[Marxism] SFSU anti-military protest

ChretienTodd at aol.com ChretienTodd at aol.com
Thu Mar 10 09:21:21 MST 2005


A protest at San Francisco State University forces military recruiters
to leave campus early without any recruits! Read about it in the
school's newspaper, The Golden Gate [X]press.

There is also VIDEO online! Scroll to the bottom of this e-mail for links.

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http://xpress.sfsu.edu/archives/breaking/003099.html
Students Protest Military Recruitment

by Lachlan Maclean and William Roller staff writers
March 9, 2005 04:51 PM

U.S. military recruiters left a campus career fair an hour early on
March 9 after extensive student demonstrations for and against
military recruitment.

Over 100 students surrounded U.S. Air Force and Army Corps of
Engineers recruiters' tables at the Career Center Employer Showcase at
Jack Adams Hall. A group of five College Republicans blocked
protesters and yelled "Don't join if you don't want to."

"Our military is racist, homophobic, sexist and screwing people," said
Students Against War (SAW) member Michael Hoffman, 24, a physics
major. "Recruitment on campus is wrong."

SAW members said they hoped the protest would rally students to take
action against recruiters on campus.

"We don't allow the recruiters on our campus because of the military's
discrimination of homosexuals," said Alex Schmaus, an environmental
studies sophomore. "(The) 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy ? goes
clearly against campus discriminatory policy. They shouldn't be on
campus."

Sarah Ballinger, liberal studies major, said the recruiters' early
departure was due to the protester's efforts.

"I think that if we weren't there, they would've stayed until
closing," said Ballinger. "They realized that we weren't going
anywhere and they weren't going to recruit anyone, so they left."

Support for SAW's protest was not unanimous, several College
Republicans waved banners that read, "You don't have to support the
war to support our military" and "end the commie occupation of SFSU."

Leigh Wolfe, 18, a broadcasting major and member of the College
Republicans said he was disappointed that students were not more
supportive of our nation's military.

"I wish they had a little more appreciation for what our troops are
doing overseas," said Wolfe. "They're fighting for us and dying to
protect us at home and (the protesters) are pretty much
anti-anything."

The two-day career expo was co-sponsored by the science and
engineering departments.Jack Brewer, the career center's director,
said the center treats all recruiters the same and doesn't distinguish
between corporations, non-profits or the military.

"It's my understanding that if a university would deny access by
military recruiters, that they could lose federal funding for
financial aid and also any funding from the department of defense,"
said Brewer.

"If there is a policy set up by the university about denying access to
(discriminatory employers) then obviously I'd have to follow that
policy. I'm not currently aware of any such policy."

Political Science professor James Martel said recruiters should be
kept off campus.

"The ban against gays in the military is pure discrimination, pure
bigotry on the part of the U.S. government with no rationale
whatsoever," Martel said. "It sends a signal to the entire nation that
it's OK to discriminate against lesbians and gay men."

Tyson Eckerele, a 25-year-old biologist with the Army Corps of
Engineering, couldn't recall any similar opposition or protests on
other college campuses.

"This hasn't happened to us before at UC Berkeley or at Stanford,"
said Eckerele, who is a self-described liberal.

According to Jim Fizzell, employee specialist at Stanford University's
Career Center, the Army has attended past career fairs on their
campus.

"There's never been a problem with them being here," said Fizzell
during a telephone interview. Brian Honeycutt, Master Sgt. and Air
Force recruiter, was undaunted by the SF State protesters.

"They have the right to protest peacefully if they want to," said
Honeycutt. "But we aren't leaving unless other employers want us to.
They can protest all day and we'll stay right here."

Most employers who paid to attend the fair respected the students'
right to express themselves, but some felt the protest detracted from
their goals at the job fair.

Nancy Peterson is a recruiter for John Muir and Mt. Diablo Health
Systems said the protest discouraged students from entering the job
fair and made the atmosphere uncomfortable.

"The temperature is about 98 degrees, we haven't seen any nursing
students, and you can't be heard over the yelling," said Peterson. "So
it's a bit disappointing for us here."

Peterson said her organization wasn't able to accomplish anything at
the fair and would definitely ask more questions before paying to
attend another job fair at SF State.

Pacific Medical Center recruiter Rachel Barnes has been to SF State
three times before.
"It was the most entertained I've been since I've been here," she said.

Jeff Boyette, an organizer with the International Socialist
Organization (ISO) at SF State, was pleased by the fact that the
recruiters left the career fair early. "Yes, it was indeed a success
because a lot of the students came out for this," said Boyette.

Ballinger said she wanted the military out of the school.

"They're a discriminatory organization that is taking our brothers and
sisters and classmates to a war for oil and empire," said Ballinger.

College Republicans vice-president Chris Finarelli demonstrated at
Malcolm X Plaza and at Jack Adams Hall.

"I support SAW's right to be here just like the Peace Corps has a
right to be here, just like the environmentalists who solicit me every
time I walk on campus here, just like UNICEF, they all have a right to
be here," Finarelli said.

"The military is an all voluntary organization, they're not soliciting
people they're simply sit behind the table with their hands in their
pockets and wait until somebody comes up and asks for some
information."

Ballinger said the recruiters' early departure was due to the
protester's efforts.

"I think that if we weren't there, they would've stayed until
closing," said Ballinger. "They realized that we weren't going
anywhere and they weren't going to recruit anyone, so they left."

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