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SAW Press Release: Students Greet Military with Rally and Queer Kiss-In

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10/18/2005

STUDENTS GREET MILITARY WITH RALLY AND QUEER KISS-IN
Students creatively and peacefully block access to military recruiters

Today, October 18th, 2005 UCSC Students Against War (SAW) organized a nonviolent rally and Queer Kiss-in against the presence of military recruiters on the UC Santa Cruz campus.

About forty students participated in a Queer Kiss-in in protest of the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? policy. The Queer Kiss-in was staged in front of the military’s tables during the march and rally. From inside the fair, kissers were able to effectively block access to military recruiters without shutting down the entire career fair.

When asked about why the Queer Kiss-in was the most effective tactic to use against the military, Steve S. a third year Literature major answered, “The kiss — an act of love — is fundamentally antithetical to the military as an institution of war and death and strife.?

Outside of the University Center over a hundred students rallied against the recruiters and in support of those participating in the kiss-in on the inside. The students were flanked by supportive faculty and staff, many of who wore “UCSC Faculty Against War? badges.

The rally at the College Center lasted for the duration of the career fair and included speeches by students and faculty members such as UC Professor Bettina Aptheker, music, as well as an impromptu question-and-answer session between SAW organizers and rally participants.

As they rallied, the students presented a list of five demands to the UCSC administration. They demanded that:

• All military recruiters leave the Job Fair immediately,

• UCSC join dozens of prestigious law schools nation-wide in the Supreme Court case FAIR v Rumsfeld to oppose the Solomon Amendment, which forces colleges to allow military recruiters, even though it violates their own nondiscrimination policies,

• UCSC Faculty and Administration write a resolution promising to officially ban recruiters from campus as soon as the Solomon Amendment is overturned,

• UCSC Chancellor Denice D. Denton make a public statement denouncing military recruitment as a violation of campus non-discrimination policies, affirming the campus’ will to ban recruiters, once legally able to do so.

Second year student, Tom Fleming, who took part in the rally said, “I feel that we really made a strong point today, our goals are tangible and the pressure is now on the administration to formulate a strategy that will be in support of the student body.?


INTERVIEWS AND PHOTOS AVAILABLE BY REQUEST.

For more information, contact Students Against War’s press team through saw_action (at) yahoo.com
 
 


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