agents, highly
trained with regards to the military recruiting process, caught your
recruiters repeatedly lying to students and making promises that they
could not possibly keep. Your recruiters were also blatantly hitting on
women in the course of doing their duty. If this is the "pride" and
military bearing that you impress upon the soldiers under your
command, then I fear for the future of our nation's armed services.

4) "Our Grandfathers and Fathers paid the ultimate sacrifice in past
wars for you to enjoy sipping a coke in your college dorm." - This is
incorrect. There are no dorms at Seattle Central Community College.
That must be embarrassing - sending out a condescending email in
which you obviously didn't do your homework.

5) "Dupras, James L CPT USAREC" - This is strange. Because we do
our homework, we looked up some information about you. What is
really strange is that the only James L. Dupras we could find is a
Major, not a Lieutenant Colonel. But then you signed the email as a
Captain. Very confusing. The US Army Human Resources Command
shows a Dupras, James Leon, who is to be made a Major in February.
Perhaps we can just shoot an email to the Commander of the U.S.
Army Recruiting Battalion in Seattle, Lieutenant Colonel Barrowman.
Or you might be able to clear this up yourself?

6) "We will be at your college another day and we will recruit the fine
young men and women who are upstanding and patriotic and want
nothing more than the opportunity to serve our country."- This is
correct. You will send more recruiters. We know this, and when we
catch them lying to students again, we will run them out again.

Sincerely, Jason Hinsley, USN Ret, Student, Civilian.

Recruiters must stop lying to our youth and tell the truth about the
military.


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