Bonnie J. Caracciolo, Chelsea Uniting Against the War (CUAW) - On September 9, 2019 members and supporters of Chelsea Uniting Against the War (CUAW) greeted students on their way to school. CUAW was there to inform students about their right to opt out from having their personal information given to military recruiters.
Since 2001 and the No Child Left Behind Act along with the 2002 National Defense Authorization Act- both which provided for the presence of military recruiters in middle- and high-schools - young people have become vulnerable targets.
The group distributed over 1000 leaflets describing the facts about military enlistment including information on homelessness among veterans along with other serious issues. One in ten homeless people in the US is a military veteran. (2019) Additionally, 150 opt out forms were handed out.
Chelsea High School is in a mostly immigrant, working-class neighborhood near Boston, MA. Current enrollment is 1,335 students in 9th through 12th grade.
Each of the activists spoke to several students who knew about the opt out forms and had already signed them.
This year marked the 15th year that Chelsea Uniting Against the War has spearheaded the counter-recruitment effort adding more young people to the list of hundreds they have prevented from enlisting in the US military.
CUAW funds their activities in a number of ways including a yearly Bowl-A-Thon for Peace and other events which bring the tight knit community together and introduce their younger neighbors to these actions. Due to the profile of the community, all materials are in both English and Spanish.
CUAW funds its activities in a number of ways including an upcoming Bowl for Peace/Boliche Por La Paz. This effort brings the community together. Plans are already underway to bring this message to other high schools which are actively targeted by recruiters.