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Civil Disobedience, Demonstration at Recruiting Center Near Pasadena City College

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

“Not long after our arrival, a young man, interested in joining the military, tried to enter the building but was blocked by protesters."

Civil Disobedience, ...
pccdemocrimescene2007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 1024x768

October 26, 2007: At 12 noon, a rally took place on the campus of Pasadena City College. Among the speakers was a veteran of Iraq (who looked young enough to be in high school). The demands included: honesty in recruiting and bring the troops home. Next, there was a march through the campus, which made its way across Colorado Boulevard and stopped at a recruiting center across the street from the school.

Prior to our arrival at the center, various people in military attire could be seen peeking out in anticipation.

About 40 people demonstrated in front of the offices. The speakers included Agustin Aguayo, who was imprisoned for refusing a second deployment in Iraq. His wife, Helga, announced that on November 5th, he will be recognized as a conscientious objector by the Supreme Court. Other speakers included parents of soldiers in Iraq. Throughout the event, names of U.S. casualties from local areas were read off.

Response by motorists and pedestrians was generally positive, with some notable exceptions. A good number of people seemed startled by the sight of demonstrators in Pasadena. Of course, many people were non-committal.

Meanwhile, the facility was identified as a crime scene, and yellow ribbon was put up on the doors. About six people stood in front of the entrance. Not long after our arrival, a young man, interested in joining the military, tried to enter the building but was blocked by protesters. He left but entered the office through a back entrance. Shortly thereafter, a contingent of activists went and blocked the back doors as well. At one point, a recruiter threatened them with arrest if they didn’t leave within five minutes. However, the threat was never followed through during the two hours I was present. (More details here: http://la.indymedia.org/news/2007/10/209066.php.)

Iraq veteran Maricela Guzman was one of the people who spoke to the young man interested in enlisting. Although she didn’t seem to sway his opinion, “it was actually creating a dialog [which] at first I thought wasn’t going to happen,” she recounted. “We ended up in a very unique environment where instead of using words of aggression or having violence [inaudible word] we ended up shaking hands. I think that’s what we’re trying to say: there’s ways of dealing with issues.” She added: “I’m just so glad that everybody’s here. There’s an amazing turnout.”

One police car drove by us. The occupants looked at us with interest and curiosity but never pulled over. However, a little while later (at about 1:40pm), a police SUV pulled up, and a male officer got out. He removed the ribbon from the facility’s entrance and told demonstrators not to stand out in the street. He also asked that we not to block pedestrian traffic. Before he left, the ribbon was put back up. Evidently, the ribbon was removed again later (see the second comment to Steven Gibson’s coverage.)

Throughout the event, I reflected on the countless hours I used to spend inside this very building circa the ‘80s playing often-violent video games (including Battle Zone, a game involving combat with tanks). To me, it seemed a logical progression that the former site of Fantasy Games/Western Arcade has become a recruiting center.

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March through the PCC campus, 10-26-07

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

March through the PC...
pccdemomarchlookingback22007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 1024x768

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March through PCC campus

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

March through PCC ca...
pccdemomarch22007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 1024x768

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March at PCC cont'd

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

March at PCC cont'd...
pccdemomarchcoffin2007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 1024x768

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March at PCC cont'd

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

March at PCC cont'd...
pccdemomarchbanner2007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 1024x768

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Recruiter watching us from across the street

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

Recruiter watching u...
pccdemomarchrecruiterwatching2007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 1024x768

As we headed for the crosswalk, a recruiter watched us from the recruiting center.

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Demonstrators in front of recruitment center (from behind)

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

Demonstrators in fro...
pccdemovigilersrear2007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 1024x768

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Protest sign, Pasadena, 10-26-07

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

Protest sign, Pasade...
pccdemovigilersignrevolution2007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 1024x768

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Our audience.

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

Our audience....
pccdemotraffic2007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 1024x768

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Young man blocked from entering recruitment office

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

Young man blocked fr...
pccdemoblockingrecruit2007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 1024x768

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Agustin Aguayo

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

Agustin Aguayo...
pccdemoresister2007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 767x900

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Veteran Maricela Guzman (cop in background)

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

Veteran Maricela Guz...
pccdemoveterancop2007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 1024x768

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An officer arrives.

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

An officer arrives....
pccdemocoptake22007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 1024x768

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The cop has just taken down the ribbon (but it will soon go back up).

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

The cop has just tak...
pccdemocopribboncut2007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 1024x768

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Recruiting center, back entrance

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

Recruiting center, b...
pccdemobackentrance2007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 1024x768

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Demonstrator at front entrance

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

Demonstrator at fron...
pccdemojuxtaposition2007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 768x1024

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Protest sign

by Recovering Star Wars Addict Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

Protest sign...
pccdemovigilersign2007-10-26.jpg, image/jpeg, 1024x768

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 8 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Almost getting in Steven Gibson Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 2:24 PM
Police escort Marines Steven Gibson Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 2:29 PM
Last Marine recruiters leave Steven Gibson Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 2:33 PM
Stopping recruits from entering Steven Gibson Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 at 2:42 PM
No more warz No more warz! Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2007 at 2:18 PM
!Gracias! 4 closing down nerve center! keep on shutting the door on U.S. Empire! Friday, Nov. 09, 2007 at 11:22 AM
Re: Gracias for Shutting Down Nerve Center Recovering Star Wars Addict Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007 at 4:33 PM

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