Update on CIA Protest

. Wednesday, November 11, 2009

As you all may know, last Wednesday Nov. 4th, the CIA was scheduled to hold a recruitment session in Smith Hall on campus. Along with For a Democratic University (FaDU), International Socialist Organization (ISO), and Campus Anti-war Network (CAN), DI called a picket in protest of their presence at UW. We started small but soon drew a few more people, including graduate students and professors; enough to make a visible and vocal showing. Apparently, our efforts were successful because the recruiting session never actually occurred. The CIA agent who was supposed to conduct the session never showed up to the room! Count it as a victory. Together, we made it clear to the university and to the CIA recruiters that they will not be able to use our school as a recruiting ground for U.S. Empire - not without opposition, at least.

The next day, however, we received an email from Phil Hunt, an advisor in the Student Activities Office, saying we needed to report for a meeting with him regarding an "incident." It's unfortunate that basic acts of protest and free speech draw reprisals from the authoritie at a public institution that posits itself as a beacon of free thought. We were accused of disrupting the educational mission of the university. This begs an obvious question: Since the CIA has a long history of violently suppressing democratic movements throughout the Third World, and since CIA actions have contributed to the bombing of civilians and universities in other countries, what constitutes disrupting learning: a five minute picket, or bombs exploding on top of your school's roof?

While DI is not currently involved in a longterm anti-CIA campaign, this picket was an extension of the work we did last year opposing the CIA on campus as part of the Demilitarize UW Coalition. Here is a link to the Coalition's proposal to end the INSER program and kick the CIA off campus, which we put out last year. Please take a look at it for extensive details on the brutal, murderous history of the CIA and how exactly it is connected to UW.

We also recognize that the CIA, U.S. imperialism, and labor struggles are not completely separate. CIA recruiting is very much tied to student labor and undergraduates, many of whom are so desperate for the declining number of jobs, that militarization and the job of torture seems like the only option. This is part of how the militarization of education - in an econmic crisis like this, functions. While the rich get richer, the poor and working class are funnelled either into prisons or the military, and sometimes one and then the other. This is always more true for people of color and immigrants, who are made systematically more poor, and tracked into prison and potential deportation, with a militarized job as the only way out.

For these reasons, we see the CIA on campus as not only an issue of U.S. Empire, but one of civil rights, access to education, and unemployment.

Thanks to all for your continued support. Stay tuned for future actions, events, and updates.

Democracy Insurgent