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December 14, 2005

Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of of Counter-Recruitment Activities

From the Campus Antiwar Network:

    SANTA CRUZ, CA – According to a document obtained by NBC News, the Pentagon has been spying on 1,500 “suspicious incidents,” including anti-war and counter-recruitment meetings and actions throughout the nation over the past 10-month period. Among the first pages of more than 400 released, 10 college anti-war protests were listed, including UC Santa Cruz Students Against War (SAW)’s counter-recruitment protest of April 5, 2005, which was the only one to be labeled both credible and a “threat.”

    Despite having dealt with both undercover police and university agents involved in the acts of surveillance and repression, the news came as a little shock to many SAW members, reaffirming long-held beliefs about the nature of the U.S. military. 3rd year student Jen Low noted the hypocrisy of the government’s messaging, reminding us that, "the notion of the Pentagon spying on peaceful protesters is a major threat to the freedoms that they claim to protect."

    While the Department of Defense has not commented on the allegations, student activists assert that the rising unpopularity of the Iraq War and the inability of military recruiters to meet their quotas make the counter-recruitment movement a strong candidate for repression by a “homeland security” apparatus run amok.

    This repression does not end with the surveillance from the Federal government. In fact, local officials and college campuses have also been monitoring and repressing anti-war and counter-recruitment activities. In August, community members of the Pennsylvania Organizing Group (POG) peacefully protesting at a military recruiting center near the University of Pittsburg were violently attacked by police. Most recently, at Hampton University in Virginia, students disseminating information against military recruiters on campus were threatened with expulsion. Other schools that have witnessed incidents of extreme repression against student activists include the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Kent State, Harold Washington College, Holyoke Community College, George Mason University, San Francisco State University, City College of New York, and Seattle Central Community College.

    UC Santa Cruz is widely known to have one of the largest antiwar and counter-recruitment movements in the country. On April 5, 2005 over 300 students marched into a campus job fair, occupying the building and holding a teach-in until all military recruiters left. On October 18, 2005, over 200 students rallied outside of another job fair, while two dozen UCSC students blocked recruiters on the inside by engaging in a ‘Queer Kiss-In’ to protest discriminatory military recruitment.

Posted by MikeBurke on December 14, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

December 05, 2005

Protests tied to Supreme Court case

December 6 is a national counter-recruitment day of action connected to the Supreme Court's hearing of FAIR v Rumsfeld. The case will determine the constitutionality of the "Solomon Amendment" that allows the federal government to cut off funds to schools that bar military recruitment on their campuses.

CAN has gathered an impressive list of endorsers for its call to action, inlcuding Cindy Sheehan, Howard Zinn, Dahr Jamail, war resisters Pablo Paredes and Camilo Mejia, and the entire Berkeley, CA, city council. In New York, the plan is to protest at the military recruiting station next to the Borough of Manhattan Community College (199 Chamber St.) at noon.

Posted by Joshua Breitbart on December 5, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

December 02, 2005

“Bring in 10 people and you can earn $20,000"

From USA Today:

    The Army National Guard, battling a falloff in recruiting, is offering troops a finder's fee for lining up new soldiers. The Guard Recruiter Assistant Program, launched this week in five states, offers National Guard members $1,000 for enlisting a recruit and another $1,000 when the prospect shows up for basic training. “Bring in 10 people and you can earn $20,000,” says Lt. Col. Mike Jones, deputy division chief for recruiting and retention at the National Guard Bureau.

Posted by MikeBurke on December 2, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (55) | TrackBack