Peace Thugs Disrupt Job Fair

Michelle Malkin passes on word of the “peace thugs” who disrupted a job fair at UC Santa Cruz.

Students protesting military recruiters disrupt UCSC job fair (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

UC Santa Cruz junior Jonathan Perez dressed in a suit and tie Tuesday, hoping to impress company recruiters at the campus job fair. But more than 200 student anti-war protesters got there first, storming the Stevenson Event Center, shouting and banging on windows and demanding that military recruiters in the corner of the room leave. The noisy sit-in ended after an hour of chaos and tension when military representatives vacated their posts. Student protesters hugged each other happily after administrators allowed them to hand out information on alternatives to military careers and agreed to a meeting to discuss future job fairs.

Barbara Bedford, director of UCSC̢۪s Career Center, said UCSC complies with a 1995 federal law called the Solomon amendment, which denies federal funding to universities that bar military recruiters from campus. One of the protest leaders contended UCSC should follow the lead of Harvard Law School, which banned military recruiters after a federal appeals court in Philadelphia invalidated the law. The U.S. Justice Department has announced plans to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

UCSC administrators stepped up security at the job fair, hoping to avert a confrontation. Students had to present identification at the door and reporters asking to enter were screened. That didn’t stop the student protesters. About 75 of them pushed their way in, carrying signs and a banner that said “Military Off Our Campus.” They chanted, “Racist, Sexist, Anti-Gay. Hey, recruiters, go away.”


Once the doors re-opened, about 500 job-hunting students came in, like Perez, an information systems management major who had waited 45 minutes. “It messed up the job fair for a lot of people,” he said.

Free speech and peaceable assembly are one thing; rioting is another. It sounds like the university at least made an attempt to prevent this sort of nonsense but negotiating with these thugs sends the wrong message. They should have been carted off to jail.

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. BigFire says:

    Sorry to say, this comes as no surprise. I attended UC Santa Cruz from 1988-1992. During the quake of ’89 when then President Bush visit the heavily damaged downtown site the student council president was organizing protest against the lack of abortion funding.

  2. Just Me says:

    These students should be disciplined, not have their actions validated.

  3. Ugh says:

    People never seem to understand. When it comes to loud, noisy, protesting students, university administrators are like parents in Bill Cosby’s Himself, they aren’t interested in justice, they want quiet.

    Volokh thinks the Supreme Court will reverse the circuit court 9-0, IIRC.

  4. Posterity says:

    Actually the very end of the Sentinel Article is incorrect as there were not nearly 500 students attempting to get in. The real number was closer to 50. I have sent an email to the editor of the Sentinel but I think this is quite an important correction.

    Finally what the article fails to address is that the Career Center has a policy that states tha no companies or organizations with discriminatory policies will be allowed to come to the job fair. The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy of the US Military, for one, is by all accounts such a discriminatory policy. The protesters were not only protesting the presence of the military but attempting to make the Career Center accountable to its policies and not allow the military to recruit in its fair.

  5. JRI says:

    You people are just not the brightest bulbs on the Xmas tree, are you?

  6. LJD says:

    Discriminatory policy? If you don’t tell, they won’t ask. How is that discriminatory? Not to mention the U.S. military has an corporate identity way beyond any corporation. How many jobs do people have to make sacrifices for? Airline pilots can’t be drunk. Food service workers cannot have poor hygiene. Certain kinds of nurses can’t have hepatitis.

    The protestors were practicing their right to self expression. The students attending the job fair should have expressed their own right to knock the protestors teeth in. (in self-defense, of course). Thankless bastards. Their very right to free speech is ensured because people step up to the plate, and join the U.S. military. That just doesn’t fit with their fruitcake sensibilities.

  7. Cool! I gonna make a Peace Thug t-shirt for my next riot.

  8. Liam says:

    “Racist, Sexist, Anti-Gay. Hey, recruiters, go away.”

    THIS is the product of a college education?

  9. Cricket says:

    UC Santa Cruz has a problem in that the town itself
    is stuck in 1964. So the slogan was probably the
    best they could do after free love near the Boardwalk.

    They should have been carted off. And do I hear
    UC Santa Cruz’s budget getting a nice chop? And
    tuition going up? That’s progress for you.

    “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is not discriminatory.
    Not only that, there is a whole little sensitivity pamplet that the Army (and I am not sure about the other services) that explains the rights gay servicemembers have if they are either outed (the right to confront their accusers)or they out themselves.

  10. McGehee says:

    Hey, at least it rhymes. These days that’s almost worth a full professorship and tenure.

  11. omusicjak says:

    While I feel bad for the stressful position of the recruiters, the military has no right to be on campus recruiting while they practice discriminatory hiring tactics. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is purely an Anti-Gay/Homophobic policy. They fire their military members who have identified themselves as gay. There is no possible reason to keep such a policy intact except for ignorant and prejudice purposes. According to UCSC’s own policies, no businesses that practice prejudice hiring policies are allowed on the UCSC campus. These protesters are heroes.

  12. Clemen says:


    “Airline pilots can’t be drunk. Food service workers cannot have poor hygiene. Certain kinds of nurses can’t have hepatitis.”

    So you equate homosexuality with intoxication, filth, and disease?

    Just asking.

    If any of you are 18-39, I highly suggest you enlist. Thanks in advance for dying so my neighbor can drive his SUV to the mall.

    George Bless America!

  13. Jim says:

    What an inane series of things to do. First of all the military does discriminate: by age, weight, physical fitness, handicaps. My feeling is that those protestors would have found a discrimination even without don’t ask don’t tell…”why can’t I become a Navy Seal just because I am woman…thats discrimination.”

  14. Shane says:

    We don’t need gays in the military… hell, we don’t need anybody in this military! Let’s abolish it and create a popular militia/real national guard force to defend the border. We could actually stop terrorists, and prevent the CIA from importing drugs.

    Really… there are actually a lot of people on both the right and the left (real conservatives and real leftists, not Bush neo-cons and Clinton liberals) that agree on this one: the empire threatens the republic.

    Let’s stop spending all this money and sending our kids to die in other peoples’ countries. We should bring all the troops home and use them to defend America, not corporate interests abroad!

    Those kids in Santa Cruz are great. They are setting a real example for America’s youth.

    Long live the REPUBLIC!

  15. AnjinSan says:

    How does shouting & “banging on windows” equate to rioting? Maybe you guys can start a nice gulag for these “thugs”, or for anyone who actions disturb you for that matter…

  16. LJD says:

    Botton line: These idiots infringed on their fellow students’ right to attend a job fair, up to and including the possibility of a career in the military.
    If they learned to “express” themselves this way in school, then absolutely they should receive extra-curricular training with water cannons and tear gas.

  17. LJD says:

    …and I’m not buying the gay “issue. This was nothing more than an anti-war, anti-military effort. Period. Hence the desire to disrupt rather than make any viewpoint heard.

    I have debated the question frequently whether being gay is a choice, or inborn. I’ll defer any stand on that argument for this: The military is a career choice. One not to be taken lightly by any individual. If a gay person (by choice or not) really wants to be in the military, then they also choose to keep their lifestyle in the closet. Many, many heterosexual soldiers choose to forgo a family life to be in the military. What’s the difference?

    I seem to remember that one beloved cigar smoking President came up with this policy. Interesting that his faithful followers are NOW so adamantly against it. Or is this yet another noisy group looking for special treatment?

  18. Jim Nelson says:

    You call THAT a riot? Sorry, Sparky, but that dog won’t hunt.

    Although, I can understand why you’d want to use such hysterical, pejorative language to vilify and thus dehumanize those with whom you disagree. Makes debate a lot easier, doesn’t it?

  19. jethro says:

    How did you boys feel about the GOP rent-a-mob that stopped Dade County vote counting back in 2000? Differently, I’ll bet.

  20. LJD says:

    Earth to Jethro…
    Recount after recount, Gore lost. Get over it.

  21. thor says:

    The protest lasted for one hour, the job fair lasted for three. Every time the administration asked students to step away from the entrance, once they had entered, they did.

    Protesters came, carried their message, the recruiters left, administrators tidied the process, and then the Santa Cruz Sentinel wrote an article about how disruptive protesters were, and interviewed five people opposed to the protest and no supporters. Liberal town? Liberal media? My ass.