The first ever international week of action for military-free education and research was held between 25-31 October 2014. This follows on from a day of action last year. Antimilitarists across the world took action to raise awareness, and challenge, the role the military has in education and research in educational institutions. This role gives them access to young people - to lay the groundwork for recruitment later in life, and to promote military values.
Different groups used the week of action in different ways. Some challenged military presence in schools through direct action, some publicly debated the presence of the military in education, others showed films, wrote articles, and campaigned on social media.
The author of this article wishes to remain anonymous, so she is known as 'E'.
'When E first saw pupils walking down from the school along the road carrying weapons (to the firing range, as it turned out) – she thought “SHIT! KIDS WITH GUNS – WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT!”
Today – it is “THE NORM” for E, she doesn’t even give it a second glance as it’s just an everyday occurrence. Now E, or as she is NOW called Sergeant H hands the guns to the kids of 13 and 14 and puts the bullets into their bullet holders – even though she says, that at the time it feels normal and ordinary – when she thinks about it, it feels wrong.
The arms company BAE Systems, along with the Royal Air Force, has run a 'science roadshow' for pupils at a Christian school in central London. The school is a few minutes' walk from where I live.
The school, St Marylebone Church of England School, aims to "nurture respect for religious, moral and spiritual values" and to help pupils to "understand the interdependence of individuals, groups and nations".
BAE Systems is a multinational arms firm, selling weapons to oppressive and aggressive regimes around the globe.
“A rational dialogue with the administration will not solve the issues at hand.”
These were the words of a protester at the disturbance of McGill’s Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL)’s five-day Strategic Space Law Intensive Program on October 28. The program is meant to train lawyers in how to navigate space law. About ten people, mostly McGill students, disrupted the conference taking place at the Best Western hotel with chanting and condemnations of the program before pushing past security and escaping arrest.
Through articles, images, survey data and interviews, Sowing Seeds: The Militarisation of Youth and How to Counter It documents the seeds of war that are planted in the minds of young people in many different countries. However, it also explores the seeds of resistance to this militarisation that are being sown resiliently and creatively by numerous people. READ MORE