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Commentary :: Politics
ROTC, Military Recruiters Off Campus Now!
16 Apr 2005
As the bloody U.S. colonial occupation of Iraq drags into its third year, and with the U.S. volunteer military facing predictable recruitment shortages, student activists around the country have taken to protesting military recruiters on campus. On January 20, the day of Bush’s second imperial inauguration, some 300 students at Seattle Central Community College confronted and successfully drove out two military recruiters.
Reprinted from Young Spartacus pages of Workers Vanguard No. 846, 15 April 2005.

As the bloody U.S. colonial occupation of Iraq drags into its third year, and with the U.S. volunteer military facing predictable recruitment shortages, student activists around the country have taken to protesting military recruiters on campus. On January 20, the day of Bush’s second imperial inauguration, some 300 students at Seattle Central Community College confronted and successfully drove out two military recruiters. On March 9, more than 100 students at San Francisco State University (SFSU) marched into an auditorium where Air Force and Army Corps of Engineers recruiters were handing out their literature and surrounded their tables for two hours, chanting and giving speeches (see “No Reprisals Against Anti-Military Recruitment Protesters!”, page 8). Planned and impromptu protests and “counter-recruitment” activities have taken place on dozens of other campuses.

Military recruiters, ROTC and other similar agencies are direct appendages of the military machine that exists to defend the interests of the American imperialist ruling class. ROTC recruits university students to become the next generation of the elite officer corps whose job is to oversee U.S. imperialist slaughter in wars like those against Afghanistan and Iraq. Meanwhile, military recruiters use promised tuition assistance and job opportunities to lure working-class youth, including a disproportionate number of black and minority youth, into signing up to be the cannon fodder for these wars.

The SYC opposes the extension of the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state onto college campuses and high schools. We fight against the use of the universities and schools as direct agents of U.S. imperialism and have actively organized for years against ROTC, military recruiters, military research, the CIA and cop training on campus. We say: ROTC, military recruiters off campus now!

With the U.S. military straining to maintain a large occupation force in Iraq and fighting a global “war on terror,” the capitalist rulers have been on a drive to expand the presence of ROTC and military recruiters on campus. For several years high school activists have been campaigning against a provision in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 stipulating that high schools receiving federal funding must give military recruiters students’ personal information and the “same access” to schools as college and job recruiters. The drive to return ROTC to campuses such as Columbia University continues. An ROTC student-faculty task force there is evenly split on the immediate return of ROTC, but has voted overwhelmingly for the return of ROTC if the military’s anti-gay “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy were abolished.

Students protesting military recruiters have been met with victimization and repression by campus administrations and the cops. On March 9, three students at the City College of New York (CCNY) were detained and brutalized by the police for protesting against military recruiters during a career fair. The three students, along with a CCNY staff member who was arrested two days later, face charges of assault and have been suspended from the college. And at William Paterson University in New Jersey, student Thomas Keenan was arrested and charged with defiant trespass for the “crime” of handing out flyers opposing military recruiters on February 28. The SYC demands: Drop the charges now! No reprisals! Cops off campus

from http://www.icl-fi.org/ENGLISH/2005/ROTC-846.html

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