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Students protest CIA at Fall Career Expo

John-Paul Witt | Thursday, September 11, 2008

Six members of the Notre Dame Peace Fellowship, in partnership with the Progressive Student Alliance and Human Rights ND, distributed flyers outside the Fall Career Expo Wednesday at the Joyce Center protesting the presence of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Raytheon, a defense and aerospace systems supplier.

The protestors entered the Joyce Center to distribute flyers, but were immediately escorted out by Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) officers and physically barred from re-entry by police. The protest dispersed as the career fair ended at 8 p.m.

Representatives from the CIA and Raytheon were not authorized to speak with the media, and NDSP officers on the scene had no comment.

When reached at home Wednesday evening, Notre Dame Security/Police Director Phil Johnson said he was not willing to comment without “complete information on the situation.”

Event coordinator Alicia Quiros, a Notre Dame junior, said the group had been informed that they would be permitted by the Student Activities Office and Student Affairs to pass out fliers inside the JACC after “three meetings” with Notre Dame officials. She said there was a contradiction between what the groups were told in writing from Student Affairs, and what later happened.

“We did not have banners, we were not yelling, we were simply passing out flyers to educate members of the Notre Dame community, and if the University will not permit this, it’s gone down a road that’s dangerous,” Angulo said.

Peace Fellowship member Michael Angulo said he opposed Notre Dame allowing the two organizations to solicit applicants at Notre Dame.

“The CIA continues to torture detainees, 60 years after the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the U.N.,” Angulo said, “I’m against Al-Qaeda, but I’m also against the CIA kidnapping people. People recruit at Notre Dame because Notre Dame students are engaged and intelligent – these organizations want to take these qualities and corrupt them.”

Raytheon’s career fair handouts describe the company as a “technology leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets.”

But Angulo protested Raytheon’s role in perpetuating the use of weapons.

“They manufacture things that kill people, and we’re against things that kill people, especially civilians,” Angulo said, “Cluster bombs – mines released through the air – are still exploding in Lebanon today, maiming and killing people.”