Military Recruitment Disrupted; Two Arrested at UM Career Fairfriends of the forest
“STOP CAMP GRAYLING”
Protesters disrupted a University of Michigan career fair yesterday, in solidarity with the movement to Stop Camp Grayling.
A number of military, police, and surveillance recruiters gathered in a western hall of the Michigan Union when anonymous members from the crowd suddenly shouted: ” YOU HAVE BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS!” and squirted red liquid “blood” on the tables of both the NSA (National Security Agency) and the U.S. Navy. Police on the scene responded to this nonviolent act of disruption by violently detaining two protesters outside the hall and then arresting them. The protesters have since been released.
A demonstration on the front steps of the building quickly coalesced following the daring acts in the building, and the arrests. Folks handed out flyers and zines to those entering and exiting the Union. Banners held in the entrance of the Union linked the military recruiters at the career fair to the highly contested proposed expansion of the National Guard’s 230 square-mile “Camp Grayling” in northern Michigan. The Michigan DNR is considering an additional 250 square miles of militarized space added to Camp Grayling. The plans have been scorned by the likes of environmentalists, anti-militarization advocates, northern Michiganders, outdoor recreation advocates, anti-PFAS advocates, and by people who want the future of the earth to be livable (this link downloads an in-depth zine on the opposition to expand Camp Grayling).
Members of the National Guard, who were scheduled to appear at the same UM career fair, never arrived.
Informational papers appeared on tables throughout the rocky afternoon event. These connected the violence of the National Guard’s desired Camp Grayling expansion with murder and surveillance committed at home and abroad by the NSA and Navy—the two targets of yesterday’s disruption. (see picture below)
The NSA recruitment table, the main target of the disruption, was unable to regain its bearings for the three remaining hours of the career fair. Their table became the epicenter of a flurry of police, military personnel, and university workers that cast the entire event with an edge of paranoia and distraction. One NSA recruiter told a career fair attendee that they were unable to discuss career opportunities with the attendee because their recruitment materials had been destroyed. (see picture below)
Another action after the initial disruption helped complete the recruitment stoppage. During the rally at the front of the building, a group of protesters made it into the recruitment hall, pushing past the event organizers who tried closing the doors as they approached. These protesters threw flyers and distributed zines while carrying a banner reading “NO CAMP GRAYLING EXPANSION.” They chanted “Stop Camp Grayling!,” “No Grayling, no borders, fuck your law and order!,” as well as “Fascist, racist all the way, U.S. Army go away!” The group weaved their way through the ballroom causing chaos then departed and joined the rally out front.
The movement to Stop Camp Grayling has been gaining steam across the state of Michigan; a recent evening march in south Ann Arbor connected the fight to stop the expansion of Camp Grayling with the ongoing struggle to Stop Cop City and Defend the Atlanta Forest in Atlanta’s Weelaunee Forest.
For continual updates on the movement to Stop Camp Grayling, check out @GraylingCamp on Twitter, and @stop_camp_grayling on Instagram
Updates on the movement to Stop Cop City and Defend the Atlanta Forest can be found on Instagram: @stopcopcity and @defendatlantaforest