CAMBRIDGE, Mass.: Students protest military recruiters

There were 140 would-be employers at the annual Harvard Career Forum Oct. 3, among them the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Army and the Marines. They were met head-on by the Harvard Initiative for Peace and Justice and the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporters Alliance, who marched and leafleted in protest of the Iraq war and the Pentagon policy that bars openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the military.

The Harvard Law School sued to bar the military from campus recruitment because of their homophobic discrimination, but later dropped the action when the Pentagon threatened to cut $460 million in Harvard’s funding.

Army recruiter Sgt. Kale E. Webster said only 15 students stopped by her booth.

In a related development, Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, an Army spokesman, tried to put a positive spin on the Army’s worst recruitment numbers in 26 years. He said a “good economy” and “negative news about Iraq” had caused the Army to fall short of its goal of 80,000 enlistees. Only 73,000 had signed up when the drive ended Sept. 30.

WASHINGTON: Violence Against Women Act threatened by pork

The 1994 Violence Against Women Act expired on Sept. 30. Congress is considering reauthorization, which would increase funding for rape crisis centers, expand services to the homeless and toughen penalties against convicted Internet stalkers, but Republicans are “porking up” the legislation with unrelated amendments that will have the effect of curtailing services to low-income women and women of color.

Among the amendments added by GOP and some Democratic lawmakers are a $10 million boost to the Border Violence Task Force in Laredo, Texas; a law forcing prisoners into residential substance abuse treatment programs even after they have tested clean for three months; and increased funding to the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program that requires law enforcement to report how they are cooperating with federal officials to “deport criminal aliens.”

RALEIGH, N.C.: Seeking in-state tuition for undocumented workers

The 300,000 undocumented workers in this state must pay out-of-state tuition to attend college, and that is hurting businesses and social services, business leaders and state officials said.

Testifying at a hearing here Sept. 30, business leaders from Durham County said that there is “an enormous need for bilingual professionals to serve the 17,000 Latino residents” there. Health officials also lamented the lack of bilingual professionals, underscoring the importance of making higher education more accessible to already bilingual immigrant workers.

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) has introduced legislation that would allow immigrant workers to pay in-state tuition to community and four-year colleges in all states. Currently, only California, Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Washington allow undocumented workers to pay in-state tuition rates.

PITTSBURGH: Women’s rights fighter Molly Yard dies

“No compromise on women’s lives” was the slogan that drove women’s rights, labor, civil rights and Democratic Party leader Molly Yard for over 60 years until a 1998 stroke forced her into a nursing home. She died Sept. 20.

Yard cut her political teeth while questioning why women in China, where she lived until she was 13, had their feet bound. She later shook up the political establishment as a fighter for equality and justice from her alma mater, Swarthmore College, to the city of Philadelphia to California to Pittsburgh, where she convinced the YWCA to sponsor the 1963 March on Washington.

Joining the staff of National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1978 during the campaign to win passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, she raised $1 million in six months. As NOW’s political action director, she was instrumental in the campaign to defeat anti-abortion amendments in Arkansas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Oregon.

Yard was elected president of NOW in 1987 and the organization’s membership and budget mushroomed. By 1989, she helped carried the banner in the March for Women’s Equality/Women’s Lives, which drew 600,000 to the nation’s capital.

Molly Yard, who sometimes called herself a “born feminist,” was 93.

National Clips are prepared by Denise Winebrenner Edwards (