With Major Protests Imminent, Military Recruiters Withdraw from UCSC Job Fair
Student Success Marks Third Year of Preventing Recruitment
With hundreds of students expected to protest, U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps recruiters announced on April 17th their withdrawal from the Last Chance Job Fair being held at UC Santa Cruz on April 24th. Although the law prevents schools from banning recruiters outright, UCSC students, through massive protests, have effectively prevented recruiters from operating on campus for nearly three years.
From Students Against War's press release:
As the military loses more troops overseas and our generation refuses to take their place, UCSC’s success can be seen as a model for how communities can directly resist war without relying on the corrupt political process. Although the law prevents schools from banning recruiters outright, UCSC students, through massive protests, have effectively prevented recruiters from operating on campus for nearly three years.
"We’ve upheld our community’s values of tolerance and nonviolence despite federal attempts to impose militarism on our daily lives," said third year student Natalie MacIntyre. "If every school prevented recruitment, if every port stopped shipping weapons, if every community refused to accept war profiteers as neighbors, war would be impossible."
On April 5, 2005, Students Against War organized over 300 students to successfully kick military recruiters out of a campus job fair, landing the group on a Pentagon spy list as a "credible threat." On October 18, 2005, SAW held a Queer Kiss-In that effectively prevented the military’s ability to recruit. April 11, 2006, the next visit by the military to a campus job fair, also saw military recruiters kicked off campus by hundreds of students. Due to concerns of protests, this year’s job fair, originally scheduled for January 31 was cancelled. April 24’s job fair would have been the recruiters’ first visit to campus this year. With this latest success, UCSC has effectively been military-recruitment free for almost three years.
Take the Santa Cruz students' 3-yr counter-recruitment legacy, add in the now two-year old port protests in Olympia and Tacoma, WA, resistance by GIs, and the occupations of politicians' offices for refusing to cut the funding, and we've got ourselves the models for building a direct action movement to end the war! Now if we can devise a concrete strategy to do something about these war profiteers...