Twenty Demonstrators Protest Presence of Marine Recruiters
A group of about 20 demonstrators marched from University Hall to the Office of Career Services and Off-Campus Learning (OCS-OCL) yesterday to protest the presence on campus of two recruiters from the U.S. Marine Corps.
The demonstration was organized by the Revolutionary Student Brigade.
Before they entered the OCS-OCL building, the protesters, chanting and singing, formed a picket line outside.
A member of the brigade told the crowd. "We're here to expose the myth that they (the military) protect the people. We're here to tell them where the hell we think they can go."
After about half an hour outside, the demonstrators gathered in the front office of the OCS-OCL at 11:30 a.m.
Two members of the office staff and one Harvard policeman stood is front of the stairway that led to the office where the Marine recruiters were holding interviews with undergraduates.
That the demonstrators could not confront the recruiter "points out whose side the deans are on, whose side the University is on and whose side the police are on," another brigade organizer said.
After the demonstration, which ended peacefully 15 minutes later, Joe Beinin of the brigade said the purpose of the protest was to help "point out who the real enemies are."
Reached in his office yesterday afternoon, one of the recruiters. Captain P.H. Ray, said he has seen an "unbelievable decrease" in protests against his recruiting activities in Massachusetts in the past few years.
Ray added that interest among seniors and graduates in the Marine training program has increased, "because the state of the economy."
Rev. Robert J. Ginn, associate director of the OCS-OCL, said that many Harvard students were interested in the program because "it's a good opportunity financially."
The program offers a starting yearly salary of $10,000 to $11,000, that is competitive with starting salaries at New York banks, Ginn said.
Business schools also like to see military service when considering applicants, he said, because it offers "good management experience.