los angeles

E-mail: worldcantwait_la@yahoo.com
Phone: 866.973.4463



WCW National Day of Resistance – Military Recruiters Off Our Campuses and Out of Our Communities
Report from Los Angeles

"May 16th - Shut Down The Recruiters!"

Friday, May 16th - 3rd period bell sounds at an East Los Angeles high school, and 75 students & several teachers are out in the main quad chalking silhouettes of their bodies all around the school pathways. (The day before they had listened to presentations by a WCW organizer which included testimony from Winter Soldier, the Declare It Now video and the waterboarding AP clip.)  This is the period before lunch-time in this school that numbers 5,000 students, and is a heavily-targeted recruitment ground for the Armed forces and the Marines. Some of the drawings are quite powerful and include outlines of children, bodies with amputated limbs, tanks and wording on number of casualties, number of suicides among U.S. servicemen, and cost tape goes up around tree trunks, and students start sporting orange flagging tape as hair bands, wrist bands, on their backpacks, etc. Four volunteers put on the orange jumpsuits and taking seriously their detainee role, remain silent, heads cast down, arms tied as they start a procession, surrounded by other students with large poster of No Torture and enlarged photos of Iraqi war casualties. The students begin to march, amidst the clamor of lunch time and a school sponsored election campaign for senior class president. But the march was cut short because school administrators stopped the march and brought students into the office for participating in an "unauthorized activity." The jumpsuits, posters, black hoods were confiscated and the teachers were told they would be returned after a conference with the school's vice-principal to be held on Monday. One of the teachers asked what the response would have been from the administration if he had requested permission to have this lunchtime procession. The administrator told him, they probably would not have authorized it. The two WCW organizers who were invited there by the teachers were escorted out of the school due to a regulation that "does not permit outside visitors from mingling with students at lunchtime without previous clearance".

The sponsoring teachers were not on hand while this was happening – coincidentally one of them had been called outside of the school to investigate a student walk-out which turned out to be false. 

 Not to be discouraged, we met up with three teachers and about eight students in the 90+ degree heat and carpooled down to the Recruitment Center.  We were later joined by a social worker, and an impeachment activist. One teacher marched into the Marine recruitment station demanding to know why the marines go after her students, challenging the marine recruiter to stand up to her, not prey on students with their lies; sending youth off to kill and die.

Teachers repeatedly asked recruiters to come to the school and debate, but the recruiters adamantly refused. One recruiter said that they fight to protect our right to protest!  Two high school students walked into army recruiting station and one of the students recognized her classmate. All of us went in to Army recruiting with our signed eviction notices talking over the recruiters heads, directly to the two students shouting, "Don't sign,  you're being sent to kill." Six recruiters came over telling us we had to leave and we demanded to know why – why can they come onto the school and yet we have no right to be there. All six came over and escorted us out. Then we noticed another student at the Marine Center next door talking to a recruiter watching a video. The marines had locked the door, so we pounded on it, using the bull horn, demanding that he stop lying to the student. One by one, the social worker, the teacher and then the students used the bull horn shouting thru the glass to the student that he had options, don't get sent off to kill and be killed, maimed, commit suicide. We chanted loudly "Don't listen to his, we want you home alive". We knew we were getting through b/c the student turned when one of the young women, took the bull horn and said "you're too cute to go to war and kill".

Both the Federal Office of Homeland Security and the local police came, and told us we "could protest", but not disrupt the military recruiter's 'place of business.' We couldn't shout into the center or obstruct pedestrian traffic. We started a picket line, led by the students, shouting "What are they recruiting for? Murder, Rape, Torture, War. -  Shut it Down, Shut it Down!"

 All during this time, many drivers honked their support. One of the chants that drew an enthusiastic response was – "Bush, cochino, marrano y asesino!" (Bush – pig, hog, and assasin). As the protest drew to a close, one of the teachers summed it up with her students: "We hit their weak spot – the recruiters called the cops b/c we were getting to them. This is the real deal – your fellow students were in there getting fed lies, all for a $2000 commission for these recruiters. This is what it means to stand up for something you believe in". The teacher later joked that the students could call her to bail them out if they land up in jail, but she may be in the cell next to them. This was the same teacher that told her students, that one of the reasons why their high school walked out during the East Los Angeles blowouts of the 1960s was due to the disproportionate amount of Chicano youth dying in Vietnam. The Walkouts were not only about racism and inequality in the schools - it was about the Vietnam war.

Spirits were high, and both teachers and students, thought this was a great success for the awareness that it had sparked. There was a commitment among the participants to continue this battle, including with next month's 3rd Friday Iraq Moratorium.

Report from Los Angeles On April 18th

At 3:30pm on April 18th, there was spirited repudiation of the Bush Regime
at the East Los Angeles Military Recruiting Center.  Students from nearby Roosevelt High School came out to make their voices heard, after they had seen some World Can’t Wait presentations in their school about the truth of the war, and what the armed forces are recruiting for.  Video testimony of Iraq war vets at the Winter Soldier Investigation, as well as the Declare It Now video were viewed.  Bandanas were taken up with enthusiasm, as well as several rolls of orange flagging tape, which has become a popular political statement worn on backpacks and wrists throughout the school.

This was the students' first WCW demonstration. They joined with other World Can’t Wait supporters in the powerful chant “What are they recruiting for?  Murder! Rape! Torture! War!“  Soon students took the bullhorn and were chanting anti-Bush Regime chants in Spanish and English.

Military recruiters who had been inside the open center on our arrival, shut the lights and left by the back door soon after.  We declared victory and the front doors and windows were decorated with posters, orange flagging tape, No Torture banners and individually signed eviction notices in Spanish and English, to the approving honks of traffic passing by.

A small contingent of students and others took off down the sidewalk holding banners and chanting:
“Students United will never be defeated!"
"What are they recruiting for?  Murder! Rape! Torture! War!"
"There’s a killer in the White House! Time to drive his ass out!"
"Si, Se Puede!"
"We won’t be your murderers! We won’t be your torturers!
We have our convictions! This is an eviction!"
"Stay out of our schools!  Cause this is what you get!  An army of none! An army of none!"
And one other memorable Spanish language chant that this writer was informed refers to Bush as an assassin and a pig.

One woman who came, a social worker, had heard about this action on Jim Lafferty’s radio show on KPFK.  She said she usually spent her Fridays across town at an anti-war vigil, but thought this was an important action.  She got on the phone to call the vigil people to join us, and said she was thinking that this might be a more important place to have their weekly vigils from now on.

We ended the action reading an excerpt of Ron Kovic’s statement of support for the Berkeley actions, and his call for these kinds of actions nationwide.  We also invited students to the national meeting in SF and will be connecting with them in the coming weeks to strengthen and deepen their political activism. One young man who had been talking with us at school about how he thought that protest did not work, told us that this experience has changed his mind.

Wednesday, MARCH 19th – 5 Years of Illegitimate War on Iraq ! End the War! Shut Down Recruitment Centers! Drive the War Criminals from Office!

March 19th in Los Angeles began early at a local high school, where a couple of us reached out to students as they came off the bus and into school. We asked them what they thought about the war; not surprisingly the vast majority of them said they hated it or ‘it sucks’. Many of them didn’t think they could do anything about it; and when we asked them how many Iraqis they thought had died during the five years of the war, all but one said a million – most answers were in the low thousands. We handed out eviction notices, which they liked and took up and we asked them to take a stand and join with us that afternoon to shut down recruitment center.

We returned that afternoon before the last bell, armed with Robert Fiske’s enlarged photograph of the child whose leg had been blown off and an enlarged Eviction Notice. We planted ourselves directly in front of the students’ path to buses and the busy crosswalk. That did the trick; the photos were stark, very shocking to many, some didn’t want to see it and turned their heads away. Others just stood and stared, taking it all in. Students took up March 19th flyers and eviction notices and promised to get them out. All day we were also handing out postcards announcing the Winter Soldier testimonies and asking them to check the website; hear it from U.S. soldiers themselves who hate what they’ve done and want this war to stop. A handful of students were in ROTC uniforms, but they still took flyers and Winter Soldier postcards. Some student administrators came over, read our flyers, saw our signs and told us we had to leave the premises, but we countered with the fact that we were on a public sidewalk, not school property. They responded “we’ll see about that” but never came back.


Report February 15th in Los Angeles - Day of National Resistance Against Military's Aggressive
Targeting of Youth to Fight this Illegal and Immoral War.

A group of over 30 people gathered in front of the Hollywood Armed Forces Recruiting Station, prompting the early closure that day of this entry to the killing machine. It was quickly redecorated with a “Stop Torture” banner that accurately captured what people are being recruited for, and WCW posters.

Ages ranged from 4 month-old Jake in his “Stop Wars” t-shirt to grandmother Mary who was all decked-out in orange. Two people who have been regularly attending actions in their orange jumpsuits and chains again sharpened the debate with the graphic image that they create. A torture survivor/activist from El Salvador held a placard that read “Stop Torture” with the stenciled images of 2 Guantanamo detainees in the graffiti style of Banksy.


January 31st - Report from Los Angeles


The Call to Action on January 31st began in the morning in the Los Angeles area with a presentation to an U.S. Government class of about 40 students at a Los Angeles area high school. The class had been studying the election, the constitution, the role of the executive branch and executive orders. To fit in with their course work, we were talking about National Security Letters, which are a type of executive order Bush has used to declare people "enemy combatants." At first, the teacher was concerned that we stick to the class lesson plan in our presentation, and the information came across as too academic and half the class was tuning out, but then we broke through to bring to life for students how exactly people do end up in a place like Guantanamo, wearing the orange jumpsuits and having no rights.


Los Angeles - Orange Alert - November 16th

Photo: Stanley Newton

LA had a small, but very spirited event on Hollywood Blvd... converging at the Armed Forces Career Center at 3pm.  Reports from students and teachers were that many students from a nearby high school were wearing orange at school that day.  A few WCW'ers had been there Thursday and Friday, getting out stacks of flyers and rolls of orange flagging tape, which the youth took up and spread inside the school.  One student, who's been wearing his green WCW button on his backpack every day since he got it, played a key role in creating a buzz inside.  When school let out, some students marched and chanted from their school and all along the blvd. They were joined by two of their teachers, one of whom had announced the Orange Alert and encouraged her students to wear orange. Some students from Dennis Loo's classes joined us, as did a WCW student organizer from a community college.



Hyundai Pavilion, San Bernardino California

The Hyundai Pavilion in San Bernardino California is a huge festival ground, and can host concerts with an audience of up to 65,000 people. The concert was sold out. Concert goers primarily ranged in age from 18 to 30, though there were others attending on both ends of that spectrum.


Report from WCW at Coachella Music Festival

Dear WCW community and others who may stumble across my words,

I would have written sooner, but it has taken me this long to decompress from the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.  This event, though it is more than that, its truly been an experience, has open my mind to what is possible as well as reinforced just how much work is still needed.


[comment, rate, and spread this video]

E-mail from Los Angeles World Can't Wait Committee

Friends and fellow organizers

Attached is a PDF of the LA Times article (December 30, 2006) in the California section. Also, attached is a copy of the student petition created to build support for the students that walked out of school on Nov 2nd.

The article does a great job of describing and supporting the student's right to protest. However, The writer doesn't seem to have a good sense of the purpose of or even what transpired on Nov 2.

Read more

Student Newsletter

Distribute all over campus!


PDF's of brand new postable newsletter aimed at students. In the little time before the end of the semester, this needs to be distributed to students everywhere. Post it all over campus, distribute in your dorm, classes, student groups, and out on campus. Ask professors to pass it out with their final exam. Distributing this far and wide will mean that thousands of students know about the movement to drive out the Bush regime and our plans for the State of the Union address, and will go home for winter break organizing.

[click here] outside of postable newsletter 

[click here] inside of postable newsletter

These downloads are black & white, 22" x 17" (newspaper size), and should be printed on one sheet, front and back. We recommend printing it on newspaper. Just find a printer in your area immediately, and tell them what you're doing. There are many printers who hate the Bush regime, just call around and explain what you're doing, and you should be able to find someone who can print it quick and at a discount. 

Update on Students Walkouts

Read the report with photos of the Nov 2 walk out of Los Angeles High School by a Youth/Student Organizer for WCW (Latest).



URGENT UPDATE: Belmont High School student Geovany Serrano has just been notified by Belmont High School authorities that he will not be allowed to return to Belmont High and will be transferred to another school. Geovany remains under house arrest and is facing criminal charges for passing out flyers calling for the November 2nd walkout. Call Superintendent Romer's office to protest this outrageous act of retaliation. Further protests are being planned. Call School Principal Gary Yoshinobu at: EMAIL - gary.yoshinobu@lausd.net PHONE - (213) 250-0244, FAX - (213) 250-9706.

Further update: As a result of hundreds of outraged calls on Friday, November 4, Reseda High School authorities backed off and informed ninth grader, Sara Escudero, that there would be no punishment at all! 

Mumia Abu Jamal on L.A World Can't Wait High School Organizer

Commentary from Mumia Abu Jamal on L.A World Can't Wait High School organizer Geovany Serrano. (11/25/05)

Read Excerpts from 11/16/05 press conference in front of LAUSD on the attacks on the Nov 2 students organizers.

Read the account of a Granada Hill Student organizer


Download, it in PDF format here

Please also send a copy of your completed petitions to:

World Can’t Wait- Los Angeles • 5507 Santa Monica Blvd, #207Los Angeles CA 90028 • 323.462.4771

Two letters in support of Students who walked out on Nov 2

Read an account of the Battle at Belmont High by a Youth/Student Organizer for WCW.

(Read attached Fact Sheet for reports of retaliation in high schools and what you can do.)


FACT SHEET: Harassment and Retaliation Against High School Students

In city after city, high school students walked out in response to a call for No Work! No School! from The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime. Their presence energized protests nationwide, and played a crucial role in launching a movement that will not stop until Bush steps down and takes his whole program with him. In the L.A. area, there were walkouts at dozens of schools in the biggest movement of high school students since the walkouts against the anti-immigrant Proposition 187 in 1994.

But as the Call for this movement stated, "If we speak the truth, they will try to silence us. If we act, they will try to stop us." The exact number of students facing suspension, fines, expulsion, transfer or other measures is unknown. But The World Can't Wait has received reports indicating retaliation against many students at schools throughout the area.

The policy of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) regarding student walkouts was communicated in a memo to "all principals" dated October 26, 2005, and initialed by Dan Isaacs from the Office of the Chief Operating Officer. It stated, "Do not attempt to prevent students from leaving the campus." (A copy of this memo is available on request.)

In the weeks before November 2 there was a pattern of harassment and attempted intimidation at numerous schools. Students were told by administrators and security guards that they could receive truancy tickets and be subjected to hundreds of dollars of fines. They were forbidden to carry literature and other materials onto campus, such as stickers saying, "Resist or Die," or flyers carrying the Call from The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime. "Resist or Die" T-shirts were banned from campuses.

Young women at Locke H.S. in South Central LA were sent to the principal's office for having posters that called William Bennett a Nazi for saying that aborting all Black babies would be a good way to reduce crime. The principal confiscated all their posters and threatened them with being kicked out of school.

At Fairfax H.S. students reported that an announcement was made over the P.A. system saying that students would be suspended for walking out. Some teachers threatened to give students failing grades for the day. At Fairfax and other schools, students were told they'd miss the California Exit Exam and wouldn't be able to graduate.

November 1, there were more serious attacks on student organizers. At Reseda H.S., a ninth grader, Sara Escudero, was called into the principal's office. She was threatened with punitive transfer and with arrest for vandalism for having stickers. Then she was suspended for two days and told by the principal that he would begin expulsion procedures against her. (As a result of hundreds of outraged calls on Friday, November 4, Reseda High School authorities backed off and informed Sara that there would be no punishment at all.)

At Belmont H.S., a 16-year-old student, Geovany Serrano, was grabbed by school police, pepper-sprayed and arrested. This student is under house arrest with an ankle bracelet and phone surveillance, and faces criminal charges in addition to suspension.

On and after November 2, numerous principals, in direct contradiction to official policy, ordered the schools locked down: gates chained and padlocked, police stationed at exits, teachers required to close their doors and keep students in their classrooms.

At Van Nuys H.S., the principal issued a memo before November 2 saying the school would be locked down. When students tried to walk out, they were assaulted by deans, including one young woman who was pulled by the hair by one dean. Two women escaped by climbing a fence and later spoke at the rally in Westwood. Students reported that twenty students were given one-day suspensions, and at least two are being kicked out, transferred to another school. Other students were ticketed by police. One student's mother reported that his ticket was for "truancy and protesting against George Bush." Parent conferences to readmit suspended students to school were canceled by administrators.

Reseda H.S. was also locked down on November 2, with a police car parked in front of the main entrance. Students who tried to walk were taken to the office and given tickets. A Reseda High student reported that two students were arrested, and five were given tickets.

At Lynwood H.S. 40 - 50 students gathered on campus, prepared to walk out. Police were blocking some gates, and other gates were chained and locked. They staged a sit-in by the administration office. After a time, when only four students continued the sit-in, all were taken into the office, along with another student who was passing by, and charged with truancy for trying to walk out. They also face suspension. One of the people in the office made a racist comment to the young students: "You Mexicans have to stop climbing over the fence."

Since November 2, the administration at Lynwood has threatened retaliation-including transfers and suspensions-against those they claim are organizers. The administration has also told students that it will find and punish the leader. And a teacher who is against the Iraq War has also been threatened.

Lincoln H.S. in East LA was locked down as 150 students tried to walk out. At the Orthopedic Medical Magnet H.S., up to 70 students are being threatened with suspensions for walking out or not coming to school to attend protest events. At Locke High School students report that a large number of students may face suspension for attempting to organize a walkout. At other schools, students were given detention for walking.

The World Can't Wait is investigating all reports that students turn in to us, and there is every indication that what we know now is only a hint of what has happened. These high school students need the support and assistance of everyone who reads this fact sheet. They need lawyers to help mount a legal defense against LAUSD retaliation. They need financial support. And they need political support. Everyone reading this should write a letter of outrage to the LAUSD and call Superintendent Roy Romer's office demanding that there be no retribution of any sort against the students who organized for and participated in the November 2nd World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime walkouts. Romer's numbers are: PHONE - (213) 241-7000, FAX - (213) 241-8442. Romer can also be emailed at superintendent@lausd.net. And contact the World Can't Wait office in L.A. at (323) 462-4771 / email worldcantwait_la@yahoo.com.

We need legal support from attorneys. If you want to volunteer, please call our office or email us. Please call the ACLU to request that they take up these cases. Send donations to World Can’t Wait at our address below, earmarked for high school legal defense support.

World Can't Wait: www.worldcantwait.org, worldcantwait_la@yahoo.com, 323-462-4771; 5507 Santa Monica Blvd., #207, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Press contact: Henry Carson, 323-336-3050.

To Download this important factsheet Click here, PDF Format (3 pages)


Click here to download the high school flyer
(print back to back and cut down the center of the page vertically)

Click here to download Today's reason to Drive Out the Bush Regime sticker

Click here to download Resist or Die flyer
(print back to back and cut down the center of the page vertically)


Truth about torture comes to UCLA, October 20, 2005

Two World Can't Wait! LA Organizers Ambush David Horowitz Film Festival , October 21, 2005

Statement by L.A. High Student at Press Conference in from Fairfax High , October 28, 2005

Statement in Support of High School Students Participating
in Nov. 2 Actions by World Can't Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime! LA
, October 28, 2005

Urgent Message to Educators - from Andy Griggs
member of UTLA board of directors*
(*for identification purposes only)