NNOMY

A Counter-recruitment Victory: Chelsea Uniting Against the War

Bonnie J Caracciolo / Chelsea Uniting Against the War (CUAW) -

For fourteen years a dedicated group of anti-war citizens in a working-class suburb of Boston, MA, has worked to inform high school students in their community, including their own children, about the perils of military recruitment. Chelsea Uniting Against the War (CUAW) convenes within the first week of the school year to distribute counter-recruitment flyers informing students of the risks of military service. They then follow up this activity by speaking with students one-on-one during school lunch breaks while distributing forms to opt out of school releases of student information to military recruiters. These lunchtime events occurred twice each year and were always preceded by a phone call to the principal’s office to determine an appropriate date. At no time did CUAW enter the school without prior notice.

Why We Still Need a Movement to Keep Youth From Joining the Military

Elizabeth King /Article Originally appeared in In These Times web edition in June 2019 -

Kate Connel of the Santa Barbara Based Truth in Recruitment group.A scrappy counter-recruitment movement is trying to starve the military of labor.

Out of the spotlight, dedicated counter-recruiters around the country are steadfast in their organizing to cut off the human supply chain to the U.S. military.

­Eighteen is the youngest age at which someone can join the U.S. military without their parents’ permission, yet the military markets itself to—which is to say recruits—children at much younger ages. This is in part accomplished by military recruiters who visit high schools around the country, recruiting children during career fairs and often setting up recruitment tables in cafeteri­as and hallways. As a result, most students in the U.S. will meet a military recruiter for the first time at just 17 years old, and children are getting exposed to military propaganda younger and younger.

The recruitment of young people to the military is as old as the military itself, and has become more and more normalized along with the general militarization of schools. According to the Urban Institute, more than two-thirds of public high school students attend schools where there are “school resource officers,” a name for school-based police. This police presences comes on top of the role of military recruiters on campuses, or at college and career fairs. 

ALERT: POTENTIAL EXPANSION OF HIGH SCHOOL MILITARISM

Indiana JROTC Cadets compete in the first State Raider Championship. (Capt. Jesse Bien/Army) - Image DOD

 

Rick Jahnkow / Demilitarize Our Schools -

Legislation has recently been suggested that, among other things, would greatly expand the number of JROTC units and make military recruiting a more explicit, formal part of the program's stated purpose. It's part of the Inspired to Serve Act of 2020, which is being proposed by the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (NCMNPS). Below is the JROTC-related language (the commission is also recommending draft registration for women):

SEC. 304. EXPANSION OF JUNIOR RESERVE OFFICERS’ TRAINING CORPS PROGRAM

(a) EXPANSION OF JROTC CURRICULUM.—Section 2031(a)(2) of title 10, United States Code, is amended by inserting after “service to the United States,” the following: “including an introduction to service opportunities in military, national, and public service,”.

(b) PLAN TO INCREASE NUMBER OF JROTC UNITS.—The Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretaries of the military departments (as defined in section 102 of title 5, United States Code), shall develop and implement a plan to establish and support not less than 6,000 units of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps by September 30, 2031.

(c) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.

National Commission Says Expand Draft Registration to Include Women

U.S. Marines with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, and Oscar Company, 4th Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, take part in Tug-of-War during the Field Meet at 4th Recruit Training Battalion physical training field on Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., April 21, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Sarah Stegall) - Image Source DODBy Edward Hasbrouck / Resisters.info / COMD -

On March 25, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (NCMNPS), after a three-year charade of stage-managed and largely one-sided public events accompanied by closed-door meetings and negotiations among the members of the Commission, released its final report. It recommends that Congress amend the Military Selective Service Act to require that young women, as well as young men, register for the draft when they reach age 18, and inform the Selective Service System each time they change their address until their 26th birthday.

The Commission's recommendations with respect to Selective Service registration are such a naïve fantasy, completely unfeasible and with no foundation in research or reality. The Commission kept its head firmly in the sand, carefully avoiding any inquiry into whether or how the current (unenforced and widely violated) registration requirement for men, much less an expanded registration requirement applicable also to women, could be enforced.

In the report’s 255 pages, there's no mention at all of compliance or noncompliance with draft registration. There's been no audit of the registration database since 1982, and the Commission didn't conduct or ask for one.

The Department of Justice is, and would remain, responsible for enforcement of the registration requirement; but nobody has been prosecuted for non registration since 1986, and in the years that have followed, the DoJ has made neither any estimate of the numbers of violators nor any plan or budget for how to identify, investigate, find, arrest, prosecute, or incarcerate them.

US Peace Prize – How much is Peace worth? A Mission to change the US War Culture | Pressenza International | March 16 2020

A Mission to change the US War Culture 

Teaching foreign language in a public high school through the horrors of 9/11 and the subsequent calls for war had been challenging for those like me who believe in making connections in our world and beyond. We had always been encouraged through best practices to use authentic material in lesson plans and classroom realia.

So, a crowning achievement in my classroom had been the permanent display of the Italian PACE (peace) flag, a universal symbol of peace and solidarity, before, during and after the Iraq War. It was hung from millions of homes, businesses, balconies throughout Italy, the EU, and places worldwide to oppose and warn against the insistence of the U.S. government to wage war. Students enjoyed exchanging peace signs, yet these simple peaceful acts are often condemned in the U.S. as subversive and unpatriotic.

Why isn’t peace a priority? After all, we all ideally want our families to get along, have peace in our own lives through techniques of deep breathing, exercises, music, prayer, and/or meditation? So why doesn’t this concept follow on a greater scale? There are several theories, but one of the best proposed comes from Michael D. Knox, PhD, Distinguished University Professor and founder of the US Peace Memorial Foundation. (https://www.uspeacememorial.org)

Dr. Knox’s idea proposes giving value to promoting peace by honoring those who take a stand in its honor. In addition to the proposal of a US Peace Memorial to give balance to those people and organizations who have and continue to work tirelessly for peaceful alternatives to war, there are two other parts of this organization.

A publication, the US Peace Registry (https://www.uspeacememorial.org/Registry.htm) recognizes and documents the activities of U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and organizations that have publicly opposed military solutions (including invasion, occupation, production of weapons of mass destruction, use of weapons, sanctions, and threats of war), rather than diplomacy and global cooperation, to solve international problems. Dr. Knox’s hope is that “honoring these courageous role models and leaders will inspire new generations of Americans to speak out for peace and to work to end the hatred, ignorance, greed, and intolerance that lead to war.”


Ajamu Baraka awarded
the US Peace Prize 2019
with Michael D. Knox,
founder of the US Peace
Memorial Foundation.

Choosing from among those recognized in the US Peace Registry, this not-for-profit Foundation awards the US Peace Prize each year  to recognize and honor the most outstanding American antiwar leaders. These courageous individuals and organizations have publicly opposed U.S. war and militarism, often at great personal sacrifice.  US Peace Prize recipients include: Ajamu Baraka (2019), David Swanson (2018), Ann Wright (2017), Veterans for Peace (2016), Kathy Kelly (2015), CODEPINK Women for Peace (2014), Chelsea Manning (2013), Medea Benjamin (2012), Noam Chomsky (2011), Dennis Kucinich (2010), and Cindy Sheehan (2009).  Nominees considered by the US Peace Memorial Foundation in 2019 included Erica Chenoweth, Stephen D. Clemens, Thomas C. Fox, Bruce K. Gagnon, Jewish Voice for Peace, National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth, Sally-Alice Thompson, Women’s March on the Pentagon and World BEYOND War.

These role models are celebrated to inspire other Americans to speak out against war and to work for peace.

But how can people participate?  To help continue this important work, join the list of individuals, organizations, and US Peace Prize recipients who are Founding Members, and have your name permanently associated with peace. Founding Members are listed on the website (https://www.uspeacememorial.org/Donors.htm), in the US Peace Registry, and eventually at the US Peace Memorial, a national monument to be built in Washington, DC. Then, as one or the nearly 400 Founding Members, you may nominate individuals or organizations to be considered for the 2020 US Peace Prize.  International supporters are also welcome to participate.  One Founding Member from Holland wrote “…the whole world would benefit from a less militaristic USA.”  Nominations close on April 30 this year.  See the details of the nomination process at the bottom of https://www.uspeaceprize.org.

By understanding, sharing, and supporting the vision of building a peaceful world, we validate those who dedicate their time and efforts in honoring it. The US Peace Memorial Foundation makes known the antiwar sentiments of many American leaders—views that history has often ignored—and by documenting contemporary U.S. antiwar activism, they send a clear message to citizens that advocating for peaceful solutions to international problems and opposing war are honorable and socially acceptable activities in our democracy.  In the words of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963), “War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.

Watch the 2019 US Peace Prize presentation

 

Source: https://www.pressenza.com/2020/03/us-peace-prize-how-much-is-peace-worth/

 

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News Advisory: Anti-draft activists call on Congress to end draft registration in response to court case on the Selective Service System and report of National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service.

As Congress prepares to debate the issue of the military draft, anti-draft activists are calling on Congress to enact legislation to end draft registration entirely.

    The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments March 3, 2020 in a case in which a Federal District Court judge has already ruled that the current requirement for men to register with the Selective Service System for a possible military draft is unconstitutional. A decision on that appeal could come at any time. The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (NCMNPS) will release its recommendations to Congress regarding the Selective Service System on March 25, 2020.

One Winning Way to Build the Peace Movement and One Losing Way | CounterPunch | Richard Moser | Feb 21 2020

Q. What cloaks the empire and turns a mighty movement into a mirage?

A. Narrow partisan politics.

When anti-war activism plays second-fiddle to “follow the leader” the chosen champion and the opposing villian loom so large that they become the main focus of attention obscuring the empire and dumbing the movement down.

But, build independent peace organizations — of any kind for any project — and we will put the movement on a firm foundation. If history is a guide, the most effective and committed voices for peace will come from an independent position largely outside of electoral activity. Applying stronger “outside” pressure on “inside” politicians and parties is the best recipe.

As Ajamu Baraka details in Black Agenda Report, anti-war activism driven by partisan loyalty is weak and limited. Partisan activism substitutes loyalty to a party for loyalty to our class interests and our political or environmental values — all of which demand peace and dismantling of empire. This is as true for the anti-interventionist conservatives that followed Trump to war as it is for the Democrats that only oppose Republican-led aggression.

Here is the essential history. The 2003 global demonstrations before the Gulf War were the largest peace demonstrations ever. But the size of the movement masked weakness: millions of those protesters lacked a truly political or anti-imperial opposition to war. The moderate tone of the protests failed to deliver either sustained disruption or systemic analysis. Going from weakness to weakness, the inability of even gigantic demonstrations to stop war further discouraged many. And, far too many protested only the outrages of Bush — a Republican President.

Obama, on the other hand, extended Bush’s wars and relied on drones, mercenaries and  “moderate rebels” to lower US casualties and hide the war from the public. Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize and made everything seem cool again –including war. As the partisan protesters dropped out — comfortable with a Democrat in the White House — the real anti-war movement struggled just to survive.

Once again hopes ride high that politicians will save us but an anti-war movement with eyes on the prize must avoid a narrow partisan approach.

To state the obvious: the empire in its current form is not a mere policy choice of particular politicians or parties. Rather, it is a system of alliances and military bases that enforce a global order. The current US empire is an interlocking structure that merges the corporation and the state  —  the Military-Industrial-Complex being the prototype of that merger. Since WWII both Democrats and Republicans have supported the empire with few exceptions.

Even still, it’s kind of amazing that the leading Democrats — in the middle of impeachment proceedings — supported the 2020 NDAA giving Trump a green light for war. Huge war budgets, a new Space Force, the elimination of all restrictions on the power of presidential wars and the use of force against Iran and Venezuela handed Trump the keys.

The hawks in control of the Democratic Party must be taken to task. Look here to see who voted for the NDAA in the Senate, who voted against it and who did not vote at all.

A shallow partisan stance will not lead us to anti-imperialism but we can counter with messages that emphasize the cultural and systematic nature of war and empire. The deep culture of war is hate and fear of the “other” contrasted to our own exceptional innocent white morality. Whether you go around stirring up the hate and fear of immigrants, or women, or Blacks — or Iranians, Muslims, Russians, or Chinese — you are stirring the imperial pot.

If we are only against hate and fear when the Republicans do it we are not against war.

May the Sanders and Gabbard campaigns turn us toward love and compassion. But, this empire has deep roots far beyond the reach of electoral activity. Show me a single example in world history of an empire dismantled in an orderly fashion by an election.

 

What Are Our “Units of Power?”

Let’s help people make the transition beyond the pro-war, pro-corporate consensus that dominates US politics. That transition will be primarily based on personal experience in a poly-centered movement large enough, diverse enough and audacious enough to disrupt the existing order.

If there is a clear formula for scaling up from the hopeful but small movements of today to more massive movements  — I do not know what it is. But for starters, it cannot hurt to connect empire abroad with empire at home,  anti-austerity efforts with opposition to the poverty draft, and the peace movement with the environmental movement. That’s big synergy for sure.

But synergy needs structure. Pick any project you like, of course, but build organizations to seed a larger movement and to tide us over between dramatic moments of protest.

“Recognizing that no army can mobilize and demobilize and remain a fighting unit, we will have to build far-flung workmanlike and experienced organizations.”

“Our most powerful nonviolent weapon is, as would be expected, also our most demanding, that is organization. To produce change people must be organized to work together in units of power” — Martin Luther King

There is widespread anti-war sentiment but without “units of power,” these attitudes will not become a mass movement.

The empire is a giant machine cranking out racism, misogyny, poverty and climate chaos. War is coming for your children and your planet. Make the connection between war and your community.

Units of power are best built along the paths to anti-imperialism. The Embassy Protectors;  Women’s March on the Pentagon; the Black Alliance for Peace;  National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth; GI Rights Hotline;  US Labor Against the War; Code Pink and the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign are a few prime examples of how to connect communities to the peace movement.

Digital warriors can get in the loop with Americans for Peace and Human Rights, Berners Against Militarism, Tulsi Gabbard Peace Movement and Stop the War Machine.

Or maybe best of all go totally local. Local chapters of Veterans for Peace are working hard as are community-based groups like St. Pete for Peace, Chelsea Uniting Against the War or No F-35 Fighter Jets in Madison.

Sporadic waves of protest, party politics, and appeals to morality will not be enough to reach millions of people. It’s our job — if we truly oppose wars — to build units of power and prove that war and empire are against the economic and political interests of the vast majority of the American people.

Our narrative: the empire is the weapon of the 1%; the engine of austerity; the enforcer of hate and hierarchy; the cause of climate change and the enemy of freedom. Our countermove: organize the unorganized.

 

Subcategories

The NNOMY Opinion section is a new feature of our articles section. Writing on youth demilitarization issues is quite rare but we have discovered the beginning articles and notes being offered on this subject so we have decided to present them under an opinion category.  The articles presented do not necessarily reflect the views of the NNOMY Steering Committee.

General David Petraeus' rocky first days as a lecturer at the City University of New York Though the United States of America shares with other nations in a history of modern state militarism, the past 65 years following its consolidation as a world military power after World War II, has seen a shift away from previous democratic characterizations of the state.  The last thirty years, with the rise of the neo-conservative Reagan and Bush administrations (2), began the abandonment of moral justifications for democracy building replaced by  bellicose proclamations of the need and right to move towards a national project of global security by preemptive military force .

In the process of global military expansion, the US population has been subjected to an internal re-education to accept the role of the U.S. as consolidating its hegemonic rule internationally in the interest of liberal ideals of wealth creation and protectionism.

The average citizen has slowly come to terms with a stealthly increasing campaign of militarization domestically in media offerings; from television, movies and scripted news networks to reinforce the inevitability of a re-configured society as security state. The effect has begun a transformation of how, as citizens, we undertand our roles and viability as workers and families in relation to this security state. This new order has brought with it a shrinking public common and an increasing privatization of publicly held infrustructure; libraries, health clinics, schools and the expectation of diminished social benefits for the poor and middle-class. The national borders are being militarized as are our domestic police forces in the name of Homeland Security but largely in the interest of business. The rate and expansion of research and development for security industries and the government agencies that fund them, now represent the major growth sector of the U.S.economy. Additionally, as the U.S. economy continually shifts from productive capital to financial capital as the engine of growth for wealth creation and development, the corporate culture has seen its fortunes rise politically and its power over the public sector grow relatively unchallenged by a confused citizenry who are watching their social security and jobs diminishing.

How increasing cultural militarization effects our common future will likely manifest in increased public dissatisfaction with political leadership and economic strictures. Social movements within the peace community, like NNOMY, will need to expand their role of addressing the dangers of  militarists predating youth for military recruitment in school to giving more visibility to the additional dangers of the role of an influential militarized media, violent entertainment and play offerings effecting our youth in formation and a general increase and influence of the military complex in all aspects of our lives. We are confronted with a demand for a greater awareness of the inter-relationships of militarism in the entire landscape of domestic U.S. society.  Where once we could ignore the impacts of U.S. military adventurisms abroad, we are now faced with the transformation of our domestic comfort zone with the impacts of militarism in our day to day lives.

How this warning can be imparted in a meaningful way by a movement seeking to continue with the stated goals of counter-recruitment and public policy activism, and not loose itself in the process, will be the test for those activists, past and future, who take up the call to protect our youth from the cultural violence of militarism.

The "militarization of US culture" category will be an archive of editorials and articles about the increasing dangers we face as a people from those who are invested in the business of war. This page will serve as a resource for the NNOMY community of activists and the movement they represent moving into the future. The arguments presented in this archive will offer important realizations for those who are receptive to NNOMY's message of protecting our youth, and thus our entire society, of the abuses militarism plays upon our hopes for a sustainable and truly democratic society.

NNOMY

 

The Resources section covers the following topics:

News reports from the groups associated to the NNOMY Network including Social Media.

Reports from counter-recruitment groups and activists from the field. Includes information about action reports at recruiting centers and career fairs, school tabling, and actions in relation to school boards and state legislatures.

David SwansonDavid Swanson is the author of the new book, Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, by Seven Stories Press and of the introduction to The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush by Dennis Kucinich. In addition to cofounding AfterDowningStreet.org, he is the Washington director of Democrats.com and sits on the boards of a number of progressive organizations in Washington, DC.


Charlottesville Right Now: 11-10-11 David Swanson
David Swanson joins Coy to discuss Occupy Charlottesville, protesting Dick Cheney's visit to the University of Virginia, and his new book. -  Listen

Jorge MariscalJorge Mariscal is the grandson of Mexican immigrants and the son of a U.S. Marine who fought in World War II. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and currently teaches at the University of California, San Diego.

Matt GuynnMatt Guynn plays the dual role of program director and coordinator for congregational organizing for On Earth Peace, building peace and nonviolence leadership within the 1000+ congregations of the Church of the Brethren across the United States and Puerto Rico. He previously served a co-coordinator of training for Christian Peacemaker Teams, serving as an unarmed accompanier with political refugees in Chiapas, Mexico, and offering or supporting trainings in the US and Mexico.

Rick JahnkowRick Jahnkow works for two San Diego-based anti-militarist organizations, the Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities and the Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft. He can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pat ElderPat Elder was a co-founder of the DC Antiwar Network (DAWN) and a member of the Steering Committee of the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth, (NNOMY).  Pat is currently involved in counter-recruitment projects in a dozen jurisdictions in the DC metropolitan area.  Pat’s work has prominently appeared in NSA documents tracking domestic peace groups.

 

Documents:

audio Pat Elder - National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth

NNOMY periodically participates in or organizes events(e.i. conferences, rallies) with other organizations.

The Counter-recruitment Essentials section of the NNOMY web site covers the issues and actions spanning this type of activism. Bridging the difficult chasms between religious, veteran, educator, student, and community based activism is no small task. In this section you will find information on how to engage in CR activism in your school and community with the support of the knowledge of others who have been working to inform youth considering enlisting in the military. You will also find resources for those already in the military that are looking for some guidance on how to actively resist injustices  as a soldier or how to choose a path as a conscientious objector.

John Judge was a co-founder of the Committee for High School Options and Information on Careers, Education and Self-Improvement (CHOICES) in Washington DC, an organization engaged since 1985 in countering military recruitment in DC area high schools and educating young people about their options with regard to the military. Beginning with the war in Viet Nam, Judge was a life-long anti-war activist and tireless supporter of active-duty soldiers and veterans.

 

"It is our view that military enlistment puts youth, especially African American youth, at special risk, not only for combat duty, injury and fatality, but for military discipline and less than honorable discharge, which can ruin their chances for employment once they get out. There are other options available to them."


In the 1970's the Selective Service System and the paper draft became unworkable, requiring four induction orders to get one report. Boards  were under siege by anti-war and anti-draft forces, resistance of many kinds was rampant. The lottery system failed to dampen the dissent, since people who knew they were going to be drafted ahead of time became all the more active. Local draft board members quit in such numbers that even I was approached, as a knowledgeable draft counselor to join the board. I refused on the grounds that I could never vote anyone 1-A or eligible to go since I opposed conscription and the war.

At this point the Pentagon decided to replace the paper draft with a poverty draft, based on economic incentive and coercion. It has been working since then to draw in between 200-400,000 enlisted members annually. Soon after, they began to recruit larger numbers of women to "do the jobs men don't want to". Currently recruitment quotas are falling short, especially in Black communities, and reluctant parents are seen as part of the problem. The hidden problem is retention, since the military would have quadrupled by this time at that rate of enlistment, but the percentage who never finish their first time of enlistment drop out at a staggering rate.

I began bringing veterans of the Vietnam War into high schools in Dayton, Ohio in the late 1960s, and have continued since then to expose young people to the realities of military life, the recruiters' false claims and the risks in combat or out. I did it first through Vietnam Veterans Against the War/Winter Soldier Organization, then Dayton Draft & Military Counseling, and since 1985 in DC through C.H.O.I.C.E.S.

The key is to address the broader issues of militarization of the schools and privacy rights for students in community forums and at meetings of the school board and city council. Good counter-recruitment also provides alternatives in the civilian sector to help the poor and people of color, who are the first targets of the poverty draft, to find ways to break into the job market, go to a trade school, join an apprenticeship program, get job skills and placement help, and find money for college without enlisting in the military.

John Judge -- counselor, C.H.O.I.C.E.S.
 
Articles
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