Anti-War Protesters Declare 4/22 Zero Recruitment Day
Thursday, April 22, 10 a.m.
Knollwood Mall, Parking Lot (by the Knollwood sign),
Highway 7 and Texas Avenue, St. Louis Park
On Thursday, April 22, anti-war groups will engage in coordinated protests at military recruiting centers across the Twin Cities and in Mankato. Initiated by the Anti-War Committee, participating groups are united in an effort to:
- Visibly oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
- Expose recruiter lies
- Interfere with military recruiting that day
President Obama has failed to end the war in Iraq and has dramatically escalated the war in Afghanistan. A surge of new U.S. combat forces has brought mounting civilian casualties in Afghanistan, while the U.S. military denies responsibility for recently revealed criminal attacks on unarmed civilians in Iraq. Billions of our tax dollars are spent on brutal wars abroad, yet at home we’re facing cuts to education, health care, and affordable housing. Military recruiters, who disproportionately target low income people, are using the economic crisis to intensify pressure on vulnerable youth. On Thursday April 22, Minnesotans will say no to war, military recruitment, and cuts to social programs, with a day of coordinated protests.
Organizers of Zero Recruitment Day oppose the killing of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the ongoing occupation of both countries. Anti-War Committee member Jennie Eisert explains, “Nearly 100,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq today. Obama’s so-called plan for withdrawal will leave at least 50,000 troops in Iraq indefinitely. This is not an end to the war. Meanwhile, over 100,000 American troops occupy Afghanistan, where we’ve seen a dramatic rise in civilian deaths at the hands of U.S. forces, such as the recent shooting of bus passengers in Kandahar and the killing of 2 pregnant women and a teenage girl during a nighttime raid in eastern Afghanistan.”
Over 5,000 Americans have lost their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan and thousands more return wounded physically and psychologically. According to Sarah Martin, a member of Grandmothers for Peace, “We have to shatter the illusion that these wars are ending and that new soldiers won’t have to fight. Recruiters target young people with false promises just to meet their quotas. Contrary to what recruiters say, new recruits are sent to fight, kill and die in real wars. The truth about recruiting reveals a system that deceives and exploits young people. To end these unjust wars, we must actively resist military recruitment so there are no more soldiers to fight.”
Most participating groups will send a representative to the press conference to address the media. The media is also welcome to cover the actions on location. Below is a list of the groups organizing events at military recruitment centers:
Schedule for Zero Recruitment Day
Press Conference and Grandmothers for Peace action
Thursday, April 22, 10:00 am Knollwood Mall, Parking Lot (by the Knollwood sign), Highway 7 and Texas Avenue, St. Louis Park
10:00 a.m. press conference, followed by a street bannering on the sidewalk outside the military recruiter’s office.
- Alliant Action and Twin Cities Peace Campaign: 10am to 2pm @ 1672 Robert Street South, West St. Paul..
- University of MN TC Campus: 11:30 am – Gathering at ROTC (located off University Ave on 17th/Church Street (http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/maps/Armory/) We will then march from the ROTC building to the two recruiting centers on Washington Avenue & Oak Street.
- Anti-War Committee: 3:30 bannering & 4:30 -6:30 pm rally @ National Guard building @ 600 Cedar Ave. St Paul (12th & Cedar)
- SERF (Semiotic Existentialists Reinventing Fun): 4-6pm @ Lyndale and Lake Recruiting Office – Minneapolis