I came across a couple of other posts about the protest at a Grand Rapids military recruiting center:
Group Protests Predatory Military Recruiters at Armed Forces Career Center
This is from Media Mouse, a Grand Rapids citizen journalist group which “has closely identified itself with the Indymedia network” since 1999:
After about fifteen minutes of chanting facts about the realities of life the military, recruiters forced open one of the doors and started attempting to play music to drown out the protest. Interestingly–and perhaps not surprisingly–the recruiters played Toby Keith’s jingoistic country song “American Soldier” until it became clear that the music was not deterring the protestors and likely was doing more to disrupt business within the recruiting center. The majority of the recruiters then left the building and stood around drinking beer and smoking at the buffalo wings restaurant across the street while waiting for the police to come.
For the most part, the recruiters did little to interfere with the protest aside from calling the police, although at one point a particularly gung-ho recruiter took it upon himself to walk through the parking lot and remove the leaflets that had been placed on car windshields exposing the lies that military recruiters tell.
The pic is from the Media Mouse gallery of the protest and is captioned “Recruiter removing leaflets from parked cars.” It’s a bit blurry, but this must not be the recruiter’s “gung-ho” side. And I guess I haven’t seen the newest recruiter uniform. I wonder if this is the same recruiter who was drinking beer.
Be sure to go read the whole enlightening thing.
Next up is Anti-War Protest at Joel Swagman:
A few people swore at me when I tried to offer them fliers, and one person tore them up, threw them on the ground, and then asked me if I wanted to give him anymore.
A few high school kids got an American flag and started running up and down the sidewalk with it, and cheering for the war. Generally I find pro-war demonstrators to be the lowest forms of humanity, but I try and make allowances for the ignorance of youth. After all, I myself was conservative at the age of 16.
One of Media Mouse’s criticisms was that the Grand Rapids Press story said
Instead of reporting that the protestors chanted against military recruiting, [GR Press Reporter] Roelofs reported that the protestors “chanted slogans against the war.”
In the same vein, I wonder if the kids with the flags were really “pro-war demonstrators” as Swagman writes or if maybe they were simply “pro-military”, “pro-victory”, or “pro-USA” demonstrators.
Finally, I’m wondering if there’s a silver lining to folks protesting outside of recruiting centers. I mean, I obviously find the theory that America would be better off without a military to be sheer stupidity, but isn’t it possible that volunteering in the face of vocal opposition helps “weed out” undesirables before they get into the system? I realize that there are numbers that must be met to remain effective, but these demonstrations probably cut way down on the number of folks joining up “just for the college money” and help ensure that those enlisting are more likely to be in the right frame of mind. Just a thought.