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Ideas have consequences. Inaction has consequences. For the past several years, I’ve chronicled the Left’s escalating war on military recruiters–and the apathetic, weak-kneed response to it. In Unhinged, I devoted a sub-section of my chapter “They Don’t Support Our Troops” to the organized campaign of harassment against recruitment offices on college campuses nationwide. The anti-recruiter thugs have thrived thanks to a combination of public indifference, law enforcement fecklessness, and left-wing ideological apologism. As you may recall, I have personal experience with the anti-recruiter propagandists, who lie through their teeth, exploit media sympathy, and harbor nothing but raw hatred for the men and women who protect and defend their rights to bitch and moan.
Many observers wanted to shut out any possibility that yesterday’s bombing at the Times Square recruitment center was ideologically motivated.
But will any on the left and in the Democrat Party raise their voices–loudly and clearly–to condemn the ongoing, militant anti-recruiter campaign?
Will they urge the Code Pinkos and their ilk to halt their intimidation and obstruction efforts?
Or will they continue to sit silently and attempt to downplay yesterday’s bombing as an isolated incident– instead of the all-too-predictable symptom of reckless tolerance for dangerous “peace”-peddlers skating on the edge of sedition?
Context matters. Drawing on my past reporting and blogging, here is a brief history of the anti-military recruitment movement’s mounting acts of vandalism and violence (which is by no means comprehensive and which I’ll continue to amend as commenters and readers remind me of other incidents). Let the apologists and pooh-poohers delude themselves into believing that the Times Square bombing was a “lone” act. The facts speak for themselves:
March 2003. Ithaca, NY anti-war zealots plot to pour blood on the walls of a recruiting center. On St. Patrick’s Day, wielding cups of their own blood, they entered a Lansing military recruitment office and splashed the human blood over recruiting posters, military cutouts and the American flag. After one mistrial, Daniel Burns, Peter De Mott, Clare Grady and Teresa Grady were convicted in 2005 on two misdemeanor-level counts of trespassing and damaging federal property. All but Burns have been released from prison. The Lansing office had suffered two other attacks involving Molotov cocktails.
January 20, 2005. At Seattle Central Community College, Army recruiter Sgt. Jeff Due and his colleague, Sgt. 1st Class Douglas Washington were surrounded by an angry mob of 500 anti-war students. The recruiters’ table was destroyed; their handouts torn apart. The protesters threw water bottles and newspapers at the soldiers, shouted profanities, and wielded their fists. The far Left Students Against War had been agitating to kick the recruiters off campus. The college administration refused to punish the mobsters.
Jan. 31, 2005. A little more than a week after the Seattle ambush, a shockingly fair and rare report from the NYT disclosed that recruiters in Manhattan reported that a door to their office had been beaten in. Anarchist symbols were scrawled in red paint on the building. On the same day, NY police collared a young Manhattan College junior and charged him with throwing a burning rag into an Army recruiting station and ruining the door locks with super glue. The radical student “was caught carrying a handwritten note declaring that a ‘wave of violence’ would occur throughout the Northeast on January 31, aimed at the ‘military industrial complex’ in response to American military actions.'”
Feb. 1, 2005. At a South Toledo, Ohio recruitment center, unhinged protesters hurled manure all over the building. They broke windows and sprayed vulgar grafitti — “War is Shit” — on office property. An e-mail sent to local TV station WTOL-TV by a group calling itself, yes, “War is Shit,” claimed responsibility for the property destruction. The crapweasels were never caught. WTOL reported:
“If they don’t like this country that much they should do it the right way by changing with votes. Shouldn’t do it with actions like that,” said Steve Klostermeier, a bystander. Mike Gibson agreed, saying, “I think it’s terrible. I think they’re blaming the people who fought to give them the right to do stuff like that. They should have the courage to stand up and say it rather than doing stuff like that.”
Mid-Feb. 2005. 20-year-old anti-war goon Brendan Walsh is sentenced to five years in federal prison for hurling a Molotov cocktail through the window of a Vestal, NY military recruitment office in 2003. Celebrated as a hero to the anti-war/anarchist movement, he pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to damage or destroy a building by arson and was expected to be released to a halfway house last month.
March 2005. In East Orange, NJ, young anti-military protesters shattered the windows of an Army recruitment station and a neighboring Navy office. At City College in New York, a campus secretary who participated in a student demonstration against recruiters reportedly assaulted a police officer trying to arrest unruly protesters. She was charged with second-degree assault, disorderly conduct, and obstructing governmental administration. At the same demonstration, police arrested students Justin Rodriguez and Nicholas Bergreen. They charged Rodriguez with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. They charged Bergreen with assaulting a police officer. I obtained their mugshots via the NYPD:
Justin Rodriguez and Nicholas Bergreen.
March/April 2005. Anti-war extremists at the Bronx Community College in NY shut down several military recruitment sessions–at least three times over a month’s span. A socialist student participant crowed (via “The Internationalist”) that the recruiters were hounded off campus to chants of “Military recruiters off campus now!” and “I’m not going to die for their army!:”
Opposition to military recruiters at Bronx Community College is building, and last Thursday (March 17) students were able to drive them out of the BCC Cafeteria. The Revolutionary Reconstruction Club was distributing a leaflet building for the protest when two recruiters in Army fatigues walked in. They were clearly shaken by the signs and leaflets denouncing the recruiters, the imperialist murder machine they serve, and the dirty colonial war in Iraq.
Things quickly heated up. We started chanting “Military recruiters off campus now!” Many students who were looking on took up this chant. It spread inside the cafeteria. More and more students yelled out their own angry comments, like “I’m not going to die for their army.” Our chants echoed through the building, interspersed with hard-hitting speeches against the war in Iraq. Among those joining us were students with close relatives who had been snared into enlisting.
The recruiters were unable to go about their deadly “business” of preying on students there. They kept making calls on their cell phones, evidently seeking orders. At one point they were escorted down the hall by campus cops. Finally, our protest drove the recruiters out of the building. As students yelled “Out, out, out!” they disappeared.
At UC Santa Cruz, “peace” thugs drove recruiters off campus after an hour-long demonstration of shouting and window-banging. It was a hint of more aggressive behavior to come as a result of zero consequences.
May 2005. SF Bay Area students brought a career fair at San Francisco State University to a standstill over the presence of military recruiters. Congregating at Malcolm X Plaza, they swarmed the booths of the US Army Corps of Engineers and the USAF. In Wisconsin, an Air Force ROTC information day was canceled due to threats by the University of Wisconsin-Madison chapter of Stop the War.
The Air Force Reverse Officer Training Corps (ROTC) annual information day on April 30 was cancelled. At the information day, students were “to learn about Air Force scholarship opportunities and Air Force careers” and receive free lunch, according to an e-mail sent out to the student body. According to Air Force ROTC representatives on campus, the event was cancelled due to the threat of a protest called by the University of Wisconsin-Madison group Stop the War.
The protest was one of a series of actions that Stop the War has been taking against military recruitment and the ongoing occupation of Iraq…On Saturday at Union South, the building on campus where the event was scheduled to take place, about 20 protesters showed up to celebrate the cancellation of the recruiting session and build on this success by developing a movement that can get the military off UW’s campus for good.
April 2006. The infamous UC Santa Cruz ambush on military recruiters takes place. The thugs gloated about throwing a rock at the recruiters’ SUV. Recruiters, who had been similarly driven off campus the previous year, reported slashed tires. One employee at the career center
was injured in the melee. Photos here. The capitulationist campus administration had known in advance about the ambush plans and did nothing. Instead of condemning the speech-stifling lawlessness of the anti-war mob, unhinged sympathizers attacked me for publishing the public contact information of the thugs’ propaganda officers and also outrageoulsy blamed me for the subsequent suicide of the troubled UC Santa Cruz president, Denice Denton. They continue to lie about what happened.
Then, in Minnesota, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
S-T caption: Three people were apprehended this afternoon by police after pouring paint on an Army recruiting station near the University of Minnesota during an antiwar demonstration.
December 2006. Lawrence, Kansas anarchists cripple a recruitment center. They crow:
Keeping the Pressure On: Lawrence anarchists fight against Military Recruitment
by Dave Strano, Kansas Mutual Aid
December 22, 2006
During a counter-recruitment protest outside of the Lawrence Army/Navy Career Center on Saturday December 16th, the small group of us that had showed up were confronted by a Naval officer. The sailor introduced himself as being an acting supervisor of U.S. Naval recruitment for the Kansas and Missouri area. He proceeded to have a 45 minute discussion with us about our counter-recruitment efforts, police enforcement, life in the military, and the war in Iraq.
His words conveyed a clear message: Of all the recruitment centers under his command, the one in Lawrence was facing major trouble from protesters and dissidents. “Over the last four years,” he said, “it has been a living hell here… We’ve had to install bomb-proof glass, security alarms and panic buttons, internal security cameras… I’ve had my tires slashed and car painted on… People come inside our center and vandalize it in front of us… We’ve had to shut down on more than one occasion because of you people blocking our doors… Our offices get vandalized at least once a month… We’ve had to replace our locks more times than I can count… Nearly our entire recruitment budget for this year has gone to security.”
His intentions for saying this weren’t clear, but he certainly was who he said he was; his interaction with the other recruiters there confirmed this. His words ended with a plea for us to stop. Almost an order coming from a failing commander: Leave us alone.
The anarchist movement in Lawrence, Kansas has been working against local military recruiting efforts since before the invasion of Iraq. For four years, various actions have occurred outside and inside the military recruiting centers, on the campus of the University of Kansas, and outside and inside Lawrence’s high schools. In those four years, a variety of disruptive tactics have been used. These tactics have ranged from lockdowns to office occupations, to vocal sign holding to wheatepasting and other more direct actions.
Jan. 2007. Anti-war radicals lay siege to the US Capitol and smash windows at the recruitment center on 14th and L.
Pittsburgh anti-recruiter organizers shut down a military recruitment station for a whole day. They brandish hateful signs like this:
Their boastful report:
Pittsburgh Organizing Group successfully disrupted the military recruitment machine in Pittsburgh yet again. The recruitment center shut down for the entire day. Shortly before 11am, having already accomplished their major goal, 40 protesters gathered outside for a two hour picket designed to keep anti-war resistance front and center in the public eye. Signs such as, “There’s Dead, and Then There’s ARMY DEAD,” “Honk for Peace,” “Recruiters Are Child Predators,” “Those Who Call the Shots Aren’t Among the Shot,” “Let the Rich Fight Their Own Wars,” and “Resist, Don’t Enlist” resulted in a plethora of horn honks and supportive gestures from passing drivers.
One difference about this picket, as compared to past ones, was the call for people to bring whipped cream pies (because recruiters should be afraid to show their faces). A number of individuals, young and old, responded to the call and showed up, pie in hand.
During this 50th action of POG’s campaign, the recruitment center door was pied and spray painted with the all-too-true slogan “we lie.” One protester was arrested away from the event, supposedly for the painting of the door. We are following the case and will do whatever possible to help with fines or legal support. The truth is, this is a broad-based, long term campaign to oppose recruitment in the city and arrests are inevitable. Besides donating for legal support, committing to take personal action against militarism is the best way to honor and support those putting themselves on the line.
March 2007. A Milwaukee recruitment station is vandalized as part of nationwide protests on the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war(hat tip – Heather):
A group of Iraq War protesters vandalized the windows at the Army recruitment center on Oakland Avenue near the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee campus on Monday night. Milwaukee police had six people in custody and were questioning several more potential suspects. Witnesses say they saw anywhere from 20 to 40 people dressed in black flee from the scene. A Web site posting on Monday said that the act was a protest against the U.S. involvement in Iraq, in connection with Tuesday’s fourth anniversary of the war. Torches made from chair legs, fireworks, and black flags were strewn in front of the Army recruitment center. Windows were broken, but there didn’t appear to be much damage to the inside of the building. One witness heard loud sounds and then saw a large group fleeing the scene. “A group of kids were running down the road, about 20 kids or so, just screaming and wearing all black and faces covered, and they had crowbars and baseball bats,” said Dan Riess.
July 2007. A Bremerton, WA teenager is charged with felony for slashing 42 government tires of Army recruiting vehicles in retaliation of the Iraq war:
Jason C. Chavez, currently a student at a Colorado college, was charged with first degree malicious mischief for causing more than $4,200 worth of damage to 13 government service vehicles that were parked in front of the U.S. Army recruiting business in Silverdale.
Vandalism to military recruiting offices and equipment is not uncommon, but Lt. Col. Kenneth Swanson, Seattle Army Recruiting Battalion Commander, said he was surprised by the magnitude of Chavez’s destruction.
“That’s not a protest, that’s an act of anarchy,” he said. “I hope Mr. Chavez gets his justice due under the Constitution that is protected by the U.S. Army.”
Just after midnight on July 29 Chavez was seen slashing tires in the parking lot along the 2800 block of Bucklin Hill Road. Witnesses called 911 to report a man dressed in black was slashing tires in front of the Army recruiting office with a knife.
When deputies arrived Chavez ran, then stopped near the Staples building across the parking lot and put his hands in the air. At the time he dropped a butterfly knife from his pocket, according to Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office reports.
When deputies arrested him, Chavez asked “is this the time where I can confess?” He proceeded to tell deputies he specifically identified government cars and slashed the tires because he “hated the military and the government and the war we were in,” according to reports.
A counterrecruitment organizer chastised Chavez not for his destructive actions, but for drinking alcohol while he committed them.
In Maryland, anti-recruiter vandals smashed a Rockville Air Force recruitment center:
In an attempt to discover how a bunch of murdering cowards like the US Air Force enjoy finding themselves on the other end of some flying projectiles for a change, at around 3:00 AM this morning an autonomous cell of the Red & Anarchist Action Network (RAAN) used bricks and other common household items to smash the shit out of the Air Force recruiting center in Rockville, Maryland. Do we even need to explain the motivation for our actions? A shout out to our comrades from the Borf: Revolution or Bust Faction (BORFROBF), who late last year gave a similar treatment to the military recruitment center in Silver Spring. Consider this a modest response to your “dare to those here in the heart of the imperial beast to step it up”. In suburbs so hollow, may the echo of our actions be long and loud! Big ups to all those out there who claim RAAN. Fuck them haters who don’t realize we are but a few of the millions of ant’s bites which can topple this elephant once and for all. No war but class war, communism or bust! IT’S A DO OR DIE SITUATION – WE WILL BE INVINCIBLE!
And in Lufkin, TX, , Army and Navy recruiters were the targets of vandals who keyed their cars, smashed their windows, and shot at their vehicles with “with what appeared to be a high-powered pellet gun.”
August 2007. In New England: Suspect charged with leaving fake bomb at recruitment office.
A city man was arrested Tuesday on charges that he twice left a fake bomb package at a military recruitment office, police said. Francis Monaghan, 68, was charged with two counts of first-degree breach of peace, a felony, and two counts of reckless endangerment, said Lt. Sean Cooney. “He made certain incriminating statements,” Cooney said. “He did express some anti-war feelings. We think that was at least partially his motivation.” Monaghan was being held on $100,000 bond. An envelope slipped into the recruiting station mailbox on Bedford Street Monday morning contained batteries and other “bomb-making components,” Cooney said. The package was nearly identical to an envelope left at the same U.S. Army/U.S. Air Force station last months, police said. Both bore “unusual writing” and were placed in the station’s mailbox, Cooney said.
September 2007. The far Left group, Iraq Veterans Against the War calls on followers to commit fraud to interfere with military recruiters. The sabotage action was part of a larger, coordinated campaign with the International ANSWER racket to obstruct military recruitment centers in Washington and across the country. Other socialist partners in crime:
Anti-war punks shut down the Times Square recruitment station:
The New York chapter of the War Resisters League kicked off a week of actions against military recruitment in New York by shutting down the Times Square Recruiting Station Saturday morning. Three members of the WRL were arrested, but the recruiting station remained closed for the rest of the day as the WRL maintained its presence there, joined in the afternoon by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra. The three arrestees were charged with disorderly conduct and released four hours later.
October 2007. Code Pink defaces the Berkeley recruitment center, branding our troops as assassins:
Note the Code Pink anti-recruitment manifesto’s endorsement of “creative, forceful tactics” against the troops:
There are generally two distinct types of counter-recruitment campaigns being waged in communities across the country. The first is a popular, politically charged campaign spearheaded by a visceral reaction to the lies of military recruiters. This approach calls for creative, forceful tactics to confront a murderous, imperial, military machine that recruits youth like cannon fodder. Thousands of activists have responded to this call by forcefully demonstrating at recruitment centers, community events, and high schools where military recruiters often lie and deceive. CODEPINK and Raging Grannies have occupied recruitment centers and student groups have tossed recruiters off campus, grabbing headlines while changing public opinion.
There is a second front in the war on recruitment that embraces an entirely different approach aimed at persuading high school officials to reverse policies that encourage military recruitment. This approach leaves politics aside and instead focuses on student privacy issues. Activists engaged in this line of counter-recruitment endeavor to convince mainstream educational careerists to change their policies regarding several military programs operating in the schools. They work to confront the military’s most successful recruiting tool, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, (ASVAB).
They convince school officials to aggressively pursue the “opt-out” provision of the No Child Left Behind Act and they help change policies to restrain the movement of military recruiters on high school campuses. These approaches certainly aren’t mutually exclusive. Resistance may involve writing a letter in the morning and making a phone call or two, then hitting the streets in the afternoon with a clenched fist and fits of rage.
It’s all good.
Jan. 2008. The Code Pink/City Council siege at the Berkeley recruiting center reaches a boiling point. Protesters chain themselves to the station to shut it down and vandalize the windows with bloody handprints (via Zombie):
Unrepentant in Berkeley (Photo credit: Zombie)
A bomb goes off at the frequently targeted Times Square recruitment center. (Photo: Yahoo! News. March 6, 2008.) Details emerge of an anti-Iraq war screed sent to House Democrats, along with a photo of a white man with “thin graying hair in a striped flannel shirt and jeans” proclaiming “Happy New Year. We Did It.”
Code Pink continues its anti-recruiter campaign.
Create a real “Green Zone” in Berkeley: Join CODEPINK as we Green over the Berkeley Recruiting Station
Monday, March 10th 2008 12:00 noon
Create a real “Green Zone” in Berkeley: Join CODEPINK as we Green over the Berkeley Recruiting Station Monday March 10-Friday March 14 64 Shattuck Square (Shattuck Ave just south of University where Shattuck runs one-way north), Berkeley, California
Protest the Marines Recruiting Center in Berkeley
Every day, mornings, and Wednesdays, 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. Call 510-527-2776 or check www.bayareacodepink.org for exact schedule. 7:30 am to 5:00 pm
Protest the presence of the Marines Officer Recruiting Center with life-affirming actions, Monday through Friday, with every Wednesday the all-CODEPINK day, starting 7:30 am to 5:00 pm, in downtown Berkeley.
Make a Stand Against Military Recruiting: Signature Gathering for the Berkeley Military Recruiting Zoning Initiative
We are gathering signatures daily! Please contact us or sign up for a shift on the weblink. Daily, 8 am – 8 pm
Sign up to help us gather signatures on the ballot initiative to change zoning for military recruiting in Berkeley. Select a shift (morning, afternoon, or evening) below. Please note, you do not need to commit to the entire time frame; we’re just looking to get a sense of when you’re available. We’ll meet at the Military Recruiting Station (64 Shattuck Square at University) to start each shift of signature gathering.
Santa Monica Counter-Recruitment
This event will repeat every Thursday until the recruiters are out of Santa Monica! 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Join CODEPINK outside of the Military Recruitment Center in Santa Monica every Thursday! Wear your pink for peace as we gather to spread the anti-war message and to educate the public about the risks associated with military recruitment and why it’s smart to OPT OUT. Let’s show our support for Berkeley with this new weekly action and let everyone know that Santa Monica is still in the running with Counter-Recruitment!
When will this escalating war end? There will be no end in sight until lawmakers, law enforcement, the media, and the public open their eyes to the hate, connect the dots, and stop coddling the increasingly crazed and emboldened anti-military militants before more bombs go off–and innocents get harmed–in the name of “peace.”
Update: Latest developments have authorities investigating “anarchist-types” who crossed the Canadian border and dismissing links between the bombing and mailings to House Democrats.
Update: An anti-war judge prevents foster teenager from joining the Marines. Unbelievable:
Shawn Sage long dreamed of joining the military, and watching “Full Metal Jacket” last year really sold him on becoming a Marine.
But last fall, a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner dashed the foster teen’s hopes of early enlistment for Marine sniper duty, plus a potential $10,000 signing bonus.
In denying the Royal High School student delayed entry into the Marine Corps, Children’s Court Commissioner Marilyn Mackel reportedly told Sage and a recruiter that she didn’t approve of the Iraq war, didn’t trust recruiters and didn’t support the military.
“The judge said she didn’t support the Iraq war for any reason why we’re over there,” said Marine recruiter Sgt. Guillermo Medrano of the Simi Valley USMC recruiting office.
“She just said all recruiters were the same – that they `all tap dance and tell me what I want to hear.’ She said she didn’t want him to fight in it.”
Sage, 17, said he begged for Mackel’s permission.
“Foster children shouldn’t be denied (an) ability to enlist in the service just because they’re foster kids,” he said. “Foster kids shouldn’t have to go to court to gain approval to serve one’s country.”