Four military recruiters hastily fled a job fair Tuesday morning at UC Santa Cruz after a raucous crowd of student protesters blocked an entrance to the building where the Army and National Guard had set up information tables.
Members of Students Against War, who organized the counter-recruiting protest, loudly chanted “Don’t come back. Don’t come back” as the recruiters left the hilltop campus, escorted by several university police officers.
“The situation had degraded to the point where there was a possibility of injury to either a student or law enforcement officer. We certainly didn’t want that to happen,'’ said Capt. Will Griffin, one of the Army recruiters.
David Kliger, campus provost and executive vice chancellor, said the school was most concerned Tuesday about safety issues, but also wanted to preserve access to the recruiters for students who wanted to speak with them, while still allowing protesting students their right to free speech.
Kliger said officials had tried to engage the anti-war student group in discussions in the weeks leading up to the fair. But when talks broke down, officials began privately hoping for rain and brought in extra police.
The rain probably accounted for a decidedly smaller turnout — about 100 students compared with about 300 a year earlier.
Still, the Army’s Griffin said he sensed that some of the students were “looking for action” and decided to pack up their table before things got out of hand and someone got injured.
Students Against War members said they were pleased that their counter-recruiting effort forced the military personnel off campus, at least for the time being.
“We’re saying it’s not OK to recruit on high school campuses, it’s not OK to recruit on university campuses,'’ Marla Zubel, a UC Santa Cruz senior and member of Students Against War, said. “In order to stop the war, you have to make it more difficult to wage war.”
Hmmmmmmmmm.........I wonder if any of our friends from A9 would like to place a wager on how many of these troop supporters voted Republican in the last election. Or any election, for that matter. I wonder if this would qualify as "treason" based on the previously cited laws on this site. Probably not, technically. Hey!! What a great slogan: "Vote Democrat!! We're not traitors...technically."
But y'know, this is all just free speech, right?
But don't call them or their party unpatriotic. They hate it when you do that.