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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Brain dead in Ohio--Kent State revisited

From Counterpunch:
IRAQ WAR veteran and Kent State student, Dave Airhart, is under attack for opposing the war he considers "unjust" and 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.
Ron Jacobs interviewed Airhart. Here are some excerpts:
Ron: Why did you join the service in the first place?

David: I watched too many war movies, and I had an overly romanticized view of what combat might be like.

Ron: What branch were you in and did you have any special training?

David: I was in the Marine Corps Infantry. I learned absolutely nothing of value in the rest of the world. I learned how to shoot guns and how to get yelled at a lot.
Ron: Was there any one incident that you were involved in or heard about that
made you decide to speak out?

David: Mostly all the murders of innocent civilians.
Ron: And what do you have to say to other folks who might be thinking about joining the military?

David: If they want, I can kill a couple of their friends and then give them some money for college, if that is what they really want. At least that way they wouldn't have to spend four miserable years in an oppressive organization where they deprive you of most of your rights and use you for whatever they feel like. I would also point out that the GI Bill is only $1004 per month. And it is only good for 36 months. That is the extent of what the military pays for your college. So if they are joining for college money, there are better and safer routes to take to afford college. If they are just romantic thrill seeking warrior types, I'd recommend joining the Iraqi resistance for they are fighting for a more noble cause.
Jacobs concludes by suggesting that everyone contact Kent State's President, Carol Cartwright, and tell her to back off of expelling or otherwise punishing Airhart.