Michigan State News

November 20, 1975

"Demonstrators protest CIA recruiting…"

by Micki Maynard


Recruiters from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) came to campus Wednesday and were greeted by one of the largest student demonstrations at MSU in several years.

An estimated 250 persons attended a noontime rally and march organized to protest the presence of CIA job recruiters at MSU Placement Services. The demonstration was coordinated by two groups, the November 20th Mobilization and the Group of Concerned Students.

In between shouts of "No more murder, no more lies, CIA off campus" and "People united will never be defeated" the crowd at the rally behind the Administration Building heard speakers denounce the CIA’s activities, both in the United States and abroad.

Ferency described himself as "a member of the apparatus that produced the CIA" and said the organization would not exists if the government had adhered to minimal standards of control.

"Today the CIA stands condemned in the eyes of the law; and they still have not denied allegations," Ferency said. "The CIA is no different today than it was two weeks, two months, two years or twenty years ago.

"They have the unmitigated gall to ask us to give them our human resources. I say to hell with them."

After several other speeches, the protesters fell into line behind a large banner reading "Unite to Oppress CIA—CIA off our campus."

The chanting crowd walked up West Circle Drive in columns of two and headed for the Student Services Building, where the Placement Services offices are located. People leaned out windows and doors to watch the group, which moved peacefully.

Clapping their hands and chanting, the line of demonstrators stretched for a block in front of the building. Inside, business was proceeding as usual at Placement Services.

Although the chants could be easily heard, Placement Services Director Jack Shingleton said he was not bothered by the crowd.

"What we’re trying to do is preserve the right of an individual to talk with any employer," he said. "We also have to preserve the right of the demonstrators to demonstrate."

Shingleton said he did not think the CIA would leave the campus after the demonstration and said the protest had not affected business.

Outside, after the march halted for a few minutes, a masked member of the Irani Student Assn. spoke to the assembled marchers about alleged CIA involvement in her country. She blamed the CIA for increased repression in Iran, and said the agency was responsible for a complete blackout in news there.

The speaker explained that she wore her paper mask with the statement "Shah is a U.S. Puppet" because she was afraid of repression. She said she did not know who would want to harm her, but that she had to protect herself.

The Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) was well aware of the protest and two detectives with walkie-talkies were present through out the event.

The protesters had planned on marching around the Student Services Building for several hours, but the demonstration broke up at 2:30 p.m., about two hours after it began. Jim Grossfeld, spokesman for the November 20th Mobilization, termed the event "a tremendous success."

Organizers of the protest had made known earlier their intentions of trying to make the CIA leave campus. A similar rally several days before CIA recruiters were scheduled to interview at the Univ. of Michigan resulted in the cancellation of the agency’s visit there.

Wayne Bigelow, an organizer for the Group of Concerned Students, said both groups plan on a massive picket line in front of the Student Services Building this afternoon at 12:30 if the CIA have not left Placement Services by then.

The demonstration had set off rumors that the CIA recruiters left campus Wednesday evening. However, Tony Rogalski, asst. director of Placement Services, said last night that the CIA had not left East Lansing and that it planned to continue recruiting today.