Articles

Five Years of Counter Recruitment in Chicago

June 29, 2008

Nick Kreitman -

Reviewing Five Years of Counter Recruiting in Chicago

Counter recruitment is shorthand for a strategy by the peace movement to make the military withdraw from the occupation in Iraq and other countries through impacting the enlistment levels of willing soldiers. Countering military recruitment involves dissuading people who might interact with the recruiters from doing so and removing the public presence of military recruitment altogether.

Over the past five years of counter recruitment in Chicago there have been roughly four areas of struggle; confronting the military presence inside high schools, the military recruitment at public events, recruitment at universities and confronting military recruitment centers directly. Unfortunately there have been few moments to pause and allow ourselves to review our accomplishments and setbacks. Hopefully those engaged in counter recruitment and those who want to know more will be helped by this work which looks to outline some of the questions that need to be asked in order to help benchmark our progress.

Before discussing the individual arenas where counter recruiters have acted in Chicago, we have to acknowledge the fact that there will probably never be reliable statistics published on our efforts. Most likely the military will never keep statistics on counter recruitment, and if some government agency did receive a budget to track counter recruitment there would be a number of serious issues about reliability. This dearth of information on the regional and national levels however, does not prevent us from collecting information and drawing conclusions about our efforts at the city level. Although the need to collect data of more quantity and quality from actions is universal to the social justice movement, it is particularly necessary in our case because such data could help us choose between a number of possible strategies towards ending the war.

Just Say No: Organizing Against Militarism in Public Schools

Originally published in the Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

Scott Harding - School of Social Work University of Connecticut / Seth Kershner - Simmons College -

In an effort to counteract the growing militarization of schools, military counter-recruitment (CR) has emerged as an effective grassroots movement across the United States. Led by a small number of local activists, CR utilizes community organizing methods to confront the structures supporting military enlistment as a viable career option. Despite operating with limited resources, counter-recruitment has secured key legal and policy victories that challenge the dominant social narrative about military service. Three examples of counter- recruitment are profiled to illustrate the different tactics and strategies used for successful organizing within a culture of militarism.

Military Service in the United States of America: Issues of Conscience and Human Rights

español - 01 Mar 2006 — warresisters

War Resisters International -

Introduction

Although the United States does presently not enforce conscription, its present practice of recruitment for the Armed Forces and of keeping personnel within the forces once recruited gives reasons to concern from a human rights perspective. The focus lies on recruitment of the one hand, and on the difficulties to get out of the military once enlisted on the other hand. It will become obvious that a so-called "volunteer force" is not without human rights problems.

This report is a preliminary report, compiled by War Resisters' International, to highlight some of the human rights problems associated with the Armed Forces of the United States of America. This report is far from complete, and we also refer to the report submitted by Conscience and Peace Tax International (CPTI), especially regarding registration for the draft according to the US Selective Service System.

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