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Announcement :: Education : Human Rights : Organizing : Politics
URGENT: police attack counter-recruiters in Holyoke today!!
29 Sep 2005
As of 11:30am, there is a protest at Holyoke Community College against military recruiters.

For more information, please contact Charles Peterson of the HCC Anti-War Coalition charlest.peterson (at) gmail.com
As of 11:30am, there is a protest at Holyoke Community College against military recruiters. The protesters are not blocking the recruiters, but are just trying to counter protest and provide real information about what the military does.

The police arrived and started knocking people to the ground and macing them. The College Republicans are there and are encouraging the police to attack the protesters.

Please immediately call 413-538-7000 and register your outrage with the President's office at the College's attack on peaceful protest on a public campus and tell them to pull the police off of the protesters.

This work is in the public domain
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Note to Article
29 Sep 2005
I posted the above aticle- which I received as an email messege from ACT-MA . I havn't been able to confirm as of yet whether or not the incident has actually occurred.
Re: URGENT: police attack counter-recruiters in Holyoke today!!
29 Sep 2005
If you hadn't confirmed that the article was truthful, you should have never posted it in the first place.
Re: URGENT: police attack counter-recruiters in Holyoke today!!
29 Sep 2005
Typical
Re: URGENT: police attack counter-recruiters in Holyoke today!!
29 Sep 2005
4:46pm
I called presidents office. yes something happened with college police. He/she met with senior staff and will post a within minets at http://www.hcc.mass.edu
minutes not minets
29 Sep 2005
please consider enrolling in a community college
Re: URGENT: police attack counter-recruiters in Holyoke today!!
29 Sep 2005
Thanks Eh. That's what an open newswire is for.
Holyoke Community College Statement
29 Sep 2005
Statement from Holyoke Community College regarding today’s incident
September 29, 2005
For more information contact: Anne B. Garber, director of marketing and public
relations (413) 552‐2259. Email: agarber (at) hcc.mass.edu. FAX: (413) 552‐2479
STATEMENT:
Today, an incident occurred on Holyoke Community College’s campus. United States
Army National Guard recruiters were on campus for a scheduled visit in our campus
center. We were made aware ahead of time that there would be a student group
involved in providing alternative information about military recruitment and the United
States’ involvement in Iraq.
This morning at 10 a.m. a group of a dozen or more student opposing the recruiter’s
presence on campus assembled in a designated area near the recruiting table adjacent to
our cafeteria. A student group that supported the recruiters’ right to be there as well as
the country’s participation in the war was also present.
For the two hours that these groups expressed their opinions, there was disruption to
individuals attempting to enter the cafeteria, a great deal of noise, and an escalating
display of emotion. It is important to note, that both student groups had met with
administrators prior to the event, and were told to review the HCC Student Code of
Conduct. Both groups agreed to abide by that code.
Unfortunately, when the anti‐war group chose to ignore this agreement we had
established to ensure the safety of all, and endangered the safety of the recruiters,
students and others present, our campus security intervened. One student, in our
campus police officers’ effort to quell behavior that was deemed overly physical,
inflammatory, and a threat, was sprayed with a chemical to subdue him.
Our campus police, in accordance with policy, called in the state police as a precaution;
however, they were not directly involved in the incident. The College is investigating
this incident as well as disciplinary options.
Holyoke Community College fosters student involvement and open dialogue about
divergent viewpoints on this campus and will continue to do so. We will, however,
continue to enforce our Student Code of Conduct so that civility and respect be accorded
to all, as well as to protect the safety of all members of the campus community.
Anne B. Garber, director of marketing and public
29 Sep 2005
Her title says it all: corporate whore.
Re: URGENT: police attack counter-recruiters in Holyoke today!!
29 Sep 2005
if you, like, break rules, cops can, like, do whatever they want. THATS WHY THERE CALLED RULES
Re: URGENT: police attack counter-recruiters in Holyoke today!!: STATEMENT BY ACTIVISTS
30 Sep 2005
September 29, 2005

To Dr. William Messner, President of Holyoke Community College:

We are writing to express our deep outrage at the events of September 29, when campus police assaulted peaceful student protesters and sprayed one student with mace.

Approximately thirty activists, many of them members of Holyoke Community College’s Anti War Coalition, exercising their First Amendment rights to “assemble and petition government for redress of grievances,” participated in a planned, peaceful picket of Army National Guard recruiters in the lobby of the college cafeteria. This was a diverse group of students, black, white, latino, gay, straight, men and women, united in peaceful and vocal opposition to US policy in Iraq, the spending priorities of the US political system, and the college’s hypocrisy in giving preferential, and we believe illegal, access to military recruiters whose enlistment policies bar gays and lesbians-- in violation of the college’s own anti-discrimination policies. Furthermore, we believe that the college’s policies violate Massachusetts laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Students at HCC are encouraged to voice their opinions, and yet in this case, when students did exactly that, they became the victims of police brutality. Students who had passed through the cafeteria at 7:30AM noted then that the police were already present —even though recruiters were not scheduled to begin tabling until 10AM.

The police assault on the students began when one student standing in front of Officer Landry held aloft with both hands a hand-lettered, poster board sign reading “Cops are hypocrites.” The sign had no stick attached to it. At that point, Peter Mascaro, head of Campus Security, reached over Officer Landry’s head, snatched the sign from the student’s hands, saying “That is inappropriate!” In surprise the student tried to reach for his sign. At this point the campus police, led by Officer Landry, assaulted the student. Mr. Mascaro ordered Officer Landry, “Let him go.” Officer Landry heatedly replied “Are you serious?” The police officer’s inappropriate grabbing of the sign constituted the battery.

Three other officers joined Officer Landry in grabbing each of the student’s limbs and hoisted him off the ground. Other students instinctively tried to protect the student being assaulted. When the officers lost their grip on the student, he backed away and raised his hands in the air indicating his non-violent posture. At approximately that moment, Officer Landry maced a different student, one who was not doing anything or making any gestures to do anything at the time.

Both of the students who were battered by campus police are upstanding members of the HCC community. One is a tutor in the CAPS Center. The other received the David James Taylor Excellence in Philosophy Award, is Vice President for Academic Affairs on the Student Senate, is a member of the College’s Learning Communities Committee, and is a frequent contributor to the student newspaper. Several of the activists involved observed that the student who was maced had consistently played a moderating role in the protest.

As the assault was taking place, approximately a dozen College Republicans were moving forward, pumping their fists in the air, shouting and encouraging the Officers on. It should be noted that the Officer Scott Landry (HCC Badge Number 4), the officer who used mace on the student, is also an Advisor to the College Republican Club at HCC. Throughout the morning, the campus police force ignored the activities of the College Republicans and were only deployed against the protesters.

At approximately this time college officials appear to have called local and State Police, and at least twenty state police arrived in riot gear and gas masks. Officer Landry looked at one of the protesters and, observing that he was wearing a button reading “Lesbian and Gay Liberation,” loudly uttered an obviously homophobic taunt: “He’ll have fun in jail.” As Officer Landry is an employee of the college, we believe that his taunt constituted illegal and actionable discrimination under Massachusetts laws.

By this time, the protesting students were trying to peacefully disperse and attend to the traumatized students who had been battered by campus police. Riot police amassed in the cafeteria with boxes labeled “gas masks.”

We want to know the if the police were preparing to deploy gas in the cafeteria—a place where there were many students, cafeteria workers, and some children present.

With riot police threateningly lined up in the stairwell, groups of students hostile to the protesters surrounded and came close to rioting against the small crowd who had left the building and were trapped in the courtyard outside.

During this time, one student reports that he went to get a drink of water in the student lounge and ten to fifteen police in full riot gear pointed their guns at the student and said “we’re not letting anyone in or out of here.”

We demand 1) an immediate, unconditional public apology from the college; 2) a pledge of non-retaliation against the activists involved; 3) a thorough and impartial investigation into these incidents; and finally, 4) that the military recruiters not be allowed back to our college, as their actions and those of the military discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation, in violation of Massachusetts law and college policy. Furthermore, the military is engaging in an economic draft against working class and poor people in an attempt to buttress this nation’s illegal war against Iraq.

Thank You,

Members of the Anti War Coalition at Holyoke Community College

Please call Holyoke Community College to register your concerns.

HCC Main Number 1-413-552-2600

President Messner 1-413-552-2222
Re: URGENT: police attack counter-recruiters in Holyoke today!!
30 Sep 2005
holy shit.

awesome letter.

good luck. chances are this admin will dig in their heels.
Re: URGENT: police attack counter-recruiters in Holyoke today!!
30 Sep 2005
Pepper spray. Need I say more?
Re: URGENT: police attack counter-recruiters in Holyoke today!!
30 Sep 2005
I love the smell of tear gas in the morning. it smells like...revolution.