All articles

Wed
08
Jan

The militarisation of everyday life in Venezuela

Rafael Uzcátegui

The recently-deceased President Hugo Chavez systematically militarised Venezuelan society, from young to old. This is perhaps not too surprising when recalling that he came to power as Lieutenant Colonel Chavez in 1998, after leading a coup d’etat in 1992. It was the first time during the democratic period, which began in 1958, that a member of the armed forces was chosen as the country’s leader. Since that time there has been a progressive militarisation of the country, with a special emphasis on young people.

This article considers the concept of militarisation in a broad sense, not just as the physical presence of soldiers in the daily life of the population. Militarisation is the spreading of and granting privilege to the values, symbols, language and ways of thinking and acting used by the armed forces within society, in order to guarantee the government’s ability to govern.

Wed
08
Jan

The impact of internal conflict and the para-state in Colombia

Columbian Armed Forces

Jorge Vélez

Today in Colombia, it is mostly young men who are sent to fight in the civil war that rages in the most impoverished and vulnerable cities and countryside and which continues to cause widespread deaths and destruction of the land. Sadly, it is a conflict between people who share the same social and economic background. Far right-wing oligarchs perpetuate the war and block dialogue between the parties in conflict. They do this because they are very scared of losing the only enemy that has justified their anti-populist reforms, actions and attacks. In order to understand how this parlous state of affairs has come about and to talk about the militarisation of the country – and in particular its youth - it is necessary to look at its history.

Wed
08
Jan

The role of military veterans and current service members

Kelly Dougherty -

As long as there have been wars and the military, soldiers around the world have resisted, deserted, and refused combat duty for both moral and political reasons, and civilians have supported them. From the formation of the St. Patrick’s Battalion made up of soldiers who deserted the U.S. Army to join forces with the Mexicans during the Mexican-American War, to the Bonus Army in the 1930’s where thousands of U.S. veterans marched and occupied Washington DC demanding back-pay for their service in World War I, to the huge GI[1] resistance movement during the Vietnam war, the United States has a rich and varied legacy of military members refusing to be used by their government to further political and economic agendas. GIs are the work force that make war and military occupation possible and, as such, have a critical role to play as leaders in the struggle to end war and militarism.

Wed
08
Jan

Tactics for Combating Militarism

Summary

Thank you for joining War Resisters International and the New Tactics community for an online conversation on tactics for combating the militarisation of education, public spaces, vulnerable communities, entertainment and culture, from June 10 to 14, 2013.

Governments and other military actors around the world target youth and other vulnerable communities for military recruitment and service. Simultaneously, the militarisation of public spheres such as space and culture promote the acceptance of the prioritising of military capability and approaches. In response, human rights organizations and other campaigners have developed innovative ways of combating increasing militarisation.

Wed
08
Jan

Survey findings: Recruitment, and The military in public and private spaces

Indian Army

Recruitment

In the majority of the thirty-two countries surveyed[1], minors (those under 18 years old) cannot join the armed forces. However, there are multiple exceptions to this – such as the USA, France and Canada, whose military includes 17 year olds. In those countries that allow minors, there are often restrictions. In the UK, under-18s cannot serve in combat roles, and in Germany 17.5 year olds can join only with parental consent. In those states that do not officially allow minors to serve, this does sometimes happen nonetheless, for example in Israel and Colombia.

Tue
07
Jan

Child Rights: Using international law and the UN

Ralf Willinger -

Human Rights organisations are increasingly using International law and the UN to draw public attention to human rights violations and to put pressure on the oppressors responsible. The civil peace movement can make use of these mechanisms for their purposes as well. One example at the level of international human rights law, is the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; another is the UN Human Rights Council. In both cases there is a reporting mechanism to monitor states’ compliance with their obligations under the Convention and implementation of the respective rights in which the participation of civil society is explicitly provided for.

Tue
07
Jan

Cessation of Military Recruiting in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools

American Public Health Association -

Tue
07
Jan

Catch them young before the army loses them

David Gee -

Ask a teacher what her purpose is and how she goes about it, and you can expect a simple answer: she supports young people to grow by teaching them things. We know why we need bakers, too; they feed people by baking us bread. So what are soldiers[2] for?

Tue
07
Jan

As Natural as Mother's Milk - Impregnating Society With Militarism

Ruth L. Hiller 

English translation unavailable for .

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