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April 5 - 2 year anniversary!
by josh sonnenfeld (sugarloaf [at]
Thursday Apr 5th, 2007 7:11 PM
Two years ago today, UC Santa Cruz students kicked military recruiters off campus for the first time since the early 70's. This was the first action of what The Project newspaper called 'The Spring Insurrection' of 2005, including the 1,000+ strong AFSCME strike and shutdown of campus, Tent U. and more. That spring was a big part of what radicalized our particular generation of activists and organizers.
April 5 was also part of a national upsurge in kick-recruiters all around the nation that had started January 20, 2005 at Seattle Central Community College (the same day SAW was founded), before going to SF State, UCSC and another dozen schools all in the span of a few months.

Last year I posted my photos from the day as a remembrance article of sorts:

You can see the other folks' photos and thoughts on the original Santa Cruz Indymedia feature of that day:


The April 5 action became even more important after December of 2005 when we learned that the action had been included in a list of events spied on by the Pentagon. The Army's 902nd Military Intelligence Group (which, along with others, spied on Dr. King in the 60s), had listed us as a 'credible threat' of terrorism. This caused a big uproar and became a permanent part of Students Against War's identity. The Baytree Bookstore started selling T-shirts with the UCSC slug and the words 'Credible Threat?' underneith, while the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN.. a queer rights in the military advocacy org.) made the widely popular 'Kissing Me May Constitute Terrorist Activity' t-shirts after they mistakenly thought that our Queer Kiss-In (Oct. 18, 2005) was spied on by the Pentagon, rather than our previous major protest of April 5. We were also featured in the New York Times:

We've since kicked recruiters off again (April 11, 2006) and much more, but our original April 5 action was very much a watershed moment and an important part of UCSC's image. This can be illustrated by one of my favorite quotes, from an exasperated UCSC sports fan:

"Maybe if we tied military recruiters to the goalposts during athletic events, we'd finally find some rabid fans up on the hill." - Mark Conley, deputy sports editor, Santa Cruz Sentinel (05/27/06).

Recruiters will be visiting UCSC again on April 24 of this year.
by josh sonnenfeld Thursday Apr 5th, 2007 7:11 PM
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network's T-shirts, used as a way of raising money for their organization. They continued with this message even after we told them they misunderstood which protest of ours was spied on... A nice shirt though :)
by josh sonnenfeld Thursday Apr 5th, 2007 7:11 PM
Baytree Bookstore's T-shirts. Sold for $12.99, manufactured by Russell Athletics.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Aunty War
Thursday Apr 5th, 2007 7:45 PM
As a participant in many of these actions, and anti-recruitment protests, I am appalled by the idea that Ruseell Athletics and UCSC is making profits by hawking T-Shirts with this slogan. Does SAW get a cut of T-Shirt sales? (Sarcasm)

Even if they did, am I to beleive, that a multinational company marketing a slogan from your "Insurrection," is some kind of activist victory? Trumpeting this t-shirt slogan, marketed by Russell, as somehow "radical" is the stuff that turns me off from your "movement."

No Capitalist Exploitation!
No Recruiters on Campus!
All Out, April 24!
by josh
Thursday Apr 5th, 2007 9:39 PM
I was being critical of the Baytree T-shirts.. which is why I mentioned they were made my Russell (a company with a history of treating their labor poorly). Why be so quick to attack your allies without even asking what's on your mind?
by Aunty War
Friday Apr 6th, 2007 11:09 AM
Josh, I've seen your work for a few years now on this site, and I respect your opiinion, and the work that you are doing. I also value the concept of looking back on our small victories, with an eye toward replicating and expanding those victories.

But, nowhere in your post is there a critical word about the T-Shirts. From my read, you seem gleeful about them. It appears to me as a grandiose, self-congratulatory, pat on the back, as well as, an ad for the shirts. You showed a picture of the Credible Threat shirts, listed the price, and let us all know where we could buy one! In your original post, there is not one word about the shitty labor conditions at Russell Athletics factories. Not a word from you about the fact that UC President Dynes was recently pressured into accepting the Designated Suppliers Program. This agreement commits the UC to purchase clothes with campus logos, only from factories that respect workers' rights, and have been approved by an independent board. But Russell is not offf the hook, and are still sourcing from factories that abuse workers. To read more about the Hermosa Factory worker's struggle with Russell and others, see this release:

But I digress... My comment was also NOT an "attack on" my "allies," and I did ask two questions, actually. To reiterate; Does SAW get a cut of T-Shirt sales? And, even if they did, am I to beleive, that a multinational company marketing a slogan from your "Insurrection," is some kind of activist victory?

Two questions, still no answers. I guess I'm just a little disappointed...
by Ramiro
Friday Apr 6th, 2007 11:29 AM
...we can't get our shit together. Too many people so quick to jump on each other for miniscule pendejadas.

Josh, SAW, SIN, AFSCME workers, UCSC activists: the Watsonville Brown Berets salute you with the upmost respect! UHURU! MEXIKA TIAHUI! RESIST!
by josh
Friday Apr 6th, 2007 12:02 PM
You wouldn't be asking these questions if you had been involved with all this, 'Aunty War.' What does ridiculous speculation online contribute to?

Of course SAW doesn't get anything from Baytree's shirts. The idea of them using our image to sell T-shirts is what fits into the general concept of the commodification of dissent. It's extremly worrysome, but even so, it still shows the degree to which these actions have become part of UCSC's image. You can talk about it and analyze it without agreeing with it.

You don't need to tell me about the Sweatfree campaign.. I helped cover it!

How can these be serious questions? Administrators would go from getting us arrested and threatening us publically to giving us a cut of their T-shirt sales? what a joke!

Thanks for bringing us back to reality, Ramiro! I saw a half dozen Berets walkin' downtown the other day in their WBB T-shirts. It was a nice change of pace from the usual scenes of downtown :)

by Aunty War
Friday Apr 6th, 2007 12:41 PM
To Josh; thanks for the answer to my very serious and legitimate question.

However, I'm not writing about the Sweatfree Campaign, solely for your benefit. Beleive it or not, someone else, not nearly as priveledged as you, might stumble upon this string, and not know ANYTHING about it. You see, not all of us can afford an education up there on The Hill. Not all off us are as have wealthy parents who can pay the cost of tuition, books, housing, etc, and STILL have money left over to pay for fancy cameras to "help cover" events and campaigns. Some of us have to work all day, just to pay for food, and rent. Therefore, we might be a little bit slower to understand your high minded theories of globalization, and commodification of dissent. Some of us are too busy living it day to day, to join with you as you plan protests and rallies on our behalf. You, Josh, betray a striking class divide by your dismissal of any criticisms as "a joke." I find that equally as worrysome as your high minded theorizations.

To Ramiro: Were you authorized to speak for every member of the Brown Berets? Or did you decide to speak omn their behalf, all by yourself? If the answer is the latter, you are a fascist.

This CLASS DIVIDE I speak of, is in my opinion. the REAL reason we "can't get our shit together." Next time the Brown Berets get on some high and mighty campaign, and want my support and attendance, I might just think their concerns are "miniscule idiocy."

by Ramiro
Friday Apr 6th, 2007 4:34 PM
Josh, the Berets you saw were probably the vatos from the Salt Lake City autonomous chapter. They came down to the area to visit, and we decided to take them downtown so they get to know the area.

"Auntie War" --

As a Brown Beret I am able to speak on behalf of the entire organization, as any other member is. I don't need permission from anybody to state what has been evident for a long time, not through words, but through actions. The Berets have worked together before with all the mentioned organizations and will continue to do so whenever possible. This profound respect has been established not by theorizing or through the internet, it has been established by actually mobilizing alongside each other and understanding that it is the same struggle we are facing.

You think you threaten us by not attending our events? This proves your egotistical nature, as you believe *you* are damaging *our* "campaigns," when in reality it is the community, the people, that face the consequences of your inaction and complacency. You actually believe our events are targeted at you? How foolish!

Your comments, Auntie War, create divides and further threaten the probability of true change, which can only be achieved through unity. I invite you to mobilize with us, not as a spectator, but as part of a community under direct attack for being nothing more than "undocumented," among other things. Let's stop theorizing, and let's start mobilizing!

This is my last response to this thread for the sake of not widening the gap. MEXICAH TIAHUI!
by ACS II (ya saben)
Saturday Apr 7th, 2007 2:05 AM
Couldn't have put it better myself. Tia Guerra me parece como un pinche chota "baja de las cubrietas" intentando a crear divisiones entre gente en esta pagina. Como dijiste, acciones hablan mas alto que palabras, especialmente palabras hablado por el internet. Tia Guerra, que bueno que su caca no huele, espero que sigues "luchando" asi ;-P
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