When CUNY Honors College announced Petraeus’ “coming to campus,” CUNY students, faculty and staff formed the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY to protest his presence on-campus as a symbol of the militarization of academia at CUNY and beyond.
An umbrella under which sits many activist groups, the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY has two main demands, as conveyed to me in an interview: 1.) “CUNY Must Not be a War College!” 2.) “Petraeus, ROTC, Military Recruiters and Military Contracts: Out of CUNY!” The final goal of the activists: mobilize mass protest and exposure to drive out Petraeus and ROTC.
While much media attention has honed in on the intrigue of Petraeus’ new gigs and how he will handle the “rehabilitation” phase of his career, precious little ink has been spent talking to students and faculty opposed to Petraeus’ presence at CUNY.
Given that premise, I contacted the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY and did an email interview with CUNY Hunter College Adjunct Professor of Latin American History, S. Sándor John. Author of the book “Bolivia’s Radical Tradition: Permanent Revolution in the Andes,” we discussed why he got involved in this movement, what the goals of the Committee are, why Petraeus in particular, his “death squad” program in Iraq facilitated by his close aide and former architect of the “dirty wars” (Col. James Steele) in Central America and much more.