Giving Army Recruiters a Bad Day

I was with a small group of protesters today at the new Army Recruiting Center downtown near Ground Zero.  Two police cars were called by the recruiters; apparently holding signs saying “Don’t Enlist! Resist!” and handing out hundreds of flyers seemed very dangerous.


A young German literature student stood for a long time, offering help from afar, and asking why people in the US are so quiet about the war.  Just then a woman pushing a baby stroller sped by, took a flyer, and said that the recruiters have been open for weeks already — “where have you been?”  I had to ask where she had been if it bothers her so much.

400 people took flyers in an hour, dozens of people thanked us, 4 cops glowered at us, 3 self-described ex-Marines screamed at us. The Marine recruiters down the street started sending their guys in dress uniforms to strut up and down the block, so we went down there for awhile, discussing with two new recruits why they were joining.  “To keep America safe.” “Because I can learn discipline.”

Elaine Brower told them about her son’s two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, with the Marines.  “You’re just going to be killing people there.  How is that going to make anyone safe?”  She ran it down.  They got more and more quiet.  After 20 minutes, the Staff Sergeant pulled them back inside, under orders not to engage with us.

We’ll be back on Chambers Street Wednesdays at noon.  No doubt this will all get more interesting, and important a thing to be doing.

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  1. #1 by Jill on December 31, 2009 - 1:45 am

    This sounds like it was a great action. I loved reading about Elaine talking to the two new recruits. I believe that kind of thing does stay with people even while they’re choosing to continue on that path. We don’t know what the thing is that is going to change a person’s perspective…but we know that not saying anything will change nothing and probably make it worse.

  2. #2 by Laurence Topliffe on December 31, 2009 - 6:43 am

    The future of life on Earth will be one of peace and it will not be achieved by relgions or war. Neither have ever created peace. What will create peace can be found at,, Creating inner peace creates outer peace. Not creating inner peace on an individual basis does nothing for world peace.

  3. #3 by Scott on December 31, 2009 - 11:13 am

    Man. That just made my day. And Jill’s comment about what we do know is that saying nothing will change nothing. On Point!!

  4. #4 by George on December 31, 2009 - 1:50 pm

    Thanks Debra, Many Europeans seem baffled by Americans’ silence during these wars based on lies. I thought there would be hope for change after the last presidential election. It’s been the same policies of the Bush administration since January 2009.

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