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Wed
19
Apr

Protests at Israel's leading university for its marketing course on the arms trade

As part of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, Hamushim activists from Israel delivered hundreds of protest letters to the Technion, a public research university based in Haifa and Tel Aviv, calling on the university authorities to stop their course on arms trade, “Defense Strategy for International Markets”.

The Technion, Israel's leading academic institution, now offers this course for arms exporters and executives in the defense industry. It's designed to upgrade their knowledge and expertise specifically regarding the international arms trade, and to teach them how to form a strategy for arms exports for international markets. After demonstrating at the Tel Aviv campus where the course takes place, activists delivered protest letters signed by hundreds to the Technion on Monday this week.

The letter reads as follows:

Fri
07
Apr

After 130 days in prison, IDF frees conscientious objector Tamar Alon

After 130 days in military prison, the Israeli army on Wednesday released conscientious objector Tamar Alon from mandatory service. Alon served six terms in military prison for her refusal to be conscripted, which she said would have contributed to the oppression of the Palestinian people. She had expressed her willingness to instead perform civilian national service, an alternative the army rejected.

“The price I paid is small compared to the price millions of Palestinians have been paying for 50 years, whose basic rights are violated on a daily basis and whose freedom has yet to be returned to them like mine was returned to me,” Alon said upon being released from prison and military service.

Read the full article here.

This is an article by Yael Marom which appears on +972 Magazine.

Thu
30
Mar

Poverty, Militarism and the Public Schools

John Moore via Getty Images

By Robert Koehler What’s the difference between education and obedience? If you see very little, you probably have no problem with the militarization of the American school system — or rather, the militarization of the impoverished schools . . . the ones that can’t afford new textbooks or functional plumbing, much less art supplies or band equipment.

The Pentagon has been eyeing these schools — broken and gang-ridden — for a decade now, and seeing its future there. It comes in like a cammy-clad Santa, bringing money and discipline. In return it gets young minds to shape, to (I fear) possess: to turn into the next generation of soldiers, available for the coming wars.

Tue
14
Mar

UNICEF says 2016 Was Worst Year Yet for Syria's Children

In Syria, last year was the worst yet for the country's rising generation, with at least 652 children killed in 2016, the United Nations' child relief agency said Monday.

There was no letup to attacks on schools, hospitals, playgrounds, parks and homes as the Syrian government, its opponents and the allies of both sides showed callous disregard for the laws of war.

UNICEF said at least 255 children were killed in or near schools last year and 1.7 million youngsters are out of school. One of every three schools in Syria is unusable, some because armed groups occupy them. An additional 2.3 million Syrian children are refugees elsewhere in the Middle East.

Read the full article here.

Thu
02
Mar

Guns assembled in the UK may be arming child soldiers, says report

Rifles and submachine guns assembled in the UK could be exported for use in conflicts involving child soldiers, according to a report by European children’s charities.

The report accuses Heckler & Koch (H&K) – a German company that is among the world’s largest producers of small arms – of sidestepping obstacles to exports at home by using its subsidiary in the UK, where a “lack of transparency” has frustrated attempts to scrutinise arms deals.

Read the full article here.

This is an article by Ben Knight and Ben Quinn which appears on the Guardian.

Tue
28
Feb

The US Military, Like Ancient Rome's, Is Trying to Secure a Dying Empire

Recruiters from the Harrisburg Recruiting Company assisted with the Youth and Education Services (Y.E.S.) October 8, 2010, at the Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Christine June / Harrisburg US Army Recruiting Batallion)

By Mark Karlin

Delving into the underbelly of the US military, longtime antiwar activist Pat Elder reveals how military recruiters are assisted by the Department of Education, the film industry, the video game industry and mainstream media in order to fuel never-ending war -- using the country's most vulnerable young people as fodder. Get the book Military Recruiting in the United States by donating to Truthout now!

Thu
23
Feb

How German guns often end up in child soldiers' hands

A new report by the German Alliance for Child Soldiers and other non-profits found that there are currently around 250,000 child soldiers in at least 20 conflict-ridden countries who are forced to spy, fight, carry supplies and even be sex slaves. And often German arms end up in these child soldiers’ hands.

“The study proves that Germany delivers small weapons of the deadliest kind to many conflict regions - also those where child soldiers are deployed, for example in the Middle East, India, Pakistan or the Philippines,” said Ralf Willinger, children’s rights expert and spokesman for the child soldiers alliance, in a statement.

“Germany is thus jointly responsible for the escalation of armed conflicts and the suffering of children in these countries.”

Thu
23
Feb

Nigeria: Boko Haram - 2,000 Children Recruited Used As Child Soldiers - Unicef

According to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), Nigeria's Boko Haram militants recruited about 2,000 children in 2016 and used them as child soldiers.

As world leaders gathered in Paris for a conference on the protection of children in armed conflict, UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake said "nearly 2,000 children were recruited by Boko Haram, in Nigeria and neighbouring countries, last year alone, and there have been nearly 1,500 cases of child recruitment in Yemen since the conflict escalated in March 2015." 

The UNICEF chief said according to estimates there are tens of thousands under the age of 18 being used in conflicts worldwide today.

Mon
20
Feb

Army Cadet Force units ruled out at Scottish state schools

ARMY cadet units will not be permitted to operate in state schools north of the Border, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

Ministers said there was no change to the long-standing policy in Scotland that units could not be based at council-run schools.

The intervention came after UK defence minister Sir Michael Fallon suggested he wanted more units to be allowed in Scotland during a discussion about a pilot project at Maxwelltown High School, in Dumfries.

Read the full article here.

Tue
24
Jan

Asian Youth Consider Political Career Despite Barriers

By Peera Songkunnatham

“I have to become a politician,” said Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal, a university student well-known in Thailand for his outspoken criticism of Thai schooling. “Even though I’ve given multiple interviews saying that I didn’t want to become a politician at all; I actually hated politicians. But I’ve changed my mind.”

Running against the current of political apathy and disillusionment among youth, Chotiphatphaisal is part of a new wave of youth in Asia considering running for public office to effect change. These young people articulate a willingness to engage in formal politics, but also a need to reform the political system from within.

But first they must overcome the many social and legal barriers in their countries, restrictions on participation that are often rooted in age, gender, and ethnic discrimination.

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