The NNOMY Opinion section is a new feature of our articles section. Writing on youth demilitarization issues is quite rare but we have discovered the beginning articles and notes being offered on this subject so we have decided to present them under an opinion category. The articles presented do not necessarily reflect the views of the NNOMY Steering Committee.
Activists Demilitarizing Our Public Schools
The NNOMY CAMPUS page is a resource for activists wishing to understand how to more effectively intervene in our public schools against the increasing influence of Pentagon programs to indoctrinate our youth for war. A series of webinars are being planned on different successful strategies to effect policy changes in school districts that better protect student privacy from military recruiters, to organize access to counter-recruit on campus, and to monitor the activities of military personnel on public school campuses. Topics are listed by series and subject. NNOMY webinar based workshops are a more effective method to instruct how to proceed with curbing the number of youth that make the choice to join into military service, or do so with a more informed picture of what this service will entail. This page will be updated periodically as additional webinars are conducted and new materials are produced to support these trainings. NNOMY will maintain these educational resources with the most up-to-date information and informed opinions as possible in order to keep the practice of national counter'recruitment efforts viable into the future.
The warning, given to me 25 years ago, came at the moment Pat Robertson and other radio and televangelists began speaking about a new political religion that would direct its efforts at taking control of all institutions, including mainstream denominations and the government. Its stated goal was to use the United States to create a global, Christian empire. It was hard, at the time, to take such fantastic rhetoric seriously, especially given the buffoonish quality of those who expounded it. But Adams warned us against the blindness caused by intellectual snobbery. The Nazis, he said, were not going to return with swastikas and brown shirts. Their ideological inheritors had found a mask for fascism in the pages of the Bible. - Chris Hedges (From his article: The Christian Right and the Rise of American Fascism, 2011)
Though the United States of America shares with other nations in a history of modern state militarism, the past 78 years following its consolidation as a world military power after World War II has seen a shift away from previous democratic characterizations of the state. The last forty years, with the rise of the neo-conservative Reagan and Bush (2) administrations, began the abandonment of moral justifications for democracy building replaced by bellicose proclamations of the need and right to move towards a national project of global security by preemptive military force. Even with the return of eight years of the, so called, Liberal Obama administrations we saw the further erosion of long held human right protections with the suspension of habeas corpus and the increased usage of extra-judicial drone bombing killings of claimed combatants in multiple conflicts worldwide. Now with the Trump and Biden administrations, these programs have increased unbeknownst to the general public as the mainstream media silenced and normalized perpetual wars.
In the process of global military expansion, the US population has been subjected to an internal re-education to accept the role of the U.S. as consolidating its hegemonic rule internationally in the interest of liberal ideals of wealth creation and protectionism.
The average citizen has slowly come to terms with stealthily increasing campaigns of militarization domestically in media offerings; from television, movies, militarized video games, and scripted news networks to reinforce the inevitability of a re-configured society as security state. The effect has begun a transformation of how, as citizens, we understand our roles and viability as workers and families in relation to this security state. This new order has brought with it a shrinking public common and an increasing privatization of publicly held infrastructure; libraries, health clinics, schools and the expectation of diminished social benefits for the poor and middle-class. The national borders are being militarized as are our domestic police forces in the name of Homeland Security but largely in the interest of business. The rate and expansion of research and development for security industries and the government agencies that fund them, now represent the major growth sector of the U.S.economy. Additionally, as the U.S. economy continually shifts from productive capital to financial capital as the engine of growth for wealth creation and development, the corporate culture has seen its fortunes rise politically and its power over the public sector grow relatively unchallenged by a confused citizenry who are watching their social security and jobs diminishing.
How increasing cultural militarization effects our common future will likely manifest in increased public dissatisfaction with political leadership and economic strictures. Social movements within the peace community, like NNOMY, will need to expand their role of addressing the dangers of militarists predating youth for military recruitment in school to giving more visibility to the additional dangers of the role of an influential militarized media, violent entertainment and play offerings effecting our youth in formation and a general increase and influence of the military complex in all aspects of our lives. We are confronted with a demand for a greater awareness of the inter-relationships of militarism in the entire landscape of domestic U.S. society. Where once we could ignore the impacts of U.S. military adventurisms abroad, we are now faced with the transformation of our domestic comfort zone with the impacts of militarism in our day to day lives where we are witnessing militarized police forces in all our cities.
How this warning can be imparted in a meaningful way by a movement seeking to continue with the stated goals of counter-recruitment and public policy activism, and not loose itself in the process, will be the test for those activists, past and future, who take up the call to protect our youth from the cultural violence of militarism.
The "militarization of US culture" category will be an archive of editorials and articles about the increasing dangers we face as a people from those who are invested in the business of war. This page will serve as a resource for the NNOMY community of activists and the movement they represent moving into the future. The arguments presented in this archive will offer important realizations for those who are receptive to NNOMY's message of protecting our youth, and thus our entire society, of the abuses militarism plays upon our hopes for a sustainable and truly democratic society.
Please consider becoming a supporter of The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth
And our work to demilitarize our schools and youth.
The Resources section covers the following topics:
NNOMYpeace has organized the following resources for our own staff of activists to promote our campaigns on different social media platforms. Many are formatted for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds.
We also welcome those activists inside our network of groups doing Truth in Recruitment and Counter-recruiting activism to utilize there resources for their own social media channels.
If you are not a group associated to NNOMYpeace, and would like to utilize these resources on your own channels, we encourage your groups to integrate to NNOMY on our National Directory of Youth Demilitarization Groups to help support the national community of youth demilitarization groups to know you and the scope of your activism. You can share your information to list your group by submitting an organizational form at the following LINK.
We have distributed the following graphics by campaign. Click on the categories below to see those that support different campaign themes by NNOMY
The Divest “Your Body” from the War Machine graphics are campaigning resources for social media for the Divest campaign that NNOMY is collaborating with CodePink. NNOMY focuses on asking youth to "Divest of their Bodies" from military service with the war machine. These are strictly to be utilized with counter-recruitment only and not with TIR.
These social media resources are to be utilized with the "Winning the Peace" campaign in cooperation with the palm cards developed by War Resisters League and the support website created for smart phones, "What Everyone Should Know Before Joining the Military / Lo que deberías saber entres de enrolarte en las Fuerzas Armadas (FF.AA.) ," to answer questions for youth about what military service really involves for them.
These social media resources focus on groups nationally and regionally that take part in some form of youth demilitarization activism. That can include themes such as Truth in Recruitment or Counter-recruitment activism or participate in outreach to schools as veteral or antiwar speakers. Those using them should be cognizant of the limits that your location and context present before you decide to select the appropriate images and appeals for your use.
The Misc. social media image resources category are designed around various appeals encompassing general counter-recruitment messages and antiwar themes. They should be utilized judiciously with attention paid to the moment and situation of which they are applied. Some of these may be themed along specific important dates in the peace calendar of on specific subject relating to militarization especially those themes that effect youth. Those found in this category are not specific to a campaign.
Back to School Against War & Militarism! Get the 2018-19 Back-to-school Kit for Counter-recruiting and School De-militarization Organizing from The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth and find out how you can help keep our youth safer and send a message to school officials and your government... military recruiters should be monitored in local high school and minor-aged youth deserve a balanced narrative on military service! Act Now to activate in your child's public school against Pentagon intrusions into our community youth.
The "Eliminate Selective Service for Everyone" campaign category addresses the antiquated Selective Service system and the demand for its elimination. With the issue of women now being qualified for combat duties including fighting, the issue has been brought before the congress and senate of the United States to require women to register, like men, in the years when young adults are typically drafted into the services to fight wars if the draft needs to be re-initiated in the event of a national crisis where there are not sufficient troops to meet the troop requirement.
This campaign, "Eliminate Selective Service for Everyone," asks for the elimination of this demand based on it being a violation of basic and internationally recognized human rights protocols including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The "Costs of War" campaign category came from the Watson Institute for International Affairs website of Brown University in Providence, RI. This institute has made their research into the economic, social, political, and human costs of U.S. wars their research focus. Their mission statement explains the following:
The Costs of War Project is a team of 50 scholars, legal experts, human rights practitioners, and physicians, which began its work in 2010. We use research and a public website to facilitate debate about the costs of the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the related violence in Pakistan and Syria. There are many hidden or unacknowledged costs of the United States’ decision to respond to the 9/11 attacks with military force. We aim to foster democratic discussion of these wars by providing the fullest possible account of their human, economic, and political costs, and to foster better informed public policies.
This campaign, "Costs of War," asks for the public to be aware that our post 9/11 foreign policy has an effect on the U.S.'s international relations that are increasingly coming under question domestically and internationally and how those policies align with the stated goals of the U.S. State Department and its allied governments..
NNOMY Peace produces workshops to assist groups in understanding the tactics of military recruiters in the school and the community and create community and strategies for groups envolved in youth demilitarization efforts.
NNOMYpeace produces printable and viewable resources to support the practice of Truth in Recruitment and Counter-recruitment activism.
News reports from the groups associated to the NNOMY Network including Social Media.
Reports from counter-recruitment groups and activists from the field. Includes information about action reports at recruiting centers and career fairs, school tabling, and actions in relation to school boards and state legislatures.
David Swanson is the author of the new book, Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, by Seven Stories Press and of the introduction to The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush by Dennis Kucinich. In addition to cofounding AfterDowningStreet.org, he is the Washington director of Democrats.com and sits on the boards of a number of progressive organizations in Washington, DC.
Jorge Mariscal is the grandson of Mexican immigrants and the son of a U.S. Marine who fought in World War II. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and currently teaches at the University of California, San Diego.
Matt Guynn plays the dual role of program director and coordinator for congregational organizing for On Earth Peace, building peace and nonviolence leadership within the 1000+ congregations of the Church of the Brethren across the United States and Puerto Rico. He previously served a co-coordinator of training for Christian Peacemaker Teams, serving as an unarmed accompanier with political refugees in Chiapas, Mexico, and offering or supporting trainings in the US and Mexico.
Pat Elder was a co-founder of the DC Antiwar Network (DAWN) and a member of the Steering Committee of the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth, (NNOMY). Pat is currently involved in a national campaign with the Women's International League for Peace & Freedom project, Military Poisons, investigating on U.S. military base contamination domestically and internationally. Pat’s work has prominently appeared in NSA documents tracking domestic peace groups.
NNOMY periodically participates in or organizes events(e.i. conferences, rallies) with other organizations.
News articles reposted about NNOMY. Includes news reports about our work with associated groups and conferences.
The Counter-recruitment Essentials section of the NNOMY web site covers the issues and actions spanning this type of activism. Bridging the difficult chasms between religious, veteran, educator, student, and community based activism is no small task. In this section you will find information on how to engage in CR activism in your school and community with the support of the knowledge of others who have been working to inform youth considering enlisting in the military. You will also find resources for those already in the military that are looking for some guidance on how to actively resist injustices as a soldier or how to choose a path as a conscientious objector.
John Judge was a co-founder of the Committee for High School Options and Information on Careers, Education and Self-Improvement (CHOICES) in Washington DC, an organization engaged since 1985 in countering military recruitment in DC area high schools and educating young people about their options with regard to the military. Beginning with the war in Viet Nam, Judge was a life-long anti-war activist and tireless supporter of active-duty soldiers and veterans.
"It is our view that military enlistment puts youth, especially African American youth, at special risk, not only for combat duty, injury and fatality, but for military discipline and less than honorable discharge, which can ruin their chances for employment once they get out. There are other options available to them."
In the 1970's the Selective Service System and the paper draft became unworkable, requiring four induction orders to get one report. Boards were under siege by anti-war and anti-draft forces, resistance of many kinds was rampant. The lottery system failed to dampen the dissent, since people who knew they were going to be drafted ahead of time became all the more active. Local draft board members quit in such numbers that even I was approached, as a knowledgeable draft counselor to join the board. I refused on the grounds that I could never vote anyone 1-A or eligible to go since I opposed conscription and the war.
At this point the Pentagon decided to replace the paper draft with a poverty draft, based on economic incentive and coercion. It has been working since then to draw in between 200-400,000 enlisted members annually. Soon after, they began to recruit larger numbers of women to "do the jobs men don't want to". Currently recruitment quotas are falling short, especially in Black communities, and reluctant parents are seen as part of the problem. The hidden problem is retention, since the military would have quadrupled by this time at that rate of enlistment, but the percentage who never finish their first time of enlistment drop out at a staggering rate.
I began bringing veterans of the Vietnam War into high schools in Dayton, Ohio in the late 1960s, and have continued since then to expose young people to the realities of military life, the recruiters' false claims and the risks in combat or out. I did it first through Vietnam Veterans Against the War/Winter Soldier Organization, then Dayton Draft & Military Counseling, and since 1985 in DC through C.H.O.I.C.E.S.
The key is to address the broader issues of militarization of the schools and privacy rights for students in community forums and at meetings of the school board and city council. Good counter-recruitment also provides alternatives in the civilian sector to help the poor and people of color, who are the first targets of the poverty draft, to find ways to break into the job market, go to a trade school, join an apprenticeship program, get job skills and placement help, and find money for college without enlisting in the military.
- War Opponents Train For Visits to Area Schools And Recruitment Centers, Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post
- Counter-Recruitment and the Campaign to Demilitarize Public Schools - Scott Harding, Seth Kershner
- C.H.O.I.C.E.S., John Judge
- Interview - John Judge - U.S. Wars & Military Recruitment
- Military and your Schools
- A Celebration of the Life of John Judge May 31, 2014
- In Memory of John Judge - Washington Peace Center
- John Judge- Obituary and request for reflections - Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA)
- The Loss of John Judge Hits Hard - David Swanson
- John Judge, Leading Change: A Transformational, Quiet Servant Leader, David Ratcliffe
Selene Rivas presents for the International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth a series of brief articles exploring how the U.S. citizenry has been normalized to accept a permanent state of militarism through popular culture: Movies, video games and comic books. From Monday, November 20th and continuing through Sunday the 26th of November, 2017, a new segment of this series of short articles will be featured each day. Select from the articles below.
You can find out more about the Week Of Action at War Resisters' International.
Edward Hasbrouck grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. He considers myself primarily a political activist. Hasbrouck began his resistance to the violence of illegitimate authority as an elected but nonvoting student representative to the local school board and as an activist for peace, disarmament, and students' rights. His first book was a handbook for high school students on their legal rights co-authored in the summer of 1977, between high school and college, as an intern for the student service bureau of the Massachusetts Department of Education. He majored in political science at the University of Chicago until leaving school to pursue direct involvement in political activism.
Conscription of young people to fight old people's wars is one of the ultimate expressions of ageism, and for me, resistance to an ageist draft was first and foremost a component and continuation of the struggle for youth liberation. The religious and authoritarian justifications for conscription and war are remarkably similar to the religious and authoritarian rationales for violence against children and for slavery. - Edward Hasbrouck
In 1980, after a five-year hiatus, the U.S. government reinstated the requirement that all young men register for military conscription with the Selective Service System. In 1982, Hasbrouck was selected for criminal prosecution by the U.S. Department of "Justice" (specifically, by William Weld and Robert Mueller) as one of the people they considered the most vocal of the several million nonregistrants for the draft. As one of 20 nonregistrants who were prosecuted before the government abandoned the enforcement of draft registration, Hasbrouck was convicted and "served" four and a half months in a Federal Prison Camp in 1983-1984. The high-profile trials of resistance organizers proved counterproductive for the government. These trials served only to call attention to the government's inability to prosecute more than a token number of nonregistrants, and reassured nonregistrants that they were not alone in their resistance and were in no danger of prosecution unless they called attention to themselves.
- National Commission on Military Service To Release Interim Report in January, Edward Hasbrouck, Antiwar Blog, November 6, 2018
- Resistance Info
- Edward Hasbrouck on Twitter
- Books by Edward Hasbrouck on Amazon
- Podcast (35 min.): "The Future of Draft Registration in the U.S." (Courage to Resist)
All the vestigual groups from old website:
Military Recruiting in the United States provides a fearless and penetrating description of the deceptive practices of the U.S. military as it recruits American youth into the armed forces. Long-time antiwar activist Pat Elder exposes the underworld of American military recruiting in this explosive and consequential book. The book describes how recruiters manage to convince youth to enlist. It details a sophisticated psy-ops campaign directed at children. Elder describes how the military encourages first-person shooter games and places firearms into the hands of thousands using the schools, its JROTC programs, and the Civilian Marksmanship Program to inculcate youth with a reverence for guns. Previously unpublished investigative work reveals how indoor shooting ranges in schools are threatening the health of children and school staff through exposure to lead particulate matter. The book provides a kind of “what’s coming next manual” for European peacemakers as they also confront a rising tide of militarism. The book examines the disturbing, nurturing role of the Catholic Church in recruiting youth. It surveys the wholesale military censorship of Hollywood films, pervasive military testing in the high schools, and an explosion of military programs directed toward youth. For more information, visit: www.counter-recruit.org or order the complete book on Amazon or direct from the author.
"If our culture better understood the truths in this book, the GI Rights Hotline would get fewer calls from military personnel in crisis." - Bill Galvin, Counseling Coordinator, Center on Conscience & War and counselor and board member, the GI Rights Hotline
Knitting the Network is a series of podcasts and video essays that aim to document different angles to activism and issues of youth militarization. Knitting is used as a metaphor, both for strengthening the bonds within and without our network of social activists, and also as a way to visualize how tightly integrated the issue of militarism is in American culture--if you pull just one thread, you can unravel a whole complicated system!
Keep an eye out on our social media channels for new content every month!
Selene Rivas for NNOMY
Peace Veterans have a long and diverse history of Truth in Recruitment and Counter-recruitment
Peace Veteran groups have been an important contributor to the history of Truth in Recruitment / counter-recruitment practice nationally with chapters and individuals raising public concerns about the culturally militarizing effect that Pentagon recruitment efforts have on our youth. Veterans for Peace and About Face veterans speak with authority to young people from personal experience and unapologetically raise their voices against the moral corruption of our war making complex.
Below are links to examples of Peace Veteran/Truth in Recruitment/Counter-recruitment activism around the country and an article archive of Peace Veteran community outreach related to demilitarization of our communities and schools:
VFP Counter-recruitment pages
- Veteran's for Peace U.S. National Truth in Recruitment Page
- CVP Education Not Militarization
- Veterans For Peace Corvallis - Truth in Recruiting
- VFP Chapter 92 Counter Recruiting Action Team
- VFP UK Don't Join the Army
Counter-recruitment News Reports
- Anti-war group's Memorial Day display highlights 'true cost' of war - San Diego Veterans for Peace, Memorial Day 2023
- Los Angeles Peace Week for Fleet Week 2022 - Random Lengths News
- Madison Veterans for Peace display Memorial - NBC 15
- NNOMY at the 2017 VFP Education Not Militarization Convention in Chicago - NNOMY News
Articles on the NNOMY website tagged "Veterans for Peace"
Articles on the NNOMY website tagged "VFP"
- Workshop - Counter Recruitment In Digital Spaces: Continuing The Veterans For Peace Legacy - 2022
- VFP Workshop - NNOMY Workshops on Organizing to Counter Recruiting and Demilitarize Schools - 2017
VFP Chapters in the National Directory
- About Face: Veterans Against the War / New York
- CNY Veterans For Peace
- Veterans for Peace Spokane - Chapter 035
- Veterans for Peace South Central Michigan - Chapter 93
- Veterans for Peace Detroit Metro - Chapter 74
- Veterans For Peace Corvallis - Chapter 132
- Veterans for Peace Nashville - Chapter 089
- Veterans for Peace Madison - Chapter 25
- Veterans for Peace Traverse City - Chapter 50
- Veterans For Peace Ventura County - Chapter 112
- Veterans For Peace National USA
Veterans For Peace Great Britain
- Veterans For Peace National Great Britain (2011 - 2022)
- Don't join the army - Veterans for Peace - 2016
- Action Man: Battlefield Casualties - VFPUK - 2015
- War Resisters' League Counter Recruitment
- Veterans Unite with Poor People's Campaign
- NNOMY 2017 VFP Workshop
The Veterans for Peace convened a Truth in Recruitment working group in 2020 to address measures that their network could take to better inform youth about what is the TOTAL picture of joining into the military. This section will include projects that NNOMY can assist VFP with to provide resources to make positive interventions into recruitment strategies of the military such as the Future Soldier/ Delayed Enlistment Program, DoD STEM Programs in the Schools, Video Game league outreach to youth, and visits to schools by veterans both virtual and in person.
Listings in the National Directory of Youth Demilitarization Groups provide essential information about national and regional organizations that have youth demilitarization activism as a focus area of their work and services. This is a resource that covers issues such as the scope of the organization, organizational base, and focus issues as well as a description of the organizational mission. The database provides access to Counter-recruitment activists nationally and locally and helps youth find the information to make informed choices about their futures.