Letter to the Editor

By MPJC-SDS

To the Editor:

Last Friday, Apr. 24, five students from Macalester Peace and Justice Committee-Students for a Democratic Society (MPJC-SDS) locked themselves to Army and Navy Recruitment Stations on Washington Ave. By doing so, they kept the recruiting stations closed throughout the day, voluntarily leaving at 4:30 pm. Following is the statement that MPJC-SDS released regarding the action:

As members of Macalester Peace and Justice Committee-Students for a Democratic Society, we are locking down and placing our bodies in direct opposition to US military recruitment practices and to the perpetuation of imperialist, profit-driven violence in Afghanistan, Iraq, and throughout the Middle East. The increase in troops in Afghanistan and the continued occupation of Iraq indicates to us that the Obama administration is continuing a pattern of intense militarism and occupation.

Each day, recruitment offices send young people from our community to the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan. The cost of enlistment is great: over 4,500 of those fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan have been killed, 150,000 have been seriously injured, and more than 300,000 suffer PTSD. Furthermore, 3 out of every 10 women serving in the military have been raped, and even more have been sexually assaulted while serving. Military recruitment targets low-income youth by promising education and jobs-but these promises rarely are fully honored. We refuse to allow this racist, sexist, heterosexist, and classist system to continue recruiting new members uninterrupted.

In locking down, we intend to interrupt “business as usual” at this station. We reject the institutions of recruitment that prey upon our communities, and we reject US sponsored state violence in the Middle East. As long as the United States continues this imperialist project, destroying lives and denying self-determination to the peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq, we will continue to oppose this system directly, by any means possible. We act in support of and in solidarity with Thursday’s city-wide “Zero Recruitment Day,” and strive to continue that project by fighting for zero recruitment, everyday.

MPJC-SDS