ACTION ALERT: Students Face Repression: Arrested for Challenging Military Recruiters
November 17, 2005
Traprock Peace Center
On November 14, Retired Chicago Police Officer Leon Bowens, now a Security Officer at Chicago’s Harold Washington College, forcibly dragged two students out of a Nov. 9 job fair for the crime of asking questions. Contact the university to demand respect for our First Amendment rights
Students Face Repression: Arrested for Challenging Military Recruiters
(November 14, 2005) — Retired Chicago Police Officer Leon Bowens, now a Security Officer at Chicago’s Harold Washington College, forcibly dragged two students out of a Nov. 9 job fair for the crime of asking questions.
Students opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan attended the job fair concerned that students are not getting the full story about military enlistment from recruiters increasingly desperate to counter quota shortfalls. We attended the fair holding no banners or signs, and simply asked polite questions of the recruiters about the likelihood of being sent to war, the oft-promised benefits, and so on.
We were so polite in our questioning that one recruiter defended us when campus security told us to leave, saying, “They’re not bothering me at all. They can stay, they’re fine.”
When we started videotaping Officer Bowens’s threats to us, he grabbed the camera, telling us to turn it off. We managed to wrest it away from him, so he dragged the student cameraman, Jenell Holden, out of the job fair by his bicep.
Next, Security Officer Leon Bowens and his assistant Herbert Wilson went for Chicago City Colleges student Angie Haban, each grabbing her by an arm, and dragged her out of the job fair, into the hallway, and out the back door onto the loading dock, meanwhile elbowing her in the chin. She sustained bruises to her left upper arm.
This outrageous manhandling of individuals engaged in polite conversations is part of a broader and longer-term campaign of belligerence and intimidation toward anti-war students wishing to organize and exercise their freedom of speech.
On several other occasions, Security Officer Leon Bowens has violated our constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly, breaking up innocuous, informal conversations in student lounges, tearing down and destroying approved fliers, and calling the police on us while we were passing out leaflets in front of the building.
Call Harold Washington President John Wozniak at (312) 553-5834 or (312) 553-5900 to demand that disciplinary action be taken against Security Officer Leon Bowens for his unprovoked assault of Angie Haban and Jenell Holden at the 11/09/05 job fair. We will not surrender our first amendment rights! No more attacks against students!
• Who to Contact:
•• Call John Wozniak. President of Harold Washington College (Chicago, IL) (312) 553-5834 or (312)553-5900 to voice your opposition to Security Officer Leon Bowens’s unprovoked assault of two antiwar students.
• Carol Cartwright- University President: 330-672-2210, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Greg Jarvie- Dean of Undergraduate Students: 330-672-9494 Gjarvie@kent.edu
• Defend Charles Peterson! Register your concerns with Holyoke Community College about the assault and pepper-spraying of peaceful counter-recruiter Charles Peterson. See www.campusantiwar.net for the full report.
• Holyoke Community College Main Number: 413-552-2600
• President Messner: 413-552-2222
Lawrence, Kansas: Counter Recruitment Campaign Launched
On Thursday the 25th a group called Lawrence Counter-Recruitment, a University and Lawrence area organization of concerned students, professors, and citizens held a rally outside of Wescoe Hall on the KU Campus to launch a campaign aimed at abolishing military recruitment on the University of Kansas campus.
The crowd of about fifteen to twenty people quickly swelled to over one-hundred as speakers voiced their opinions on everything from the abhorrent discrimination involved in military recruiting techniques to the absolute importance of not feeding a growing war machine bent on the imperialistic domination of others.
Flanked by two different banners one reading “Military Recruiters Off Campus”, and the other stating “We Will Not Fight Your Wars” former 70’s radicals and KU alumni spoke of the need to rise against the lies recruiters will feed you in order to entice you to join the armed services.
Students mingling in the between classes crowd cheered as their classmates spoke of the need to rise against this current unjust war, and the need to take a real stand against a culture of domination that this militaristic government is breeding. All the while, people floated in and out of the crowd getting signatures on the petition that will be presented to the KU chancellor in one of the efforts that will be used to apply pressure to the administration.
When all the speakers had finished the floor was opened to any and all that wished to voice their opinions. While respectful of the anti-recruitment views, the two who did speak questioned the goal of the protestors. After a remark made by one speaker on the rise of occurrences of rape in places occupied by a foreign army, one student who identified himself as a former service member, assured the crowd that neither he nor any of his friends had ever raped anyone. His comments were quickly retorted by the speaker who stated that his membership in an institution that allows, and in some cases encourages the physical subjugation of women and children dirtied his hands just as it does the ones in power in the military.
The message was clear, all attempts made by the US Armed Forces to recruit new enlistees on the KU Campus must be stopped. Not only because it violates KU’s own anti-discrimination policy; which states “it is also the policy of the university to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, marital status, and parental status”, but also because of the obviously imperialistic actions and objectives of the US military.
Lawrence Counter Recruitment is working against the atrocity that is all war, it is working against the continued murder of more then 25,000 Iraqi Civilians, and more then 1,800 US soldiers. We are fighting against all the evil acts being cloaked in the guises of “fighting for freedom” or “fighting terror”. All methods must be employed to stand against the US and it’s atrocious foreign policies. There will be a large meeting on campus to formulate the next steps in this campaign. It will be held on the KU campus on Wednesday the 31st at 7:00 pm in the Kansas Union (JayHawk Room).
Jordan Lawrence Counter Recruitment. Contact Kansasmutualaid@hotmail.com for more informatiom
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