At least three student groups are planning to protest a visit of Central Intelligence Agency recruiters to the Kennedy School of Government today.
Protest organizers from the Committee on Central America (COCA), the Friends of the Spartacus Youth League (SYL), and the Democratic Socialists of America said they expect "a lot" of students to attend the demonstration, which is scheduled for 1 p.m. in front of the K-School.
Although COCA and Democratic Socialists members said they plan a peaceful protest consisting of picketing and presenting written protests to the CIA representatives, SYL member Thomas N. Crean '86 said his group would like to "drive the CIA recruiters off campus."
Crean called the CIA "the hitmen for imperialism," while COCA member Jaran R. Bourke '88 said his group objects to CIA recruitment because of the agency's alleged involvement in the ongoing political conflicts in Central America.
Bourke said that COCA would like to convince the CIA not to return to campus and "to create an awareness among students at Harvard so that in future there will be no supply for the CIA."
According to Judy F. Kugel, the Kennedy School's director of career placement, the CIA visit is a "standard" annual event which in the past has attracted from five to 30 students. She said she did not know how many students will speak with agency recruiters today.
Kugel said the recruiters will make a brief presentation and talk individually to interested Kennedy School students.
She said she was not aware of the protest plans and said previous CIA visits had not been received in a similar way.
Kathy Pherson, a CIA spokesman, said she did not know how many agency representatives would be coming to Harvard. She would not specify how many students from the Kennedy School or other Harvard schools had participated in previous visits or how many had been hired.
"We have recruiters all over the United States," Pherson said.
She said she was unaware of protest plans, but that recruiters elsewhere had been the focus of campus demonstrations.
"It happens every once in a while," she said.
"Basically, we think people have the right to interview with us," Pherson said. "On the other hand, if people want to protest, that's their right, too.