Archive for April, 2005

U. of Hawaii Students Take Over Building to Protest Secret Military Research

April 30, 2005


Students at the University of Hawaii have entered their third day of a building takeover to protest the establishment of a secret military research facility to conduct Navy weapons development.

Some key links:

  • Stop University Affiliated Research Center
  • Watch a live video stream from inside Bachman Hall.
  • Listen to coverage on KTUH student-run radio (90.3 FM Honolulu 91.3 FM North Shore) or, if you’re outside Oahu, stream KTUH online.
  • Read up to the minute accounts on the Stop UARC Action Update blog.

    Here is the full text of student/faculty/community demands:

    28 April 2005
    University of Hawaii at Manoa
    O‘ahu, Hawai‘i

    To: The people of Hawai‘i
    Cc: University of Hawaii Interim President David McClain

    Aloha:

    We, the students, faculty, and community are the ‘?hana of the University of Hawaii.
    The health and security of our public institution of higher learning, and the community it serves, is our chief concern.

    We are assembled here with a simple demand: that the highest authority of our University of Hawaii, Interim President David McClain, formally end the University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) project, which threatens the soul of our university and endangers the health and welfare of our community with secret military weapons research.

    Frustrated by the UH Manoa Chancellor’s lack of transparency and honesty about the UARC, and concerned that the Administration is already determined to establish the UARC over the serious concerns and overwhelming opposition from all sectors of the campus and community, we are compelled to resort to nonviolent civil resistance to save our university. We remain steadfast in our opposition to the UARC project for the following reasons:

    1. UARC would be involved in military weapons related research that is incompatible with the strategic plan, core values and educational mission of UH.
    2. UARC compounds the historical injustices committed by US forces against Native Hawaiians and fuels military expansion and its negative impacts on the land and people of Hawai’i. The Kuali’i Council, the body representing the interests of Native Hawaiians on the UH Manoa campus, testified before the Board of Regents: “Since the American military has done more to damage our ancestral lands than any other entity, we cannot support the establishment of a UARC at the University of Hawai’i.”
    3. Military secrecy subverts academic freedom and public accountability. Research programs need not be classified to be deemed “privileged”, and thus secret. The tragic history of secret military research programs does not permit us to trust that the UARC will be safe or beneficial, as proponents argue.
    4. UARC is bad business for UH; it diverts resources from other research opportunities, imposes restrictions on the types of research pursuable, and places constraints on publishing. UARC may be in violation of Federal Acquisition Regulations that require full and open competition for major federal contracts.
    5. UARC is implicated in and tainted by the Navy criminal investigation of alleged mismanagement of classified research contracts. The military ‘pork barrel,’ coupled with secrecy and possibly dangerous technologies makes UH more susceptible to ethical lapses.
    6. Recent audit reports indicate that the UH Administration is currently unable to adequately handle existing research contracts.
    7. UARC would be a major shift in direction for UH and the beginning of UH’s demise – a mark on UH’s reputation forever.
    8. UARC is substantially different from existing faculty driven research. UARC would be like a marriage between UH and the Navy to provide the Navy with research on demand: “problem solving” vs. true research that expands human knowledge.
    9. The process has been flawed, with the UH Administration pursuing secretive discussions for more than two years and failing to inform or involve the public until after significant decisions had been made and provisional board approval had been given.

    For these reasons, and for others which may exist in the consciences of the people, we resolve to remain in Bachman Hall until such time as Interim President David McClain declares an end to the UARC proposal. Such a declaration is essential to the survival and prosperity of our community’s institution of higher learning. Until Mr. McClain makes that declaration, we will occupy and demilitarize Bachman Hall. We call out to all members of the UH community, the people of Hawai’i and people of the world to join us in demanding that UH President McClain stop the UARC now. Make education the priority, not war.

    Aloha
    Save UH/Stop UARC Coalition

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  • Colorado Recruiters Caught On Tape Urging Student to Cheat On A Drug Test & Make A Fake Diploma

    April 30, 2005

    Watch Report From CBS4 Denver

    Here is the text of the report::

    Last month the U.S. Army failed to meet its goal of 6,800 new troops.

    Aware of this trend, David McSwane, a local high school student, decided he wanted to find out to what extent some recruiters would go to sign up soldiers who were not up to grade.

    McSwane, 17, is actually just the kind of teenager the military would like. He’s a high school journalist and honor student at Arvada West High School. But McSwane decided he wanted to see “how far the Army would go during a war to get one more solider.”

    McSwane contacted his local army recruiting office in Golden with a scenario he created. He told a recruiter that he was a dropout and didn’t have a high school diploma.

    “No problem,” the recruiter explained. He suggested that McSwane create a fake diploma from a non-existent school.

    McSwane recorded the recruiter saying that on the phone.

    “It can be like Faith Hill Baptist School or something — whatever you choose,” the recruiter said.

    As instructed, McSwane went on the computer to a Web site and for $200 arranged to have a phony diploma created that certified him as a graduate of Faith Hill Baptist High School, the very name the recruiter suggested. It came complete with a fake grade transcript.

    “What was your reaction to them encouraging you to get a phony diploma?” CBS4’s Rick Sallinger asked.

    “I was shocked,” McSwane said. “I’m sitting there looking at a poster that says ‘Integrity, Honor, Respect’ and he is telling me to lie.”

    McSwane also pretended he had a drug problem when he spoke with the recruiter.

    The Army does not accept enlistees with drug problems.

    “I have a problem with drugs,” McSwane said, referring to the conversation he had with the recruiter. “I can’t kick the habit … just marijuana.”

    “[The recruiter] said ‘Not a problem,’ just take this detox … he said he would pay half of it … told me where to go.” More

    Related News:
    Rocky Mountain News: “Military Recruiting Center Attacked”

    Military recruiters protested in Eureka, CA

    April 29, 2005

    Eureka_counterrecruitment_smallFrom SF Bay Area Indymedia: Military recruiters locked themselves in their offices, as
    anti-recruitment protesters rallied in front of their office in Eureka,
    California. One young recruit was handed literature on the dangers of
    being exposed to depleted uranium and information on how to become a
    conscientious objector. The counter-recruitment event was part of a
    4-day community and Humboldt State University campus teach-in in
    remembrance of the 30th anniversary of the end of the US war against
    Vietnam. The festivities started with a well-attended walk-out of the
    Arcata high school.

    Read more.

    Recruiters Shut Down at CMU

    April 27, 2005

    Pogatcmu

    From Pittsburgh Indymedia:  On Tuesday, April 26, thirteen members of Pittsburgh Organizing Group disrupted two Army recruiters tabling at the Carnegie Mellon’s University Center. The group, which included several CMU students, surrounded the recruiters and held up a large banner that read, "Resistance is Fertile," effectively blocking the view of the recruiters from passersby. The action kicks off Pittsburgh Organizing Group’s counter-recruitment campaign.

    read more

    Army Unsure How To Spend $200 Million Ad Budget

    April 25, 2005

    Faced with massive recruiting shortfalls, the Army appears at a loss as to how to reshape its advertising campaign. Advertising Age is reporting today (sorry no link) that the Army won’t decide until at least September what advertising firm will land its $200 million recruiting account — the government’s largest advertising contract.

    Some of the firms trying to take the prize include: Leo Burnett USA; Interpublic Group of Cos.’ McCann Erickson Worldwide; Omnicom Group’s BBDO; and Grey, Ogilvy & Mather.

    Some of the agencies have already spent upwards of $1 million to win the lucrative contract.

    ROTC Suffers Worst Recruiting Shortfall In A Decade

    April 25, 2005

    From the Washington Post: “Nationwide enrollment in the Army’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) has slipped more than 16 percent over the past two school years, leaving the program, which trains and commissions more than six of every 10 new Army officers each year, with its fewest participants in nearly a decade. The decline includes a drop of 10 percent from the 2003-04 school year to the term ending this spring… Also mirroring general Army recruitment numbers for enlisted soldiers, African American enrollment in Army ROTC has dropped significantly over the past few years. This school year, 3,328 African American students are in the program, down 18 percent from last year and down 34 percent from a high of 5,044 in the 2001-02 school year.”

    It’s the motherf**kin’ d.r.a.f.t.

    April 22, 2005

    Online wiseass Tocci has a new flash animation about the impending draft: D.R.A.F.T. to the tune of 50 Cent’s P.I.M.P.

    Rep. Jim McDermott Slams Seattle Times For Backing Recruiters in High School

    April 21, 2005

    In a column titled “High-school Students and Soldiers Deserve More,” Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) writes:

    The Seattle Times’ editorial “Don’t ban recruiters from high school” (April 15) does a disservice to every high-school junior and senior, as well as every soldier who would like some say over his or her destiny. That should have been painfully obvious following The Times’ own coverage of Emiliano Santiago, a soldier who has served his country with distinction, but now faces a sentence to serve because the military cannot recruit enough soldiers.

    Buried in the fine print of Santiago’s recruitment paperwork eight years ago was a provision called stop-loss. It is meant to ensure that America has enough soldiers to defend itself in time of national emergency, but the Pentagon under Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has perverted the use of stop-loss because military recruitment is significantly below goals.

    Stop-loss now affects 50,000 soldiers. Santiago could end up serving until Christmas Eve, 2031, 37 years after he signed up — a virtual lifetime.

    Every student and every parent should remember Santiago’s case because it could happen to you, and no one in the military is going to tell you beforehand. And stop-loss is not the only stealth tactic in use by the military.

    A provision buried in the No Child Left Behind law forces high schools to turn over student contact information to military recruiters. Any school that balks can lose all of its federal money. The Seattle Times casually tells its readers that a student can sign a form to opt out. The reality is that young people have lost their right to privacy and The Times is stone-cold silent on restoring this fundamental right in a free society.

    I served my country as an officer in the United States Navy, and I believe that every American has a responsibility to give back to our country. For some, a career in the military is the right choice. But a decision to even consider a military career belongs solely with the individual, and that’s not what we have today. That’s why I joined with the punk band Anti-Flag to launch a nationwide drive to alert students on how to opt out and demand that Congress restore student privacy. (More information can be found at http://www.militaryfreezone.org)

    Meanwhile, don’t blame the recruiters. These people were selected because they are role models, the best of the best to represent the military. Now, they suffer under a quota system, and recruiters are under increasing pressure to find soldiers. Army National Guard recruitment plunged 31 percent in February and fell another 12 percent in March.

    Young people are the hope and future of this great nation. We owe them more than to casually compromise their basic right to privacy. According to The Seattle Times, students have the right to die in Iraq, but they don’t have the right to privacy. With misguided opinion like this, is it any wonder that young people don’t trust adults?

    Oregon Bill Would Require New Drivers to Automatically Register For Selective Service

    April 16, 2005

    From the Catholic Sentinel: The Oregon Catholic Conference and Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon have teamed up to oppose a bill that connects drivers’ licenses with a military draft. House Bill 2575 (PDF of bill) would automatically register young men for Selective Service when they sign up for licenses or state identification cards.

    “There is a significant difference in moral judgments that an individual makes between applying for issuance or renewal of a driver’s license, permit or an identification card on the one hand and registering with the Selective Service System on the other,” says a statement written by Oregon Catholic Conference executive director Bob Castagna and read to the House Transportation Committee March 30 by Philip Kennedy Wong of Ecumenical Ministries…

    Signing up for a driver’s license does not involve moral questioning, the statement said, but registering for Selective Service “raises issues of the most critical judgments and moral decisions a person may be called to make in life: potentially placing oneself in the position of agreeing to engage in warfare, use all the weapons in our nation’s arsenal and take human lives.” Read More

    Bronx Students Force Military Recruiters Off Campus For A Third Time

    April 16, 2005

    For the third time in recent weeks students protesters at Bronx Community College drove military recruiters off campus. Targeted so far have been recruiters from the Army, Air Force National Guard, and most recently — on Wednesday — the Marines. Here is a report w/ photos from one of the earlier anti-recruiter actions in the Bronx. The protests appear to be largely organized by a group called The Revolutionary Reconstruction Club.