Military Recruitors On Campus Encounter Bizarre SDS Protest

Rachel Hoerman

Volume 87- Number 22 Friday, April 12, 1968Military Recruitors On Campus Encounter Bizarre SDS Protest

The Lawrence Students for a Democratic Society engaged in a peaceful and non-obstructing – if bizarre- protest against the Army and Marine Corps recruiters stationed in the Riverview Lounge of the Union Wednesday.
When they officers arrived at 9 a.m. they were confronted by an SDS “Draft Information” table manned by Jim Noble. Though the recruiters experienced no difficulty from this quarter reports indicate that the
draft resistance table did considerably more business than the military
Then, at 2 o’clock, SDS members brought up from the basement of the union three hurridly assembled displays consisiting of broken doll parts (burned and covered with catsup) and chunks of raw meat and surgical tubing composed, in one case, to represent a dead GI (inscribed “Join the new action Army now.”), and in others, dead children.
The display, which was described as an official SDS action, was mounted to the accompaniment of Jake Stockingbridge’s piano rendering of the Chopin Funeral March in B flat minor, opus 35. Appleton detectives,
reportes and photogrophers arrived shortly thereafter. A death-march
drumbeat was plaed throughout the rest of the protest.
There was a spirit of nervouse levity among the SDS members present, while amused distaste seemed to be the reaction of most of the
onlookers. The recruiters, however, did not find the situation
“What we do is ignore them,” said WAC 2nd lt. Bette martland, “actually it helps us.” She added “we’re not supposed to five our personal opinions while we’re on the job,” and, referring to the Lawrence
demonstrators, “everybody’s entitled to his opinion”.
A Marine Corps sergeant, who refused even to give his name, didn’t see things quite that way. “No statements whatsoever,” the information officer snapped in answer to the inquiries of Lawrentian reporters.
Asked if this were official government policy, the sergeant replied “That’s our policy.” (He was later identified as Sgt. Petersen by an informed observer.)
The military reruiters left campus unobstructed at 3:50, the Marines walking several blocks to where they had parked their car, reportedly because of traffic problems encountered during their last visit to Lawrence.
“We shouldn’t have let them in,” one SDS member had said, “but as long as they’re here, we’ll let them leave.