Thursday, June 30, 2011

[SDCPJ] Fw: [isn] War Resisters Inject Truth into Military Recruitment by Eleanor J. Bader

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----- Original Message -----
From: <a.beltran@ymail.com>
Cc: "recipient list not shown:"
Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 4:34 AM
Subject: [isn] War Resisters Inject Truth into Military Recruitment by
Eleanor J. Bader


> On The Issues Magazine
>
> The Progressive Woman's Magazine Summer 2011:
>
> War Resisters Inject Truth into Military Recruitment
>
> by Eleanor J. Bader
>
> ***
>
> War Resisters Inject Truth into Military Recruitment
>
> by Eleanor J. Bader
>
> The setting changes but the scene does not: Men and women in crisply
> pressed uniforms enter public high schools across the country and cajole
> the teenagers they meet into signing on the dotted line to serve Uncle
> Sam.
>
> Thanks to Section 9528 of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, recruiters
> from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy have the same
> access to secondary school students as college recruiters or potential
> employers.
>
> This, in concert with mandatory Selective Service registration for all
> 18-year-old males and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
> [ASVAB] exam that is given to nearly three-quarters of a million high
> school juniors and seniors each year, has prompted many domestic peace
> activists to organize opposition to the militarization of youth.
>
> They advocate "truth-in-recruiting," arguing that lofty promises made at
> the time of enlistment -- extensive travel, scholarships or an easy route
> to U.S. citizenship -- often fail to materialize once service begins.
>
> ©Elise Engler
>
> What's more, these peace activists say that they are paying particular
> attention to female recruits, warning them of potential pitfalls: The
> risks associated with wartime service even in "non-combat" positions, as
> well as the too-common experience of sexual harassment and assault by unit
> supervisors and peers.
>
> Little-Known Facts
>
> The War Resisters League, an 88-year-old national group with more than 25
> chapters across the U.S., targets students and, when possible, tables at
> schools to provide little-known facts about the military: One in four
> soldiers gets a less than honorable discharge, making them ineligible for
> college money; nearly one-third of females seeking health care from the
> Veteran's Administration report experiencing a rape or attempted rape
> while conscripted.
>
> "Up until the economic recession began, the military had a hard time
> finding recruits," says Kimber Heinz, National Organizing Director of the
> War Resisters League. "But now the military is not only meeting its quota,
> it's a de facto jobs program and you have recruiters preying on students
> who can no longer afford college or find work."
>
> One of its brochures, Know Before You Go, offers this information for
> those thinking of signing up: "The military contract states, 'Laws and
> regulations that govern military personnel may change without notice. Such
> changes may affect pay, benefits, and responsibilities as a member of the
> Armed Forces regardless of the provisions of the enlistment document.'"
>
> In other words, beware: Even though a recruit has signed a contract, the
> terms can be modified at the military's discretion. "We let people know
> that if we're at war a recruit can be stop-lossed and might end up on
> multiple tours," Heinz continues. "The recruit has no control over this.
> We always remind people that the military is the only job where if the
> worker quits, he or she goes to jail."
>
> The organization also provides data on what it means to be a conscientious
> objector and outlines the penalties for failing to register for Selective
> Service. Other truth-in-recruiting messages are also hammered. For one,
> despite promises to the contrary, Heinz reports that skills learned in the
> military are rarely transferable to the civilian world. "We make it clear
> that many, many people come out of the military traumatized or disabled,"
> Heinz continues. "We ask people to think about what it means to be an
> occupier of someone else's land and we try to get people to consider
> whether they'll be able to live with killing someone or seeing someone
> killed." It's a heavy message, and it is repeated by more than 75 local
> organizations throughout the 50 states. Joanne Sheehan is an adult
> advisor to YouthPeace, a student-led social justice group at the Norwich
> Free Academy, a public, regional high school in eastern Connecticut. Since
> 1998 YouthPeace has raised issues including military recruitment and
> Islamophobia with the student body.
>
> Students Can Opt-Out For the past seven years, members have also
> coordinated an annual opt-out campaign to inform students that the law
> allows them to request that their contact information be withheld from
> recruiters. "Schools typically send student names, addresses, and phone
> numbers to the military in October, so we have about a month once school
> starts to publicize the opt-out provision," Sheehan says. "A few years ago
> we pushed the superintendent to put information about opting-out in the
> first paragraph of a letter that is sent to parents at the beginning of
> the year. We want to be sure they understand that their children don't
> need to provide data to recruiters, that it's something they can opt-out
> of." In some schools recruiters have free rein in the hallways The peace
> groups also broach a broader anti-militarist agenda, even in places like
> San Diego with a heavy military presence and 110,000 military employees.
> There, the school board recently voted to ban students enrolled in the
> Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps [J-ROTC] from taking in-school
> marksmanship classes. "Fifteen of the 18 high schools in San Diego have
> ROTC. One of them, Lincoln, was temporarily closed for rehabbing and when
> we saw the plan for the renovation, we saw that it included a firing
> range. We brought this to the community's attention and formed the
> Education Not Arms Coalition," says Rick Jahnkow, coordinator of Youth and
> Non-Military Opportunities, known as Project YANO. The consensus, Jahnkow
> says, was to focus on ending gun classes rather than campaigning against
> ROTC more generally because group participants felt an anti-ROTC campaign
> would fail. Education Not Arms pointed to the pervasive gun violence
> already plaguing the Lincoln area and denounced planned cutbacks in
> Advanced Placement classes needed by college-bound pupils. The efforts
> paid off: The school board ended all in-school gun training. Boosted by
> this victory, Project YANO and Education Not Arms next turned their
> attention to school-based recruiters. In late 2010 San Diego activists
> succeeded in restricting recruiters to two school visits per year, similar
> to policies in New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco
> and Oakland. As a result, recruiters must schedule specific times to meet
> with potential conscripts and cannot disrupt "normal school activities."
>
> "In some schools the recruiters eat lunch with the kids, hang out and
> chill in the parking lot, and have free rein in the hallways," says Pat
> Elder of Maryland's PeaceAction Montgomery. "In most places, what they get
> to do depends on the principal. I've seen schools where male recruiters
> are always around, playing one-on-one basketball with kids who don't have
> fathers." This scenario led New York City's Youth Activists-Youth Allies
> Network to monitor recruiters to ensure that they obey the regulations
> that circumscribe their access to individual students.
>
> This scenario led New York City's Youth Activists-Youth Allies Network to
> monitor recruiters to ensure that they obey the regulations that
> circumscribe their access to individual students. YA-YA Network staff --
> all but one of whom are between 15 and 19 -- also lead workshops about
> U.S. foreign policy and the costs of war and militarism.
>
> "Several years ago I asked participants what their peers thought about the
> wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," says YA-YA advisor Amy Wagner. "The wars
> were not very present for them. I talked about how during the Vietnam War
> when you turned on your TV you always heard the number of dead soldiers.
> They thought about this and concluded that facts were being hidden from
> them on purpose. They did a lot of research and the result was a short
> video now up on YouTube, called The War Will Not Be Televised. Terms can
> be modified at the military's discretion
>
> The YA-YA Network is presently focused on making sure that schools abide
> by regulations that mandate that a school staff person be appointed to
> provide guidance on military recruitment in each high school.
>
> "We first want to investigate and see if this is being done," Wagner says.
> "If not, why not. If it is, we want to know where these people are getting
> their info and who's training them. We want to give students the
> information they are entitled to so that they fully understand their range
> of options."
>
> Indeed, it is this idea of options that propels organizing against
> militarism. Take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test, a
> four-hour recruiting tool used in nearly 12,000 high schools nationwide.
>
> To date, Maryland is the only state to require schools to select a
> provision that stops student scores from being sent directly to
> recruiters. "Look, if you take even moderate Democrats and sit them down
> and ask them who they think should give student data to the military --
> mom and dad or the Pentagon – they'll all support parental decision
> making," says Pat Elder of PeaceAction Montgomery.
>
> They want students to understand that becoming a soldier is not
> necessarily the best way to show personal strength or valor. "A lot of
> people want to be tough and powerful, so they enlist," says the War
> Resisters League's Kimber Heinz. "They ultimately learn that enlisting is
> not a good way to test how strong they are."
>
> Eleanor Bader is a freelance writer, teacher, and activist. She writes for
> The Brooklyn Rail, The L Magazine, RHRealitycheck.org, and other
> progressive and feminist publications.
>
> http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/2011summer/2011summer_bader.php
>
>
> ***
>
>>> War Resisters Inject Truth into Military Recruitment>> by Eleanor J.
>>> Bader June 20, 2011>> On The Issues Magazine>>
>>> http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/2011summer/2011summer_bader.php>>
>
> This scenario led New York City's Youth Activists-Youth> Allies Network to
> monitor recruiters to ensure that> they obey the regulations that
> circumscribe their> access to individual students.>> YA-YA Network
> staff -- all but one of whom are between> 15 and 19 -- also lead workshops
> about U.S. foreign> policy and the costs of war and militarism. "Several>
> years ago I asked participants what their peers thought> about the wars in
> Iraq and Afghanistan," says YA-YA> advisor Amy Wagner. "The wars were not
> very present for> them. I talked about how during the Vietnam War when>
> you turned on your TV you always heard the number of> dead soldiers. They
> thought about this and concluded> that facts were being hidden from them
> on purpose. They> did a lot of research and the result was a short video>
> now up on YouTube, called The War Will Not Be> Televised.>> The YA-YA
> Network is presently focused on making sure> that schools abide by
> regulations that mandate that a> school staff person be appointed to
> provide guidance on> military recruitment in each high school. "We first>
> want to investigate and see if this is being done,"> Wagner says. "If not,
> why not. If it is, we want to> know where these people are getting their
> info and> who's training them. We want to give students the> information
> they are entitled to so that they fully> understand their range of
> options.">> Indeed, it is this idea of options that propels> organizing
> against militarism. Take the Armed Services> Vocational Aptitude Battery
> test, a four-hour> recruiting tool used in nearly 12,000 high schools>
> nationwide. To date, Maryland is the only state to> require schools to
> select a provision that stops> student scores from being sent directly to
> recruiters.>> "Look, if you take even moderate Democrats and sit them>
> down and ask them who they think should give student> data to the
> military -- mom and dad or the Pentagon -> they'll all support parental
> decision making," says Pat> Elder of PeaceAction Montgomery.>> They want
> students to understand that becoming a> soldier is not necessarily the
> best way to show> personal strength or valor. "A lot of people want to be>
> tough and powerful, so they enlist," says the War> Resisters League's
> Kimber Heinz. "They ultimately learn> that enlisting is not a good way to
> test how strong> they are.">‬______________________________


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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===================================================================
National Immigrant Solidarity Network
No Immigrant Bashing! Support Immigrant Rights!

webpage: http://www.ImmigrantSolidarity.org
e-mail: info@ImmigrantSolidarity.org
New York: (212)330-8172
Los Angeles: (213)403-0131
Washington D.C.: (202)595-8990


Please consider making a donation to the important work of National
Immigrant Solidarity Network

Send check pay to:
National Immigrant Solidarity Network/AFGJ

and mail to:
National Immigrant Solidarity Network
P.O. Box 751
South Pasadena, CA 91031-0751
(All donations are tax deductible)


*to join the immigrant Solidarity Network daily news litserv, send e-mail
to: isn-subscribe@lists.riseup.net
or visit: http://lists.riseup.net/www/info/isn

*a monthly ISN monthly Action Alert! listserv, go to webpage
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Immigrant Rights!
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