Macalester students protest outside of recruiting center

A protest also occurred near the office on Thursday.

Workers at the Navy recruiting center on Washington Avenue were faced with an unexpected challenge when they arrived for work Friday morning. Students from Macalester College in St. Paul chained themselves to the doors in an attempt to protest U.S. occupation in the Middle East. Leigh York and Jonathan Katz joined with eight other members of the Macalester Peace and Justice CommitteeâÄìStudents for a Democratic Society in support of the Anti-War CommitteeâÄôs Zero Recruitment Day , which occurred Thursday. York, a sophomore, said the group would stay as long as it took to ensure no recruiting was done at the office. While 10 students were present, only five were chained together at one time. The arms of those individuals were connected inside a tube. No demonstrators would comment on what the tubes were made of or how their hands were locked together inside. Katz, a junior, said the war is being touted as a war about the safety of family, but he feels the real reason is economic benefit for countries in control of the Middle East. âÄúItâÄôs not about the safety of families or the freedom of the Iraqis or the freedom of those in Afghanistan,âÄù Katz said. York said recruitment workers showed up in the morning, but left after an hour. Some recruiters were able to get inside the offices using a back door. No recruiters were available for comment. She added that police also were there in the morning, but that neither party said anything to the protesters. Although the recruiting center is outside University of Minnesota police jurisdiction, University police Chief Greg Hestness said UMPD would be on call should Minneapolis police need assistance. While the protesters were not obstructing the sidewalk, they were probably violating trespassing laws, Hestness said. He added the recruitment workers would need to contact police if they wanted action taken, but he had not received any calls in regards to the protesters. A spokesman for Minneapolis police also said no calls were received as of 3 p.m. Friday.