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Crack Down at Kent State


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

Greg Jarvie
Dean of Undergraduate Students: 330.672.9494

William Ross
Executive Director of the Undergraduate Student Senate:

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


October 12, 2015
Ralph Nader
Imperial Failure: Lessons From Afghanistan and Iraq
Ishmael Reed
Want a Renewal? Rid Your City of Blacks
Thomas S. Harrington
US Caught Faking It in Syria
Victor Grossman
Scenes From a Wonderful Parade Against the TPP
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Where Are You When We Need You, Jean-Paul Sartre?
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
The US Way of War: From Columbus to Kunduz
Paul Craig Roberts
A Decisive Shift in the Balance of Power
Justus Links
Turkey’s Tiananmen in Context
Ray McGovern
Faux Neutrality: How CNN Shapes Political Debate
William Manson
Things R Us: How Venture Capitalists Feed the Fetishism of Technology
Norman Pollack
The “Apologies”: A Note On Usage
Steve Horn
Cops Called on Reporter Who Asked About Climate at Oil & Gas Convention
Javan Briggs
The Browning of California: the Water is Ours!
Dave Randle
The BBC and the Licence Fee
Andrew Stewart
Elvis Has Left the Building: a Reply to Slavoj Žižek
Nicolás Cabrera
Resisting Columbus: the Movement to Change October 12th Holiday is Rooted in History
Weekend Edition
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David Price – Roberto J. González
The Use and Abuse of Culture (and Children): The Human Terrain System’s Rationalization of Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Mike Whitney
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria
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The Tilikum Effect and the Downfall of SeaWorld
Gary Leupp
The Six Most Disastrous Interventions of the 21st Century
Andrew Levine
In Syria, Obama is Playing a Losing Game
Louis Proyect
The End of Academic Freedom in America: the Case of Steven Salaita
Rob Urie
Democrats, Neoliberalism and the TPP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
The Bully Recalibrates: U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
Brian Cloughley
Hospital Slaughter and the US/NATO Propaganda Machine
Paul Street
Hope in Abandonment: Cuba, Detroit, and Earth-Scientific Socialism
John Walsh
For Vietnam: Artemisinin From China, Agent Orange From America
Hadi Kobaysi
How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists
John Wight
No Moral High Ground for the West on Syria
Robert Fantina
Canadian Universities vs. Israeli Apartheid
Conn Hallinan
Portugal: Europe’s Left Batting 1000
John Feffer
Mouths Wide Shut: Obama’s War on Whistleblowers
Paul Craig Roberts
The Impulsiveness of US Power
Ron Jacobs
The Murderer as American Hero
Alex Nunns
“A Movement Looking for a Home”: the Meaning of Jeremy Corbyn
Andre Vltchek
Stop Millions of Western Immigrants!
Philippe Marlière
Class Struggle at Air France
Halima Hatimy
#BlackLivesMatter: Black Liberation or Black Liberal Distraction?
Binoy Kampmark
Waiting in Vain for Moderation: Syria, Russia and Washington’s Problem
Paul Edwards
Empire of Disaster
Xanthe Hall
Nuclear Madness: NATO’s WMD ‘Sharing’ Must End
Margaret Knapke
These Salvadoran Women Went to Prison for Suffering Miscarriages
Uri Avnery
Abbas: the Leader Without Glory
Michael Brenner
Kissinger Revisited
Cesar Chelala
The Perverse Rise of Killer Robots