3rd International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth, 14-20 November
Join us this November and stand against the militarisation of youth with many others from all around the world. Your voice, your nonviolent actions and events will contribute to our growing international movement!
WRI is organising the 3rd International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth this year. The week will be held between 14 and 20 November with various activities by the groups and individuals from across the world. See our call out here and write to us via firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved in.
Recruitment of minds and bodies
Today militaries, armed groups and others profiting from war are using various ways to access young people, not only to recruit bodies, but also to recruit minds into their military cause. In some countries, the militarisation of youth is more apparent and obvious – young people (mainly, though not exclusively, young men) are forced to join the military through conscription. This might also include forced recruitment or recruitment of children. In many other places – including those places where conscription has been suspended or abolished - governments, arms dealers and other war profiteers have a vested interest in indoctrinating young people to be positive about military actions.
What strategies and practices are these state and non-state parties following in order to convince young people to, actively or passively to support their military cause? What can we can do to counter these strategies of war profiteers? In this year's week of action we are particularly focusing on those many ways that young people's minds and bodies are recruited into the armed forces, and to war.
What can you do?
- Organise your own nonviolent actions (direct actions, workshops, public forums, talks, movie screenings, vigils, online campaigns). See examples from last year here.
- Join the week via your posts on social media using the hashtag #YouthAgainstWar and/or #everydaymilitarism. Share photos from your town or city showing us examples of everyday militarism in your context. Post articles and any other material informing us about the militarisation of youth, and resistance to it, in your country/region your country.
Also, you can find the week's logo in different languages here.
The upcoming activities*
- 10th November: Centre Delas from Catalonia will organise an event including presentations from two recent publications: 122 acciones fáciles (y difíciles) para la paz and Mentes Militarizadas. You can find more info here. Throughout the week, Centre Delas, together with Desmilitaritzem l’Educació, will also send letters to education events organisers in Catalonia who invited the army to, or allowed a military presence in, their events. They will also organise a meeting with political parties within the Catalonian Parliament, which has issued a resolution urging the government to limit military presence at public spaces, including schools, and to avoid promoting the military industry in Catalonia.
- 14th November: National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth from the USA launches the campaign Winning the Peace, which will be an ongoing and multiyear intervention against our U.S. military's intrusion into our public school system for the purposes of supporting its wars.
- 14th - 18th November: Aseistakieltäytyjäliitto AKL from Finland will organise a number of actions and circulate anti-recruitment resources in front of the military recruitment offices in Helsinki.
- 14th - 20th November: Auckland Peace Action from New Zealand organises a “Week of Peace” with a number of events including a direct action against the arms expo in Auckland.
- 15th November: DFG-VK on trial in Stuttgart, Germany, for publishing photos showing children (faces pixellated) handling weapons at the military propaganda event "Day of the Federal Forces" ("Tag der Bundeswehr"). DFG-VK activists will be present, ready to answer any questions. See more here.
- 16th November: NESEHNUTÍ from the Czech Republic organises a public workshop in Brno on arms trade and its links to the militarisation in Europe. Throughout the week, NESEHNUTÍ will also promote a new documentary on the militarisation in Czech society, in which they took part in. You can find more information about the film here.
- 16th November: Women in Black (London) leads a vigil on youth militarisation, handing out leaflets to members of the public in central London.
- 17th November: Granny Peace Brigade from New York (USA) will organise an action across 12 high schools throughout New York City's 5 boroughs. As part of the action, activists will provide parents with information concerning non-military options for students after high school as well as points to consider when military recruiters call or meet with youth. Granny Peace Brigade is an initiative by a group of women in New York, running a number of activities addressing the militarisation of youth in high schools. Their other campaigns include eliminating the funding for the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program in 18 NYC high schools, and protecting students' privacy rights against the military recruiting services in high schools across the country.
- 17th November: ACOOC – Colombian Collective Action of Conscientious Objectors will organise a workshop on nonviolent social protest and alternatives to militarisation at the Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogota. As part the workshop ACOOC activists will introduce a role-playing game, Compa, which simulates situations of social protest and resistance to police violence.
- 17th November: DFG-VK activists in Würzburg, Germany will inform young people about alternatives to soldiery in front of a job fair hosting a Federal Army recruitment stall.
- 17th November: DFG-VK activists in Bargteheide (Holstein, Germany) will circulate leaflets in front of a job fair taking place in a school where the Federal Army will be running a recruitment stall (7.30 h, Am Schulzentrem, entrance of Anne-Frank-Schule)
- 18th November: DFG-VK activists in Erlangen, Germany will circulate leaflets in front of a school on the occasion of a Federal Army "career guidance" event.
- 18th November: DFG-VK activists in Frankfurt/M, Germany will circulate leaflets at the job fair "Azubi & Studientage" in Frankfurt where the Federal Army officers will be running a recruitment stall.
- 18th - 27th November: Foundation for Active Nonviolence (Stichting voor Actieve Geweldloosheid - SVAG) from the Netherlands will organise a non-violence training, Towards a Nonviolent World, where WRI activists will also present a session on nonviolence and countering the militarisation of youth.
- 16th – 20th November: Activists from Israel will declare conscientious objection. The declarations will be followed by a number of support actions organised by Mesarvot, a network of Israeli organizations, groups and individuals who support political conscientious objectors.
- 19th – 20th November: CUERPO CON-SIENTE from Colombia will organise a public workshop in Bogota on alternative approaches to social transformation .
- 23rd - 25th November: MOMO from South Korea will organise a public seminar in Seoul on peace education and countering the militarisation in South Korea.
On 12th November War Resisters’ International office will hold an information stall at Veterans for Peace conference, circulating leaflets on countering youth militarisation in the UK.
Alongside the ongoing events, the week of action will also include a number of articles to be published on antimili-youth.net. The pieces will include cases from the UK, Germany and Mexico.
Dr. Victoria Basham, senior lecturer in International Relations at the University of Cardiff, will write on the militarisation of youth in the UK with a specific focus on the UK Government and the military programmes mainstreaming the idea of “military ethos” at schools.
David Scheuing, WRI activist and a graduate student of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Marburg, will write for antimili-youth.net on the advertising strategies of the Bundeswehr (the German Military) targeting young people in Germany.
London Mexico Solidarity, a group of activists based in London and Mexico, will write on the militarisation of war on drugs and the ways it affects the lives of young people with a specific focus on the Ayotzinapa attacks that took place two years ago.
You will be able to read the pieces on www.antimili-youth.net.
*The list is updated regularly. Please write to email@example.com if you will be organising an action or event as part of the Week of Action.