FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Crack Down at Kent State

by NIKKI ROBINSON

Iraq war veteran and Kent State student, Dave Airhart, is under attack for opposing the war he considers “unjust” and for attempting to stop any more students from being used as “cannon fodder.”

On October 19, the Kent State Anti-War Committee (KSAWC) stood around the Army recruiters, who had brought a rock-climbing wall to entice students over to talk with them. A member of KSAWC and former Afghanistan and Iraq War veteran, David Airhart decided to show his opposition against the war by exercising his rights of free speech. After filling out liability forms Airhart climbed the rock wall. Once he reached the top he took out a banner, which he held under his jacket, and draped it over the wall. The banner read: Kent, Ohio for Peace. Airhart was forced to climb down the back of the wall because a recruiter was coming up the front, yelling at him.

As he was climbing down another recruiter came up the back and proceeded to assault Airhart both verbally and physically by pulling his shirt, forcing him off the wall. Airhart was fined $105 by city police for disorderly conduct and told that he will have to go to judicial affairs at the university where he will face probation or expulsion.

When asked why he wanted to counter-recruit against the military Airhart responded, “I do not feel that the administration should allow the military to recruit their students for an unjust war that is taking the lives of innocent people. They should be protecting their students, not using them for cannon fodder.” The recruiter who assaulted Airhart was never charged with disorderly conduct; nor was the bigot who came by screaming profanities and spitting at KSAWC members fined for being disorderly.

Somehow an Iraq War veteran hanging a banner, which called for peace, was disorderly and the others were not. Even after the atrocities of the May 4, 1970 massacre at Kent State University the military has the audacity to come to campus and attempt to recruit students for their illegal war. However, KSAWC, which is a member of the national grassroots organization, Campus Antiwar Network (CAN), counter-recruits against the military every time they are on campus. We stand around the table of the military, hold signs, chant and pass out literature exposing the lies of recruiters.

The administration’s blatant attack against the antiwar movement will not be tolerated. We can clearly see that the administration does not want its students and veterans practicing free speech on this campus, especially if we are taking a stand against the war in Iraq. However, we will continue to fight.

We believe in getting troops out of Iraq now, as well as assuring that they have a voice to stand in opposition to the war when they return. It is obvious that the Kent State administration does not care about Iraq Veterans who attend their school. After everything Airhart had to go through and see as a soldier, after viewing thousands of innocent Iraqi lives being taken, he has every right to exercise his opposition to this war. The administration may have the audacity to punish an Iraq Veteran for speaking out against the war, but the Kent State Anti-War Committee will continue to fight back for all Veterans and students right to exercise free speech against the war. We will continue to challenge our administration’s role in recruiting for the war and demand our right to a ‘recruiter-free’ school. Call and e-mail the Kent State University administration and let them know how you feel.

Carol Cartwright
University President: 330.672.2210
cartwright@kent.edu

Greg Jarvie
Dean of Undergraduate Students: 330.672.9494
Gjarvie@kent.edu

William Ross
Executive Director of the Undergraduate Student Senate:
wross@kent.edu

NIKKI ROBINSON is a member of KSAWC, of the Campus Anti-War Network, where this article first appeared.

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 28, 2017
Mike Whitney
Ending Syria’s Nightmare will Take Pressure From Below 
Mark Kernan
Memory Against Forgetting: the Resonance of Bloody Sunday
John McMurtry
Fake News: the Unravelling of US Empire From Within
Ron Jacobs
Mad Dog, Meet Eris, Queen of Strife
Michael J. Sainato
State Dept. Condemns Attacks on Russian Peaceful Protests, Ignores Those in America
Ted Rall
Five Things the Democrats Could Do to Save Their Party (But Probably Won’t)
Linn Washington Jr.
Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Hiring Practices: Privilege or Prejudice?
Philippe Marlière
Benoît Hamon, the Socialist Presidential Hopeful, is Good News for the French Left
Norman Pollack
Political Cannibalism: Eating America’s Vitals
Bruce Mastron
Obamacare? Trumpcare? Why Not Cubacare?
David Macaray
Hollywood Screen and TV Writers Call for Strike Vote
Christian Sorensen
We’ve Let Capitalism Kill the Planet
Rodolfo Acuna
What We Don’t Want to Know
Binoy Kampmark
The Futility of the Electronics Ban
Andrew Moss
Why ICE Raids Imperil Us All
March 27, 2017
Robert Hunziker
A Record-Setting Climate Going Bonkers
Frank Stricker
Why $15 an Hour Should be the Absolute Minimum Minimum Wage
Melvin Goodman
The Disappearance of Bipartisanship on the Intelligence Committees
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS’s Losses in Syria and Iraq Will Make It Difficult to Recruit
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer Bernie Morphs Into Public Option Dean
Gregory Barrett
Can Democracy Save Us?
Dave Lindorff
Budget Goes Military
John Heid
Disappeared on the Border: “Chase and Scatter” — to Death
Mark Weisbrot
The Troubling Financial Activities of an Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate
Robert Fisk
As ISIS’s Caliphate Shrinks, Syrian Anger Grows
Michael J. Sainato
Democratic Party Continues Shunning Popular Sanders Surrogates
Paul Bentley
Nazi Heritage: the Strange Saga of Chrystia Freeland’s Ukrainian Grandfather
Christopher Ketcham
Buddhism in the Storm
Thomas Barker
Platitudes in the Wake of London’s Terror Attack
Mike Hastie
Insane Truths: a Vietnam Vet on “Apocalypse Now, Redux”
Binoy Kampmark
Cyclone Watch in Australia
Weekend Edition
March 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party?
Eric Draitser
Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nothing Was Delivered
Andrew Levine
Ryan’s Choice
Joshua Frank
Global Coal in Freefall, Tar Sands Development Drying Up (Bad News for Keystone XL)
Anthony DiMaggio
Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics
Rob Urie
Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island
John Wight
London and the Dreary Ritual of Terrorist Attacks
Paul Buhle
The CIA and the Intellectuals…Again
David Rosen
Why Did Trump Target Transgender Youth?
Vijay Prashad
Inventing Enemies
Ben Debney
Outrage From the Imperial Playbook
M. Shadee Malaklou
An Open Letter to Duke University’s Class of 2007, About Your Open Letter to Stephen Miller
Michael J. Sainato
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail