The Broken Rifle, 92
Countering the Militarisation of Youth is the theme of this issue of The Broken Rifle, just in time for our international study conference with the same title.
As I wrote in a guest editorial in Peace News back in 2002, to work effectively, we need to know our enemy, or what our enemy is doing, With enemy I mean the military, and I consciously call the military our enemy, knowing that within most nonviolent circles we are not supposed to have enemies.
But the military institution is not just an opponent - someone you can discuss things with, maybe convince and change - it is a structure based on violence, something that we do not want to just change, but to get rid of entirely. This means when we work on countering militarisation with a focus on youth, and is at first important that we analyse how militarisation works in different societies, what mechanisms are used, how it is related to other structures of power such as the state, patriarchy and heterosexism, and so on.
In this issue of The Broken Rifle we cannot do more than provide some inspiration - 12 pages are not sufficient for an comprehensive analysis - and also to provide some examples of resistance. However, some more information is available in the reader we produced for our conference, and we invite you to have a look at http://wri-irg.org/militarisationofyouth/DarmstadtReader.
Resisting militarisation lies at the core of our antimilitarist work. In doing so it is important that we exchange our experiences and learn from each other - but also challenge each other about our different approaches and political perspectives. As an antimilitarist network, we do come from different political perspectives and cultures - making it inevitable that we come up with different approaches. This can be a strength, if we value difference, but also engage with each other in a critical debate based on respect. Militarisation means making everyone uniform - our resistance needs diversity and creativity.