Wednesday, December 7, 2005
“College Not Combat! Bring the Troops Home Now!”
National Days of Counter-Recruitment ~ Bloomington, Indiana Action
As the war and occupation in Iraq continues, more and more ordinary citizens are joining the ranks of anti-war activists across the country calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. As 2005 comes to a close, the tide has turned in favor of ending the war on Iraq. The Harris Poll taken November 11-13, 2005 found that 63% of those polled favor the withdrawal of most U.S. forces from Iraq within a year. According to a nationwide CBS poll taken October 3-5, 2005, 59% of Americans polled would like to see the U.S. leave Iraq as soon as possible, even if Iraq is not completely stable.
As opposition to the U.S. military involvement in Iraq grows, so to is growing a student-initiated movement objecting to the presence of military recruiters on college and high school campuses and in the wider community.
As it is understood that recruitment by all branches of the military, including states' National Guard and Reserve forces, feeds the ongoing war effort in Iraq, the counter-recruiting efforts of student, community, statewide, and national anti-war organizations has increased over the course of the past year.
The student-driven national organization, Campus Antiwar Network (CAN) has initiated the “College Not Combat!” campaign and called for localized actions this week demanding an end to the U.S. military occupation of Iraq and the cessation of military recruitment in schools and on campuses.
A nationwide call for actions is particularly significant this week because on December 6, the Supreme Court will decide the constitutionality of the Solomon Amendment, which denies federal funding to schools that don't allow military recruitment on campus. The historic case of ‘FAIR v. Rumsfeld' may decide the fate of the Solomon Amendment.
This week is also the anniversary of Navy petty officer Pablo Paredes' refusal to fight for the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq.
On Wednesday, December 7, 2005, Bloomington Peace Action Coalition and the Indiana University student group, ‘Against the Occupation of Iraq' join students around the country to stand in solidarity with Pablo Paredes' protest, and say: “No to the Solomon Amendment! No to military recruiting in our schools and communities! Bring the troops home now and end the U.S. military occupation of Iraq!”
The Bloomington, Indiana action will include a march through campus and town, and brief speeches by local anti-war organizers.
‘Against the Occupation of Iraq' (AOI) and Bloomington Peace Action Coalition (BPAC) calls on students and the general public to gather at Sample Gates, at the intersection of Indiana and Kirkwood Avenues, at 3:45 p.m. on December 7.
The Counter-Recruitment March will begin at 4:00 p.m. with the delivery of statements of purpose and calls to action. The chanting anti-war marchers will proceed through the Indiana University campus onto 3rd Street and then south on Indiana Avenue. Literature will be handed out to the public at the stops and along the March route. The procession will continue on to the Indiana National Guard recruiting office on Kirkwood and then proceed west to the Monroe County Courthouse to join the weekly "End-the-War" Demonstration at 5:00 p.m.
The nationwide call has been endorsed by Cindy Sheehan; the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors; the City of Berkeley, California (by unanimous vote of its city council); Cities for Peace; DC Anti-war Network; Indiana author Anthony Arnove (editor of “Iraq Under Siege” and “Voices of a People's History of the United States”); Pablo Paredes and Camilo Mejia (U.S. military war resisters); David Airhart (Iraq War veteran and Kent State student facing expulsion for peaceful counter-recruitment); Traprock Peace Center (Deerfield, Massachusetts); Texans for Peace; David Rovics (singer/songwriter); Kathy Kelly; Bloomington Peace Action Coalition; Brian Willson (Vietnam War veteran / anti-war activist); and numerous others.
To learn more about the national call and the “College Not Combat!” campaign, visit the CAN website at http://www.campusantiwar.net
For more information on local counter-recruiting and anti-war campaigns and activities, see the BPAC website at http://www.BPAC.info
‘Against the Occupation of Iraq' can be reached by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting the AOI website at http://mypage.iu.edu/~abatto/aoi/home.htm
Time: 3:45 p.m.
Location: Sample Gates to Monroe County Courthouse Square
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Organizer, Bloomington Peace Action Coalition