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Rhinocrisy

07 February, 2005

SCCC students kick recruiters out

On Inauguration Day, the Students Against War (SAW) group at Seattle Central Community College held a walk-out. The walkout, advertised heavily by NION (which, with ANSWER, dominates the meaningless protest scene in Seattle), drew about 400 students. A very small group of students, who had been organizing for weeks prior, were handing out counter-recruitment fliers near the table of a pair of military recruiters, who happened to be on campus that day. As the students gathered in the Atrium, some of them started harassing the recruiters. Within five minutes, the recruiters were surrounded by hundreds of students, shouting at them to leave, tearing up their materials and throwing the pieces at them, and dancing on their table. Campus security escorted the recruiters out of the building for their own safety.

The SCCC administration initially told SAW that they would be disbanded for the quarter if they didn't apologize to the recruiters, but later backed down. The recruiters for their part, sent this message:

>From: "Dupras, James L CPT USAREC" JAMES.DUPRAS@usarec.army.mil
> Date: Thu, January 27, 2005 12:42 pm
>College Students,
>
>What your college did last week to our Army Recruiters was not only a
>disgrace to our country, but a disappointment to our state and local
>community. Most of you have no idea what it is like to serve your country
>and be proud of a nation that has been free for centuries. Our
>Grandfathers and Fathers paid the ultimate sacrifice in past wars for you
>to enjoy sipping a coke in your college dorm. Millions of veterans
>scattered across this great land of ours are limbless or scared with
>battle wounds so that you can walk freely at your local mall without fear
>of a volley of missiles coming down on you. We are not on your campus to
>fill our Army with bodies to fight a war. We are on your campus to offer
>you and your fellow classmates a chance to serve in the greatest Armed
>Forces this world has ever seen. A chance to be a part of an organization
>that spews pride amongst its ranks. For you and your college schoolmates
>to scream obscenities and throw trash at my fellow soldiers should think
>about the day to day sacrifices our military endures. Whether overseas
>fighting door to door, or sitting in an office ensuring supplies get to
>the right location, our soldiers around the world do not deserve the kind
>of treatment you displayed. We will be at your college another day and we
>will recruit the fine young men and women who are upstanding and patriotic
>and want nothing more than the opportunity to serve our country. We have
>a popular saying in our military about folks like you...Lead, Follow or
>get out of the way.
>
>CPT Jim Dupras
>Executive Officer
>Seattle Recruiting Battalion

The story broke across the national news. Kudos to the great students at SCCC. CPT Jim Dupras has started a dialogue, and I encourage all interested parties to e-mail him directly with your take on his letter, especially if you're a college student.

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