Paint Guerrilla Strike


Fifth Estate # 90, October 16-29, 1969

ITHACA, NY, Sept. 25, (LNS)—Four women toting gallon cans of paint ran up to the Marine officers recruiting at Cornell University’s Barton Hall and doused them with paint.

One recruiter, Captain Donald Frank, was covered from head to foot, front and back, with purple, white and yellow paint. Two other officers, a blanket, and a projector were splattered with paint. Damage was estimated to be over $250.

Three of the women escaped, but the fourth, Mary Jo Ghory, slipped on the pool of paint and was caught and arrested.

Mary Jo, who graduated from Cornell last June and is now working as a short-order cook in the Cornell student union, was arraigned on Thursday in Ithaca City Court on a charge of second degree criminal mischief, a class E felony which could carry a prison term of up to four years upon conviction. She was released on $2,500 bail.

The Marine officers under attack did not quite know how to deal with the women painters. They were most concerned about the damage to their expensive uniforms and brightly-shined shoes.

One feared that his car had been damaged in the incident.

One offered to answer any questions the women might have about the U.S. military, while another commented, “As far as I was concerned, it was an ambush and I wanted a prisoner.”

The paint-tossing follows an incident during registration on Sept. 11 in which six women described as “well-dressed” overturned Air Force and Army ROTC recruiting tables and knocked down a blackboard atop a Navy ROTC recruiting table. All six escaped.

A group of about 350 students, workers and faculty attended an anti-imperialist rally on the day after the painting.

Mary Jo Ghory discussed the role of a revolutionary at Cornell University and pointed out that attacks on ROTC, military recruiters and classified research for the Department of Defense are hurting the U.S. government and aiding Third World struggles against U.S. imperialism.