Vigil at Military Recruiting Center in Honor of Father’s Day

Don’t Kill Other People. Don’t Kill Yourself. Don’t Join the Military.

On June 19, 2009, a vigil in honor of Father’s Day was held in front of the Military Recruiting Center on 41st Avenue in Capitola calling for an end to war in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Demonstrators held signs and banners to “Shut Down the War Machine”, “Bring Our Fathers Home” and “Fund Peoples’ Needs! Not War & Bank Bailouts”. Neither the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines were open for business during the demonstration. Advocates for peace stuffed flowers and literature into the door jams of all four recruiting offices.

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Veterans for Peace Lead Funeral March in St. Paul

On August 31st, the day before the Republican National Convention (RNC), Veterans for Peace held a rally in front of the state capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota followed by a solemn march. Families of US soldiers and other marchers carried tombstones with the names of dead US soldiers. Meanwhile, the names of murdered Iraqis were read out loud and people responded, “We Remember.”

Towards the end of the march, organizers gave people the option of continuing along the police approved route or to engage in civil disobedience by towards a caged off area. A handful of people, including two women in their 70s, either rolled under or walked around the police fence and were eventually arrested.

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Students Rally and March Against Military Recruiters at UCSC “Career” Fair

The tradition of students un-welcoming the military to UC Santa Cruz and disrupting their attempts to recruit is alive and well, as demonstrated during the “Career” Fair on April 22nd. Students Against War rallied in the Baytree Plaza and marched to the “Career” Fair held in the multipurpose rooms for Colleges 9/10. Campus police, administrators, faculty, other staff and students collected backpacks and identification cards from the students who entered the “Career” Fair. Colorful helium balloons arched over steel barricades at the entrance to the “Career” Fair featured signs that boldly proclaimed “Part-time Jobs!!!” Indeed, the future is very bleak for the generations growing up during Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr. and whoever comes next.

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Over 4,000 Dead US Troops in Iraq; Capitola Army Recruiters Stay Open for Business

Protests and vigils were held across the nation on March 24th following an announcement the day before of 4,000 dead US soldiers in Iraq. A demonstration was held at the Military Recruitment Center in Capitola, where a Santa Cruz County coalition known as People United for Peace (PUP) demanded “an immediate end to the killing and occupation in Iraq.” One woman was arrested for trespassing as she occupied the Army’s recruiting office and refused to leave until the occupation of Iraq is over.

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“Not at Home for the Holidays” Protest at Capitola Military Recruitment Center

Santa Cruz County activists, including the Santa Cruz gaggle of the Raging Grannies, demonstrated for peace in front of the Military Recruitment Center in Capitola on December 15th. The last time the Grannies sang songs at the recruitment center on June 26th, they refused to leave the entrance of the Army recruiters after being denied entry into the building and were eventually arrested and escorted to the police station in handcuffs. This time around, the Navy and other branches of the military wanted to avoid dealing with the Raging Grannies, so they, “Closed on December 15th, 2007 in support of gathering CARE package materials to send to the Sailors who are unavailable to be home during the holidays.”

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