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March 10, 2005

2005.03.10: Antiwar Bulletin: 100 Centre Press Conf. 4 p.m. Today

From: Michael Letwin
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 10:33 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Antiwar Bulletin: 100 Centre Press Conf. 4 p.m. Today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CITY COLLEGE STUDENT

COUNTER-RECRUITERS

CHARGED WITH FELONY ASSAULT

WHAT: Press Conference

WHO: City College Counter-Recruiters: Hadas Thier, Nicholas Bergreen, Justino Rodriguez (pending their

release) and their supporters: representatives from civil liberties organizations, national anti-war organizations, student anti-war organizations, veterans and military family members, and the legal community

WHERE: Thursday March 10th

4pm

100 Centre Street

CONTACTS

Activist: Meredith Kolodner (917) 881-3896

Lawyers: Sean Maher, Darlene Jorif (212) 876-5500

STORY: COUNTER-RECRUITERS CHARGED WITH FELONY ASSAULT

Three undergraduate students at the City College of New York (CCNY) were arrested Wednesday in the course of a peaceful protest against military recruiters.

Hadas Thier, Nick Bergreen, and Justino Rodriguez, along with approximately a dozen other protesters attended a job fair organized by the college, and stood up in front of a National Guard recruitment table chanting anti-war slogans. Private security and campus peace officers immediately surrounded the protesters, pushed them into an empty hallway outside of the job fair, closed the hall door and assaulted two protesters and arrested a third who was taking pictures. The two students who were assaulted are now being charged with felony assault, and the third with obstruction of a government administrator.

MILITARY RESPONDING TO COUNTER-RECRUITER’S SUCCESS

“Counter-recruitment” has become a national issue (USATODAY “Counter-recruiters shadowing the military”

3/7/5), and it’s working. Between these efforts, and general disagreement about the war, recruitment is down – according to a 3/6/5 Reuters report, “The regular Army is 6 percent behind its year-to-date recruiting target, the Reserve is 10 percent behind, and the Guard is 26 percent short.”

After similar counter-recruitment efforts have taken off from New York to Seattle, the military has clearly become concerned. At William Patterson University in New Jersey an activist was arrested for simply handing out counter-recruitment leaflets. Twice last semester, CCNY student protesters drove military recruiters off the campus with peaceful protests. This time campus security was ready. “We didn’t even get through one round of chanting,” according to Tiffany Paul, a junior at CCNY and a member of the Campus Anti-War Network, who was one of the protesters. “We were completely peaceful, it was the officers who were violent.”

UNNECESSARY BRUTALITY

When Mr. Rodriguez was being arrested, his head was slammed into the wall. He called out “look what they’re doing to me!” According to Ms. Paul, to silence him one of the guards pulled Mr. Rodriguez’s hood over his head and slammed his head into the wall again.

“He just stood on the guy,” remembers Mark Turner, a staff member at CCNY, recalling the manner in which Mr. Bergreen was subdued by a private security guard, Mr. Robertson. “His foot was on his back, after he had tackled him. Private security are not supposed to touch us.”

Ms. Thier was arrested simply for taking pictures.

Several witnesses recall that the guards were pulling on her hair. Juan Alduey remembers that the guards pushed Ms. Thier when she tried to give a statement to students who began filming the event. “I’m being arrested for exercising my right to free speech” Mr.

Alduey recalled.

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