Postcards from Tradocia

walkout against student walkouts

Today (Friday, 28 April) on campus was the “student walkout against the war.” I walked over to get a look – it was a pretty sad little bunch, no more than about 500 people, chanting the usual slogans (“no war for oil,” “fuck Bush,” etc.). Not even any interesting signs!

I had a certain feeling of dread as I approached the plaza on Friday. It wasn’t just the cold rain – it was a sinking fear that I would climb the stairs and see before me a sea of bodies, all chanting and yelling inchoherent leftist slogans, and that I would suddenly feel totally alientated, not only from the university, but this state and even maybe this country as well – because if there were that many who felt so different than I did, I truly would not belong.

Thankfully, my fears were groundless – the group was small (estimated at about 250 by the UMPD) and mostly pointless.

This was one of the main slogans. “College Not Combat”? Yawn. Not exactly soul-stirring stuff there.

I guess that’s legitimate if you don’t want recruiters in schools – maybe you think that recruiters should only be allowed to solicit potential enlistees in dark alleys behind dive bars, or outside of plasma donation clinics, or something. Personally, debating recruiters in schools is a non-starter; are you going to also forbid recruiters from Wells Fargo and Exxon and Honeywell (evil big businesses all!) from colleges, or exile recruiters from Harvard and Yale and Princeton from high schools (evil elite schools that only rich racists can afford!)? The name of this group also speaks to the lack of focus of such leftist organizations – war and racism are seperate things (at least in the American experience), so let’s deal with them seperately. Americans wage war because of racism? Maybe they don’t remember all those white guys we killed over in Europe about sixty years ago.

This guy was talking but I didn’t pay a lot of attention. Note the old-style desert top he’s wearing – lots of people were wearing BDU tops for some reason. I guess it was some sort of clever irony. “Look, I’m wearing an Army uniform – but I hate the military! Ha! Take that, surplus store!”

Curious…I wonder if this soldier wants this woman (girlfriend? wife? daughter?) going to the anti-war protest? Or does she do it because she thinks that will help him somehow? I know I would’ve been livid had Mrs. Melobi gone to some half-baked protest like this while I was deployed. At a minimum, she should’ve at least gone to one that was halfway decent.

These guys looked pretty tough. They might’ve been the ones who tossed the paint on the US Army recruiting station near Washington Ave & Oak St – the report in the Strib said that the guy arrested was wearing black and had his face covered.

One of the organizers’ demands: immediate reconstruction of Iraq and institution of democratic elections. Hey lady, guess who’s facilitating that right now? It’s the very same military that you decry so fervently as being “racist” and “imperialist.” Private Snuffy has done more for the people of Iraq than any of these whiny teens could in their wildest “Socialist Alternative” wet dreams. You want Iraq rebuilt so badly? How about walking out of class and going to Baghdad and lending a hand, instead of barking into a microphone over your lunch hour?

Here’s the Minnesota Daily article about the event.

1 Comment

  1. Barrett

    Rightly said, man. As much as I have my differences with the war and everything about it, doing a little protest doesn’t do anything at this point. And I don’t know if the U is very good at putting on a righteous demonstration at all, because I remember from before the war even started, when it was cool to protest, and millions of people around the world were marching in the streets – I was on my way to class, and fell in with a protest that was just like the one you described. WTF? Lame, weak, and going to class was more fun, if you can believe that.

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