Anti Recruiting

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I arrived a few minutes past noon to find Elaine Brower already reading the list of US service people who have been killed in the conflict in Afghanistan.  When, at a little after one o’clock, we stopped our demonstration outside the new Army recruiting center on Chambers Street in lower Manhattan, located near a city high school and a city college, her voice had grown weak, so she had been replaced by another member of our group.  The list was nowhere near completed, and, of course, it is growing a lot longer now than in some periods of the lengthy US occupation.

Elaine was present when this center opened in December of 2009, and has shown up every Wednesday since, having promised the personnel that she would be their worst nightmare. Click here or above to read her account of that day.

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Debra Sweet, head of World Can’t Wait, and others protesting at the recruitment center on Chambers Street.

I held my sign and watched people walk by.  A number of students were in our group, perhaps the best persons to speak with the legions of their peers passing by.  Some of our them handed out flyers which gave facts about US aggression and occupations as well as more realistic information about the life and fate of US service men and women than young people can get from the recruiters inside the center.

It was lunch hour when students were out in large numbers going to eat.  Police officers were in evidence, surely to intimidate rather than for any other reason.  Even so, not a single potential recruit walked into the center while we were there.  That in itself may be a good reason to be there.  Furthermore, a young man stopped to speak with me and the student standing next to me, who offered him a flyer.  He read the flyer and asked if what he was reading were true.  We assured him it was and suggested places to veryify the information.  He then said that the recruiters wanted him to sign up, but his parents didn’t.  The student next to me urged him not to do it.

I can’t know whether he will pass by sometime when no one is there to support his doubts about signing up, but at least he did not go in right then and do it.

Click here for video footage of the December 18 protest at the center and to see Elaine in action.

This was worthy work and I look forward to doing it again soon.

The recruiting center is located at 143 Chambers Street, on the West Side of Lower Manhatttan.  Elaine and others are there every Wednesday from noon to one o’clock.

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