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The Movement Against War

Anti-Vietnam War demonstration in Dinkytown, April 11, 1967. Photograph by St. Paul Dispatch-Pioneer Press.

This article posting dedicated to Libby Frank of the Northwest Suburban Peace & Education Project

Emilio, Educarueca.org - In the summer of 1963, the League of War Resisters created a peace action committee that fundamentally fought against the anti-terrorism terrorism exercised by the US-backed Ngo Dinh Diem government of South Vietnam. On July 25 there were pickets in the house of the permanent observer from South Vietnam to the UN, and in October, a demonstration to “welcome” Mrs. Ngo Dinh Nhu during her visit to New York.

THE FIRST NATIONAL SCALE PROTEST.

The first important demonstration against the war took place in New York on December 19, 1964, and was supported by the WRL, CNVA, FOR, the socialist party and SPU. One thousand five hundred people took to the streets despite a temperature below zero to hear the war denounced to Muste, Norman Thomas and. Philip Randolph. In San Francisco, one hundred people heard Joan Baez sing. Other demonstrations took place in Minneapolis, Miami, Austin, Sacramento, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, Boston and Cleveland. A feature of the mobilization was the disclosure of "a Call to American Consciousness," which prompted an immediate ceasefire and the earliest possible withdrawal of US troops.

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

Elizabeth King, In These Times - 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. 

Counter-recruitment surged in popularity during George W. Bush’s Iraq War, when the U.S. military ratcheted up recruitment for the war. But these days you don’t hear much about this movement, despite the fact that the U.S. is still engaged in brutal wars, from Yemen to Afghanistan, and the Trump administration has been threatening war with Iran. 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. U.S. wars have caused innumerable deaths, created long-term hardships in occupied nations, and cost trillions of dollars. Counter-recruitment, then, is about starving the military of the labor it needs to accomplish these destructive missions. When working with students, parents and school leadership, counter-recruiters focus on a variety of issues, including the negative personal consequences that come with being a soldier and broader problems like racism and U.S. imperialism.

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

Elizabeth King, In These Times - 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. 

Counter-recruitment surged in popularity during George W. Bush’s Iraq War, when the U.S. military ratcheted up recruitment for the war. But these days you don’t hear much about this movement, despite the fact that the U.S. is still engaged in brutal wars, from Yemen to Afghanistan, and the Trump administration has been threatening war with Iran. 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. U.S. wars have caused innumerable deaths, created long-term hardships in occupied nations, and cost trillions of dollars. Counter-recruitment, then, is about starving the military of the labor it needs to accomplish these destructive missions. When working with students, parents and school leadership, counter-recruiters focus on a variety of issues, including the negative personal consequences that come with being a soldier and broader problems like racism and U.S. imperialism.

Youth camps shape new generations with patriotism, pushups and prayer

Will Carless - Photographs by Sarah Blesener | Reveal

 

Students in the Young Marines program in Hanover, Pa., attend a ball at a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in October 2017. They wear their finest dresses and suits. Their eyes fix on a large American flag as the national anthem falls from their lips.Credit: Sarah Blesener for Reveal

In rural central Florida, a group of children sit on a jetty, their reflections dappled in water the color of iced tea. It is quiet. Stifling, peaceful. The children pray over the breakfast they’re about to eat and ask for blessings for those whose hands prepared it. And they ask for safety during their upcoming weapons training, during which they will learn how to disarm a knife-wielding attacker, load a rifle and properly handle a handgun.

Difficulties Limiting Recruiters in Santa Barbara Schools—Even with a policy!

The military has an enormous budget for recruiting and pressuring school districts that limit recruiter visits….Vigilance is necessary. During the school year 2017-18 Truth in Recruitment (TIR) leadership and staff met with Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) school board members Ismael Ulloa, Wendi Sims-Mooten and Jackie Reid as well as Assistant Superintendent Shawn Carey on four separate occasions. We discussed implementation of the Exhibit 5125.1 Recruiting Activities in the Santa Barbara Unified School District and the continued problem of policy violations.

Rethinking School Safety in the Age of Empire: Militarization, Mental Health, and State Violence

Laura Jordan Jaffee - Syracuse University

In June 2016, Congressional Democrats held a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives in an alleged effort to curb gun violence. While the move was largely commended by corporate media—even celebrated as a "civics lesson" for American schoolchildren in The Atlantic—,the legislation being fought for would have expanded the use of a notoriously inaccurate, racist and anti-Muslim "anti-terror" watchlist and done little to reduce violence (Richmond, 2016). This continues a long history of "gun control" policy in the U.S. that disproportionately incarcerates Black, Brown, and mentally disabled Americans by writing them as threats to safety and national security (Crenshaw, Ocen, & Nanda, 2015; Jilani, 2016; Coaston, 2016). 1 Responses to school shootings that uphold "gun control" as the panacea for reducing gun-related deaths subscribe to a liberal, non-violence framework that elides state violence and the structural conditions that engender individual acts of violence. 2

Calls for stricter gun control and mental health screening often come on the heels of school shootings, or they are justified by invoking national memories of these events. Such legislation is put forth as a necessary means of protecting the nation's (white) children through policies that criminalize people of color and psychiatrically disabled people, neglect state-sanctioned racist, gendered, and imperialist violence in schools, and reinforce ableist myths about who is "dangerous" (Crenshaw, Ocen, & Nanda, 2015). This paper asks how myopic conceptions of school safety circumscribe the imagined/imaginable solutions for fostering safe schools. I argue that a narrow notion of school safety derives from a narrow, ableist conception of school violence that pathologizes individuals who act violently and conceals state violence—particularly as it pertains to the production of empire—that manifests in schools. The very development and production of guns capable of such mass destruction—which liberal legislation seeks to restrict from the hands of Black, Brown, and disabled peoples—is a product of the endless war economy created by imperialist wars requisite for capital. 3

The militarization of prayer in America: White and Native American spiritual warfare

Elizabeth McAlister - Journal of Religious and Political Practice

This essay extends the literature on the militarization of everyday life to argue that contemporary military metaphors and practices have become a generative force animating the sphere of Christian prayer. The wars of the twentieth century and the corresponding process of militarization have affected almost every aspect of social life all around the globe, and prayer is no exception. In the United States, “the capillaries of militarization have fed and molded social institutions seemingly little connected to battle” (Lutz 2002 Lutz, Catherine. 2002. “Making War at Home in the United States: Militarization and the Current Crisis.” American Anthropologist, 104(3): 72335.[Crossref], [Web of Science ®][Google Scholar]: 724). Of course the Bible is full of violent battles and scenes of war, and religious actors have drawn on these images in countless periods throughout history (Niditch 1995 Niditch, Susan. 1995. War in the Hebrew Bible: A Study in the Ethics of Violence. New York: Oxford University Press. [Google Scholar]: 4). Today’s Christian militarization is simply the latest iteration in a long partnership between Christian missions and military expeditions, tropes, values, and logics. Yet in the twentieth century the militarization of daily life in the United States reached new heights and has expanded into new sectors, including research, technology, border patrol, immigration, humanitarianism, education, leisure, aesthetics, and fashion. It is time to examine how militarism has come to be part of the prayer practices of millions of Christians, especially in the charismatic networks that are on the rise across the globe.

This means examining side by side two spheres that are rarely considered together. In popular opinion, prayer is considered personal, holy, moral, beneficent, submissive, and even sacrificial. Militarism, on the other hand, is about dominating through force, and it is collective, violent, and combative, a top-down affair of highly disciplined and aggressive troops and their weaponry, funded and controlled by nation-states. Yet my research shows that prayer has become increasingly militarized during the last several decades.

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