Antiwar Voices say to Kent State - "Hands Off Dave!"


"...My son, Casey Austin Sheehan, was recruited out of college and his recruiter promised him the sun and moon to enlist and delivered only an early grave. Not only should Mr. Airhart not be fined, suspended or expelled for his heroic act, but he should be given some kind of commendation from the college administration." --- Cindy Sheehan, statement of support for David Airhart and Kent State students.

"Surely, the memory of that shameful episode at Kent State in 1970 would be enough to make the university administration sensitive to unjust wars and the right of protest." - Howard Zinn, from his letter to the President Cartwright, Kent State University

"Soldiers like us know than even if the heart continues to beat the spirit may die in many important ways, and we know that we can leave a war zone, but the war never leaves us. Thank you, David, for your action. Hell may be within us, but so is our freedom, never let go of it.” -- Camilo Mejia

Anthony Arnove, Bonnie Weinstein, Brian Willson, Camilo Mejia, Charles Jenks, Charles Peterson, Cindy Sheehan, Dave Zirin, David Swanson, Elizabeth Wrigley-Field, Gilda Carbonaro, Hadas Thier, Howard Zinn, Jeffrey St. Clair, Justino Rodriguez, Michael Letwin for New York City Labor Against the War, Mitchel Cohen, Nick Bergreen, Nicole Robinson, Norman Solomon, Pablo Paredes, Phil Gasper, Rania Masri, Rebecca Sambol, Sally Shaw, Sheri Leafgren, Sherry Wolf, Stan Goff, Sunny Miller for Traprock Peace Center, Tariq Khan and Ward Reilly have taken a stand on behalf of students at Kent State University.

In this remarkable collection of letters, they object to military recruitment on campus and support the rights of students to protest it. They demand that Kent State stop its disciplinary hearing against David Airhart, a student and veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, who non-violently demonstrated for peace at Kent State on October 19th.

For the simple act of using a climbing wall erected by recruiters on campus, and then displaying a banner that read "Kent, Ohio for Peace", he was chased off the wall by recruiters who climbed up after him. As David was trying to get down, he was physically pulled off the wall by a recruiter. The recruiters face no inquiry; David, charged with disorderly conduct, is now facing a disciplinary hearing and possible expulsion from Kent State.

Kent State and Jackson State - where 6 students were killed in 1970 - are hallowed ground for the peace movement. After an autumn of repressions at Holyoke Community College, George Mason University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison - where students protesters have been harassed, attacked or brutalized - students at Kent State have taken a stand. And veterans of war and peace are coming to their defense.

Read Nicole Robinson's full account of David Airhart's quiet yet bold demonstration, the assault on him by military recruiters, and the Kent State administration's repression against him and free speech at the Campus Antiwar Network's site:


Statements of support and letters to Kent State are published on the "Hands Off Dave" Blog at


More statements are welcome, and we encourage people to contact the Kent State administration (contact information below).

The statements and letters support David, Kent State students, and all students who wish to exercise their rights of free speech on campus.

Anthony Arnove

Bonnie Weinstein

Brian Willson

Camilo Mejia

Charles Jenks

Charles T. Peterson

Cindy Sheehan

Dave Zirin

David Swanson

Elizabeth Wrigley-Field

Gilda Carbonaro

Hadas Thier, Justino Rodriguez and Nick Bergreen of the City College 4

Howard Zinn

Jeffrey St. Clair

Michael Letwin, New York City Labor Against the War

Mitchel Cohen

Nicole Robinson

Norman Solomon

Pablo Paredes

Phil Gasper

Rania Masri

Rebecca Sambol

Sally Shaw

Sheri Leafgren, Kent State

Sherry Wolf

Stan Goff

Sunny Miller for Traprock Peace Center

Tariq Khan

Ward Reilly

David is facing a disciplinary hearing in mid-November.

Call/email the Kent State University administration to tell them how you feel.

Carol Cartwright - University President: 330.672.2210 Carol.cartwright@kent.edu

Greg Jarvie - Dean of Undergraduate Students: 330.672.9494 Gjarvie@kent.edu

William Ross - Executive Director of the Undergraduate Student Senate: 330.672.3207 wross@kent.edu

Statements and letters in support of the Kent State students may be forwarded to Traprock Peace Center, which is posting an index of statements and letters. (Traprock is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization. In consultation with the Kent State Antiwar Coalition and the Campus Antiwar Network, Traprock reserves its right to exercise its discretion in posting any submitted material.)

Please sign the online petition by the Campus Antiwar Network at

The petition reads:

To the administration of Kent State University:

"We, the undersigned, oppose disciplinary and criminal sanctions against Dave Airhart (a Kent State Student and Iraq war veteran) by Kent city police and Kent State University for demonstrating his opposition to the war in Iraq.

Not only because we believe that students should have the right to express their opposition to the war in Iraq and because we believe that the war is unjust, but also because we believe that the administration is using the charge of “disorderly conduct” to punish Dave Airhart for his ideas, we call on the city of Kent, OH and the administration of Kent State University to suspend all proceedings against Dave Airhart."

There is an excellent report on the Kent State situation in Socialist Worker -


It includes comments from David Airhart and quotes from the above linked statements.

Charles Jenks
Chair of Advisory Board and Web Manager Traprock Peace Center
103A Keets Road Deerfield, MA 01342
413-773-7427 fax 413-773-7507

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