banner. photo c/o www.fredaskew.com

banner. photo c/o www.fredaskew.com

this kid was having fun. photo c/o www.fredaskew.com

this kid was having fun. photo c/o www.fredaskew.com

pigs protecting army. photo c/o www.fredaskew.com

pigs protecting army. photo c/o www.fredaskew.com

street theater. photo c/o www.fredaskew.com

street theater. photo c/o www.fredaskew.com

On Wednesday, November 16th, around 40 people flyered the armed forces recruitment station on 41 Flatbush Avenue near Downtown Brooklyn. We arrived to a recruitment center shut down completely by the police and almost all of the shutters pulled down on the large plate glass windows. There were cop cars, unmarked police vehicles, and a host of 'community affairs' cops lining the sidewalk at noon. Our goal was simple: to flyer potential recruits that might consider going in to the center, to be a public presence at a very busy intersection in downtown Brooklyn, and to make the recruiter's day uncomfortable.

During the day, we gave out over 500 flyers-- some presenting our position on fighting the government's bullshit wars, while others presented concrete reasons to not join the military (a flyer written by a black anarchist Vietnam war veteran, as well a newspaper directed toward people who have already enlisted with resources on what they can do now that they have signed up.) The response from passersby was very positive-- many people stopped to talk and thanked us for being there, and some recounted stories of people in their lives who are currently in the military. Lots of anti- Bush/war sentiment was displayed by people walking by and we had some great interactions with some high schoolers who were on break from school. Some kids expressed annoyance that the military is in their high schools and talked about the 'opt out' forms they had their parents sign to stop military recruiters from harassing them. Almost everyone who passed us took flyers and understood exactly why we were there-- The connection between the war and the presence of military recruitment stations in their neighborhood was simple for them, as many knew someone who was in the military or have had some kind of interaction with a recruiter.

The recruiters were tense all day but were backed up by almost 50 cops ranging from undercovers, TARU [a tactical unit that videotapes activists] and Community Affairs police. Some media was there including the Michigan Independent Center, the Village Voice, and a local Brooklyn paper called, The Courier. Photos were taken by excellent local photographer Fred Askew and are available at  http://www.stratecomm.net/~fritz/gallery/recruitment.

After leaving the Flatbush avenue location, another group with some extra flyers, visited the 4th Avenue and Pacific Street Army National Guard Recruitment Office [located on the second floor of the building]. Persistent attempts to get the recruiters to allow us in did not work, but their bell seemed to be broken and rang continuously. We stayed there for a short while, until the recruiters left.

Thanks to members of the National Lawyers' Guild for the legal back-up which diffused the initial 'you can't stand here' bullshit offered up by the cops. Thanks to everyone who attended in the middle of a work day when the weather was threatening thunderstorms the entire time. We are very happy to say that not one person who attended stepped into the police barricade set up by the Brooklyn cops. No one should ever step into those pens-- we don't need permission to stand on our sidewalks and give out information.

To find out about other counter recruitment opportunities, contact
 inourhearts@gmail.com. Keep in mind that confronting military recruiters is something all of us can easily do-- pick a recruitment center in your 'hood (or school, or mall, or wherever they regularly go), adopt it as your own, and do what you need to do!