National Leafleting Inaugurates for International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth

 Winning the Peace is a national leafleting campaign.

In cooperation with War Resisters' League and the Project on Youth and Non-military Opportunities, The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth inaugurates the first national youth intervention against school militarization and military recruitment in U.S. National public schools to be offered for smartphones and mobile devices. Winning the Peace begins as a national intervention in our high schools as part of the Week of Actions Against the Militarisation of Youth, a third year project of War Resisters' International (WRI).

It is the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth's response to what we have seen as an increase in military integration in our public high schools and, more importantly, an expanding elimination of counter-recruitment access in public high school campuses. This trend is alarming; the shutting out of such a resource as counter-recruitment organizations takes away crucial information for students who will be deciding whether or not to consider military enlistment to access promised educational benefits and job training. As we know, the consequences of that decision can amount to signing away years of their life as well as personal rights, a fact many of recruited youth are not aware of. Neither are they aware of the loop holes in their contracts with the military, the requirements for their benefits to be achieved or the dangers they face to their physical and mental health. They deserve to be fully informed. Winning the Peace will inform them on their phones.

Once again, Peace organizations need to understand the important impacts counter-recruitment outreach has. For those organizations associated to NNOMY, counter-recruitment activism is a topic we are all passionate about. Tthe National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth is seeking new partners to expand this work and hoping to bring dormant CR organizations back into the struggle. If you are a community peace group, church organization, or peace veteran group already working on related issues like police militarization, or antiwar activism and peace education work, why should you take limited human resources away from your own projects to join ours?

You have felt the debilitating impact that the normalization of endless wars and cultural militarization has had on your activism as has the counter-recruitment movement over recent years. We have faced problems not just with school districts limiting counter-recruitment activists access to students inside their schools but a loss of participation and interest from youth. All of this is due to the military finding a comfortable role to play in everyday American life. Consider this: The average American student entering high school in 2016 will be born after 9/11. This means they will have been born after the war on terror started, a war that has not ceased a day in their life. And even though America has perpetually been at war since, or maybe because this is the only America they have ever experienced, students still voluntarily sign up for military service without asking themselves important questions about what this service is all about and how it will impact their lives.


The average American student entering high school in 2016 will be born after 9/11. This means they will have been born after the war on terror started, a war that has not ceased a day in their life.


Our new campaign will directly confront the effects that military normalization has had on the counter-recruitment cause. By conducting a coast-to-coast intervention in public schools, NNOMY believes that the current trend of militarization can begin to be reversed. We will be utilizing our national network of activists and researchers to achieve a continuous, informed and relevant campaign, working to connect groups of all type, from veterans to local community groups to national counter-recruitment organizations. A unified approach such as Winning the Peace will be key in garnering new interest into the counter-recruitment cause.

Winning the Peace will also be an investment in the next generation’s leaders and activists. We understand how crucial youth involvement is to our success, as they will be the generation most heavily affected by America’s current military culture. Because of this, we have made it a goal to reach out and support youth activists for participation and contribution to this campaign. Through this campaign, we hope to work with organizations of all types so that we can effectively utilize what each local group has to offer to positively impact the counter-recruitment cause.

Moreover, the relationship between participating organizations and NNOMY will not be one sided. If your organization decides to participate, we will provide access to support resources, informed counseling and connect you with other groups that you can consult with. One goal is to increase interest in counter-recruitment efforts nationwide, that will include your own group gaining local awareness. Unified, we can make a larger impact than we can in our separate outreach and generate more confidence for those doing this work. The primary mission is to provide youth the information about military service they won't get from recruiters trying to meet registration quotas and to help them make an informed choice about a potentially life altering decision. Reaching out to youth through their mobile devices will increase interest and access that correlates to their generational use of technology as a means of acquiring and sharing information.

What does participation in Winning the Peace require?

At the very least, we would want your group to organize persons for leafleting outside one or more of your local high schools, especially when military recruiters are scheduled to be present on campus, and to communicate with NNOMY about outcomes from your outreach to youth. The leafleting will be accomplished with full color palm card produced by The War Resisters' League called, Questions to Consider,  that will direct them to link to the winningthepeace.org, a website designed for mobile devices that lists a series of questions and answers not addressed by military recruiters. The Winning The Peace organizers page provides participating groups with a guide to leafleting and suggested answers to the questions most asked by students and suggested approaches with people that may decide to disrupt the leafleting. If you encounter any problems during leafleting within your communities we will be available to advise about civil rights and first amendment rights and protections.


The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth hopes, that having read this appeal, you can understand the important effect that can be made by all of us working together to inform our youth to question the increasing influence of Pentagon recruitment efforts to produce more soldiers for the wars we want halted.


If you can provide extra support, we would appreciate it if you could work with us more directly to better understand what problems counter-recruitment outreach faces in your area. You know your community better than anyone else. If you are only able to conduct leafleting once, we will appreciate the contribution to this campaign and we know the limitations many of us are facing in time and available volunteers. But for Winning the Peace to work the best, we need a commitment from you that will continue for the next few years.  

The counter-recruitment movement is something close to the heart of our network and its dedicated organizers. Your participation would be greatly appreciated and make a world of difference to Winning the Peace having the effect it needs to accomplish a national scale of expressed concern for the well being of our recruitment age youth.

The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth hopes, that having read this appeal, you can understand the important effect that can be made by all of us working together to inform our youth to question the increasing influence of Pentagon recruitment efforts to produce more soldiers for the wars we want halted.

 

Sincerely,

The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth

 

Find out how to participate @ http://nnomy.org/index.php/counter-recruitment/winning-the-peace

 

 

NNOMY Reader

 Learning the Issues about Youth Demilitarization

NNOMY ReaderThe NNOMY Reader is a useful primer to learn about the realities of military recruitment, the militarism effecting our youth in schools and our opportunities for peaceful coexistance. This collection of articles represents a historical overview of the U.S. based counter-recruitment movement's strategies to inform and intervene in schools and the community about the Pentagon's multi-billion dollar programs to recruit America's youth into escalating wars. The NNOMY Reader also includes some information on alternatives to enlistment, as well as research presented by activists and investigators on the nature and risks of cultural militarization and how it  threatens our democracy. Learn more

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