Not Your Soldier Day of Action

by

A press release from the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:            
November 17, 2005   

Contact:
Lovella Calica, 989-621-1934
Emily Pollack, 908-499-1350                        

Not Your Soldier Day of Action erupts on over 40 campuses nationwide Students across the country to protest military recruitment in schools, call for end of war on Iraq

New York, NY – With a growing majority of the American public opposing the war on Iraq and President George Bush’s approval rating hitting an all time low, students and young people are joining forces with veterans, military families, clergy, and others for a national day of protest on International Students Day, November 17.

The Not Your Soldier Day of Action is the first nationally coordinated mobilization by young people against military recruitment in our schools. From New York to Los Angeles, Milwaukee to Austin, students are holding rallies, teach-ins, marches and walk outs with the theme of "Books Not
Bombs" to protest military recruitment practices and the war on Iraq. There will also be events in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Colombia. 

"This war is having a devastating impact on our generation and our education," said Emily Pollack, a student at Rutgers University in New Jersey. "The occupation is costing $7 billion per month while the House of Representatives votes next week on the largest cut to student loans in the history of these federal programs, over $14 billion!" The Not Your Soldier Day of Action will amplify the voices of the millennium generation who are saying no military recruiters in schools. At Hicksville High School in New York students will walkout during lunch.  Washington, DC- area students will reach rush-hour federal employees with the message of "Stop the Assault on Youth."  On Friday, in Colorado Springs, CO, Iraq Veterans Against the War will march to a recruiting center. "This day of action is calling attention to the predatory recruitment of low-income youth and youth of color by the US military," said Camilo Mejia, a conscientious objector and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.  "While it is people like me, who want job training and education, who have risked our lives in Iraq, it is Bush’s
cronies at Bechtel and Halliburton who profit every day from our service in this unfounded war."

A list of Not Your Soldier Day of Action events is online at: http://www.nyspc.net.  The Not Your Soldier Day of Action is organized by the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition (NYSPC) and the Not Your Soldier Project. NYSPC is organizing around the country to take back our future and build the Books Not Bombs agenda for youth and students.

6 Responses to “Not Your Soldier Day of Action”

  1. IRR Soldier... Says:

    Finally a new post!!!

    This site has the potential of becoming a rallying point for many in the counter-recruitment struggle … but … that requires regular updating.

    Heck, I’ll volunteer to be a mod if that’s what it takes to get fresh and current material posted on here!

  2. jamie Says:

    On Wednesday, December 16th, around 40 people flyered the armed forces recruitment station on 41

    Flatbush Avenue near downtown Brooklyn. We arrived to a recruitment center shut down completely by

    the police and almost all of the shutters pulled down on the large plate glass windows. There were

    cop cars, unmarked police vehicles, and a host of ‘community affairs’ cops lining the sidewalk at

    noon. Our goal was simple: to flyer potential recruits that might consider going in to the center,

    to be a public presence at a very busy intersection in downtown Brooklyn, and to make the

    recruiter’s day uncomfortable.

    During the day, we gave out over 500 flyers– some presenting our position on fighting the

    government’s bullshit wars, while others presented concrete reasons to not join the military (a

    flyer written by a black anarchist Vietnam war veteran, as well a newspaper directed toward people

    who have already enlisted with resources on
    what they can do now that they have signed up.) The response from
    passersby was very positive– many people stopped to talk and thanked us for being there, and some

    recounted stories of people in their lives who are currently in the military. Lots of anti- Bush/war

    sentiment was displayed by people walking by and we had some great interactions with some high

    schoolers who were on break from school. Some kids expressed annoyance that the military is in their

    high schools and talked about the ‘opt out’ forms they had their parents sign to stop military

    recruiters from harassing them. Almost everyone who passed us took flyers and understood exactly why

    we were there– The connection between the war and the presence of military recruitment stations in

    their neighborhood was simple for them, as many knew someone who was in the military or have had

    some kind of interaction with a recruiter.

    The recruiters were tense all day but were backed up by almost 50
    cops ranging from undercovers, TARU [a tactical unit that videotapes
    activists] and Community Affairs police. Some media was there including the Michigan Independent

    Center, the Village Voice, and a local Brooklyn paper called, The Courier. Photos were taken by

    excellent local photographer Fred Askew and are available at

    http://www.stratecomm.net/~fritz/gallery/recruitment.

    After leaving the Flatbush avenue location, another group with some extra flyers, visited the 4th

    Avenue and Pacific Street Army National Guard Recruitment Office [located on the second floor of the

    building]. Persistent attempts to get the recruiters to allow us in did not work, but their bell

    seemed to be broken and rang continuously. We stayed there for a short while, until the recruiters

    left.

    Thanks to members of the National Lawyers’ Guild for the legal back-up which diffused the initial

    ‘you can’t stand here’ bullshit offered up by the cops. Thanks to everyone who attended in the

    middle of a work day when the weather was threatening thunderstorms the entire time. We are very

    happy to say that not one person who attended stepped into the police barricade set up by the

    Brooklyn cops. No one should ever step into those pens– we don’t need permission to stand on our

    sidewalks and give out information.

    To find out about other counter recruitment opportunities, contact
    inourhearts@gmail.com. Keep in mind that confronting military recruiters is something all of us can

    easily do– pick a recruitment center in your ‘hood (or school, or mall, or wherever they regularly

    go), adopt it as your own, and do what you need to do!

  3. informer Says:

    http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/index.php?id=4902

  4. Ansel Says:

    I just want to second the sentiment of first comment by IRR Soldier. Also, I sent you guys an e-mail about the counter-recruitment rally we organized here in Austin last month and never got a response. This is a great resource for counter-recruiters, but it could be better.

  5. IRR Soldier... Says:

    Ansel,

    Thanks for the comments. As I’ve said, I’ll volunteer to keep this site current if the mods will let me. I’m a former recruiter in NYC and attorney and may be able to add a missing “angle” to the content.

  6. Military Recruiter Says:

    “On Wednesday, December 16th…”

    This was posted on November 17th, and it’s December 5th and I’m failing see how you can have a report of how this happened in the FUTURE!

    -Recruiter

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