TO: Carol Cartwright, William Ross, Greg Jarvie, Kent State University
I am prompted to write this protest letter on behalf of Dave Airhart, a
student and Iraq War veteran that climbed the Army’s rock wall at your
infamous university and draped a sign that read, “Kent State 4 Peace” over
the wall for all to see. Since when is peaceful protest not allowed in this
But there is an even more important reason for demanding that Dave be given
all his rights back and that all punishment against him be rescinded
immediately. The rock wall is a horrible advertising scam designed to fool
students about the reality of war, the reality of military “life,” if you
are lucky enough to live through it whole and with all your faculties.
War isn’t climbing rock walls and joking with friends and David knows this.
War isn’t “expanding your horizons” or “learning useful skills”. War is
about killing the enemy. That means that war is based on who the government
deems the enemy at any given moment in time. And who makes these decisions?
Do we vote on war? No, those who rule decide upon war.
So, our elected officials make the decision about war. Both Republicans and
Democrats alike voted on the war; the budget; the expansion of military
spending; the increase in the military’s advertising budget for recruitment
and the entrenchment of the military in our school system at every level;
Patriot Act; increased internal surveillance of civilians; more jails; more
police, etc. At the same time all social nets and services; schools;
hospitals; the entire social and service infrastructure is in shambles. But
the oil barons corporate kingpins are swimming in money. Their children
don’t join the military! They join the jet set.
And then, we find out beyond any reasonable doubt, that all the reasons for
the war in the first place were nothing but a bunch of lies—-to militarily
occupy the oil-rich region for American business interests, having nothing
to do with anything but making that financial arrangement by force—-using
our tax money to carry out one of the biggest crimes of our century.
And you expect people to be silent about educators allowing the
military—-this sick monster—-to come onto our schools and campuses and set
up a rock wall and pretend that war is fun; to lie, pressure, humiliate,
shame and coerce young people to sacrifice their lives for lies; to consume
and mangle more of our kids to make the pockets of the wealthy elite bulge
even more? To condemn those that do survive to suffer the images of war that
dart in and out of consciousness continually for the rest of their lives?
Just whose side are you on?
The buck stops here!
Get the military out of Kent State University. If you can’t do it now you
can at least demand it now! You can encourage students like Dave. He should
be speaking to all the students at Kent State. He has valuable and real
experience. The military is no place for the inquisitive mind which all
educators are supposed to be nurturing. You need to get your bearings back.
You need to stand on the side of these brave students. You need to support
them not punish them. You need to convince young people that joining the
military is not a good choice when an entire government has lied about all
the reasons for going to war in the first place. This war will be a shame
and disgrace for centuries to come, if the human race makes it. Our young
people need to study how to end wars and create a humane world.
As educators your job is to stand on their side against the military
recruiters; to encourage students to think twice and three times about
joining the military. Your job is to see that they are not fooled by the fun
of climbing a rock wall. It’s not as much fun when you are carrying your
buddy’s bloody torso on your back under gunfire. Your job is to encourage
them to read about the war; to seek out veterans to speak to; to do thorough
research on how the government lied and used the mass media to perpetrate
the lies. This is the reality of our world today as much as we detest it.
School is no place for the military—-no place to recruit our children to die
for the enrichment of the wealthy elite who rules this country.
It is up you to stand on their side. Go out and protest with the students
against the military. Let the military know they are not welcome at Kent
State even if you can’t ban them now! And drop all the charges and reinstate
Dave Airhart immediately. Get the military out of Kent State!
Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War
Carol Cartwright- University President: 330.672.2210
Greg Jarvie- Dean of Undergraduate Students: 330.672.9494
William Ross- Executive Director of the Undergraduate Student Senate:
KSAWC is a member of the national student grassroots organization,
Campus Antiwar Network (CAN)