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News :: International
Resistance to military recruiters grows
20 Nov 2005
Students and their families in Massachusetts and nationwide are increasingly resisting the Pentagon’s plans to use them as cannon fodder for U.S. imperialism.

“A whole bunch of troops are dying,” said Gwen Clairborne, a senior at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in Roxbury, Mass., a predominantly Black community in Boston. Clairborne, who has “opted out,” was interviewed in a Nov. 13 Sunday edition Boston Globe front-page article headlined “Students rebuffing military recruiters: More high schoolers in state opt out of lists.”
recruitmentprotest.jpg
Lidija Ristic, a senior at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, is a Serbian refugee and opponent of the U.S. war on Iraq. She says students in urban areas are specific targets of recruiters. “I think it’s horrible that they come here and try to recruit people,” said Ristic.

A growing statewide counter-recruitment movement has resulted in more than 5,000 high school students or their parents in five of the state’s largest school districts refusing to have their names and personal information released to military recruiters. Over the past year, approximately 18 percent of public high school students in Boston, Cambridge, Lowell, Fall River and Worcester have “opted out.” All of these cities are beset with economic, political and social crises, largely the result of the decimation of highly unionized manufacturing industries.

The 2002 “No Child Left Behind” Act dictates that the Pentagon automatically receives student information, including names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mails, unless parents or a student 18 or older submit an opt-out form.

Due to pressure from students, parents and anti-war organizations, approximately one-third of the 75 public high schools in northeastern Massachusetts have not yet given local military recruiters the fall semester lists with eligible student recruits. School administrators under pressure are now sending home notices about the opt-out provision, running ads on public television stations and including opt-out forms in school handbooks.

No doubt these victories are a direct result of actions by parents such as Martina Cruz, who has three children, two still in the public school system. Cruz is also a leader of Latinos United for Justice, a member of Merrimack Valley People for Peace and a board member of the Women’s Institute for Leadership Deve lopment. Cruz was elected to the Lawrence School Committee Nov. 8, largely on an anti-war and counter-recruitment platform endorsed by the Merrimack Valley Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Law rence is where the historic women-led “Bread and Roses” textile mill strike took place in 1912.

After her election, Cruz said, “I will use my position to further educate and advocate against the use of our children as cannon fodder for the policies of the ultra-right and U.S. imperialist domination of the world. We need to recruit children for well-paying peacetime jobs and college, not war.”

Felicity Crush of the San Francisco-based Leave My Child Alone project says visitors to the project’s website have downloaded 37,000 copies of a form to opt out. “There’s momentum you can see,” said Crush. “As soon as people become aware of it, they start to take action.” (www.leavemychildalone.org)

Anti-war organizations have also made students and parents aware of the opt-out provisions through postcard mailing campaigns, teach-ins and protests such as the upcoming Dec. 1 “Rosa Parks National Day of Absence Against Poverty, Racism and War” actions. (www.troopsoutnow.org)

The National Priorities Project based in Northampton, Mass., has expanded its online database to include military recruitment statistics broken down by high school, zip code, county and state. Data is also available by race, ethnicity and gender. (www.nationalpriorities.org)

Greg Speeter, NPP executive director, says that “this data makes clear that low- and middle-income kids are paying the highest price. It’s young people with limited opportunities that are putting their lives on the line.”

-- 30 --

Union labor donated
See also:
http://www.iacboston.org
http://www.nodraftnoway.org

This work is in the public domain.
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Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
20 Nov 2005
What is this? The schools/students that I have visited seem to show a deep interest in serving their country and helping those of other countries. Can you explain that?
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
20 Nov 2005
Um ... maybe the schools you've visited are no more real than Saddam's nuclear weapons? Go back to your X-Box game, troll.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
21 Nov 2005
I would have to agree with Mr./Mrs. Fighting Mad. Most students are more patriotic and have a deep sense of understanding and wanting to help. It is a given that this generation is the X-Box generation but they still wna to do what's tight. I have had many young students ask me about the military and what it was like. Nothing but positive comments with no regrets.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
21 Nov 2005
how can recriuiter go into school with a good consience to recruit kids to the army when the could be sent to iraq or somewhere else where they could get shot?
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
21 Nov 2005
I went in as a kid not to long ago and was not shot. Everyone on here thinks that the kids of today are stupid. Well, you're wrong. Kids today are better educated and more independent than ever. All of them know that a recruiter is just that - a recruiter. They make their sales pitch and you either take it or leave it. Nothing more and nothing less. Also, NO recruiter will ever say that being in the military does not have its hazards. Not one of them will say that. Also, do you think that anyone who joins the service today honestly believes that they will not ship overseas? People are smarter, kids are smarter.
The recruiters are picked or volunteer because they are good NCO's. They do not lie and if you notice, when they speak with kids they are in uniform. Young adults always question things they don't understand. They always question the badges and medals that are worn by a member of the military. Example:

Intelligent young adult - "SSG Smith, what is that for?"

SSG Smith - "That is a CIB. A Combat Infantrymans Badge which is earned while serving in the Infantry in a hostile area of the world"

Intelligent young adult - " What is that medal for?"

SSG Jones - "That is called a Purple Heart which you are authorized to wear when wounded in combat"


Hmmmm------Combat? Wounded? Hostile? Gee, maybe the military is not for me!

Is that so hard!
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
21 Nov 2005
"how can recriuiter go into school with a good consience to recruit kids to the army when the could be sent to iraq or somewhere else where they could get shot? "

Well.... When presented with the list of jobs they could do... Maybe they decided to become a recruiter and stay in the states rather than go straight to the combat overseas. I knew a "Vietnam vet" who recruited during the war cause he would do ANYTHING to keep from seeing combat - he openly admitted that he enlisted just before his draft number came up then asked for "recruiter" cause he was scared shitless to go overseas.

Plus, the military spends oodles of cash makin sure the recruiters look smart, have fancy cars and other shiney bits of BLING on their uniform to try to woo and awe kids into wanting the romance of war. I'd bet you shitloads that the recruiters don't talk about how heartbroken the men overseas are when they're away from the families of girlfriends, they don't roll up their pants legs or the sleaves of their shirts to show off any combat scars from shrapnel or bullets or whatever else our troops are exposed to, and they *definitely* don't brag about the post-traumatic stress of surviving combat, their exposure to depleted uranium in Iraq, the unknown "vaccines" and immunizations that they receive to protect them from unknown and unspecified "chemical agents" or the high incidence of autism, mental retardation or downs syndrome in the children of militarymen who have served in the Gulf.

I'd say that those are all reasons why some of the suckers who enlisted decided to be recruiters instead of monkeys sitting on the front lines for our federal bureaucracy to make some new asanine decision about how to reallocate our defenses or how to re-distribute military control thru capitalist imperialism and the promotion of "democracy".
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
21 Nov 2005
Anyone who wants the perspective of an actual veteran need only listen to the recent press conference and interviews of Rep. Murtha.

If you'd like to argue with a pretend Veteran, well, carry on ...
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
21 Nov 2005
no concerned, actually they do have fancy cars. Recruiters have recently begun to cruise around inner city communities in "tricked out" civilian Hummers playing loud hip-hop and reggatone music in order to improve the image of the military with those folks targeted by the poverty draft.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
22 Nov 2005
lets bring a little philosophy into the mix:

Keirkeggard (please forgive me if I spelled that wrong).
The worst despair that someone can be in is to deny themselves. Hell is not a place- but a state of mind where one resides if they do something contrary to their own eithics. People that know they are doing something wrong deserve no worse punishment then the one they are already inflicting on themselves. There is not need for agression.

For the rest, no one every thinks what they are doing is wrong. most soldiers, most veterans, most police men... seriously believe that what they are doing is right. how can we hold someone responsible when they have just been out right duped? we can't- we've just got to talk to them. because we all have done things that we would now concider wrong- just because we didn't know. it's true.

the best way to speak to people is to simply listen. let them say their part- even if, like the veteran, they are just doing it to provoke you. don't let it provoke you- there is no point... because people get cornered and will just try and justify themselves. be easy on them and show some respect.
don't isolate yourself- speak back. there is no point in getting angry... because if they know that what they are doing to wrong they are already hurting themselves... are we here to help them relieve that depair or just cornering them and making it wose. lets make this easier for people to do- not harder.

just remember everyone is human. you, me, the cops, the robbers (or are those the same thing?)
I'm just saying, if we're in this for love then just show at little.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
22 Nov 2005
veteran i am a kid, and i know how extremely fucking stupid a lot of the kids in my school are.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
22 Nov 2005
Bobbob, recruiters do into schools recruiting . They are only there to make a sales pitch - just like Harvard, Salem State, UMASS and any other college or employment opportunity. You don't have to attend or even speak with them if you are not interested. They also are not recruting for something that they have not already done themselves.
As for your friends, if they are stupid, find a better group of kids to hang out with. The kids I have met and talked with are intelligent and motivated.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
22 Nov 2005
Have any of you actually talked to a recruiter? Most of the stuff you have written is so wrong that it is funny! Are you afraid of the truth?

Wearing BLING BLING (medals and badges) that are not awarded or earned? Are you really serious? That is nonsense and not done. Like all military units a recruiting detachment has a chain of command. The chain of command ensures that all recruiters are always in the appropriate uniform with the appropriate badges, medals and insignias.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
22 Nov 2005
Oh yeah! I have seent that HUMV. Actually taken a ride in. BUT the yare few and far inbetween the Ford Taurus? I think most kids know that difference between an economical car used for work (Ford Taurus) and a show piece for parades and special events (painted HUMV).
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
22 Nov 2005
i talked with recruiters when i was younger. they tried really hard to convince me to enlist. i was interested in supply & inventory tracking. but i decided not to join up, mostly cause they didn't offer me enough money for college to volunteer to get shot at.

i also recieved tons of full page color glossy literature after i talked to the recruiter and visited the local base. i got phone calls during dinner, too. i had more attention from the recruiters than i got from my parents, practically. i do think that alot of their efforts to grab kids are based on status and money or how special they will be after having been in the military. now, in retrospect, i know plenty of veterans, and even one man who is still enlisted, who wish they hadn't done it, but who didn't see any other options or saw the military as the "easy" way to leave the life they had been living. one of those veterans even tried to commit suicide while i knew him and i remember visiting him in the hospital afterwards and seeing how horrible he looked and listening to him talk about how awful the world is.

yeah. like i said. i considered joining the military and decided against it. i feel really bad for my friends that did join cause they all seem to regret it - with the exception of my one friend who likes it cause he's an officer and he gets great benefits and gets to sit behind an airforce desk all day.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
22 Nov 2005
As your name says "old and jaded". I served a few enlistments and have met and talked with hundreds of Veterans. None have ever said that there time was not worth it. None had any regrets. As for your friends, my heart goes out to them. Military life is not for everyone.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
22 Nov 2005
Old and Jaded. Had you signed up and served, perhaps you would have some standing and/or basis to render an informed opinion.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
22 Nov 2005
People can complain but what really counts is that facts are checked and then the complaints can carry some weight.
Those that complain yet never served is wrong. How can you complain without actually knowing what you are complaining about.

Those that served, for or against the current war, thank you, brothers!
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
23 Nov 2005
I argue that today's youth in general are more educated and more well-informed than any generation before. They can make informed decisions on their own without help from propagandists on either side of the fence.

This conflict will sort itself out. People don't support the war and aren't willing to sacrifice for it. As a result, our military will slowly be ground down until either we pull out, or there is some compelling political leadership that can justify a continued presence.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
23 Nov 2005
The New England Journal of Medicine reported this year that more than 15% of returning veterans from the Iraq war suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. USA today has reported that, because of medical advances, Iraq war "veterans face a lifelong struggle to cope with physical wounds so severe, they might not have lived through previous conflicts." Those of us who haven't served in the Iraq war nonetheless know the terrible toll it's taking on our veterans.
I'm grateful for Pfeifer's reporting, and for Brian Conley's article on torture in Iraq. I hope that indymedia keeps up the good work.
At a time when W. Bush's only remaining friends are in Mongolia, the nonsense being posted to this site by trolls seems like a dying cowboy's last pistol shot. It may be loud, it may do some damage, but it won't last.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
23 Nov 2005
Agree with you on the first part. Kids today are smarter and more skilled at seeing right from wrong.

Second part I half agree with. The problem will sort itself out and a great nation (Iraq) will finally be able to stand on its feet.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
24 Nov 2005
I attended a charity event this morning north of the city. I actually ran into my first Fire Team Leader that I had while in the Reserves. He is still in and a RECRUITER! We discussed this topic and he said that the amount of negative responses he gets is VERY limited. If a person does not want to hear his offer of military service they say so, like adults, and move on. Sounds like the right response to me. He also states that recruiting here in New England has actually picked up recently. MOST come from middle or higher financial classes and have at least one year of college. Gee, imagine that!
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
26 Nov 2005
If military recruiters are denied access to schools, can/will the federal government deny federal funding to said school system? Just food for thought.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
26 Nov 2005
Yes the Fed Gov has linked funds for education with allowing recruiters on campus. (thats to the All Children Left Behind Act) But that is our money and we can force them to give it to us. We just have to have enough support. Democracy.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
27 Nov 2005
If you want to startcutting welfare, stop subsidisizing Industry while the Executives rake in millions ever year. Its not the poor bums, its the rich ones, who are stealing from our society and our children. Most so-called illegal aliens work their butts off at the worst jobs in this country for less money than anyone else will take. How can you blame them for anything? If we weren't driving their countries into the dirt with the World Bank and WTO, then they wouldn't have to come up here in the first place. Food and Shelter are Human Rights. Nobody is getting by for doing less than their fair share except the rich. The worst Bums are the ones with all the wealth who think its their manifest destiny. Wake up.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
27 Nov 2005
"Food and shelter are human rights"

No. They aren't.

Your existance does not entitle others to take care of you.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
27 Nov 2005
It sounds like a lot of you people think that their is military recruiters actaully hanging out at the local high schools. Rest assured that they have better things to do. There are no hidden recruiting offices in the Guidance Office.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
28 Nov 2005
I was asked, along with another soldier who is heading back to Iraq, to speak to another high school class this morning. We were asked to speak aout what military life is like, our experiences and the truth about what goes on around the world.
DON"T WORRY, we don't recruit! :)
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
28 Nov 2005
A United States Marine and myself spoke with a group of young and extremely well educated high school kids this morning. Great kids who were respectful and asked some wonderful questions. All of them understood a lot more than you guys give them credit for and they also know that they do not have to run and hide if a recruiter says HI to them. I've probably spoken to well over two hundred(+) young people this year and all of them have been thoughtful and respectful yet you guys make them out to be idiots who do not have the ability to say NO to a recruiter. They can and they do, not all but some. Great kids!
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
30 Nov 2005
Outstanding! I also have been asked to speak with kids about my recent journey. The kids were great. Very thoughtful and considerate. Asked great questions and were deeply concerned for the kids of other nations. The pictures I showed them really let them see the good that we are doing all over the globe. A few even commented that these types of pictures and stories could not be seen on the seven o'clock news. That really got them thinking.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
01 Dec 2005
Ouboard personnel....... STAND UP! Inboard personnel ........... STAND UP!

Good for you! Its nice talking with young adults about our experiences. I am in the process of making a CD-ROM with my pictures for my next visit. Makes it a little more interesting.

Thanks for serving!
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
02 Dec 2005
Anyone with any brains should avoid signing up for this immoral war.
Killing another human being is senseless. Killing for George W. Bush is illegal and wrong.
Occupation was for the Nazi's. Are we following their footsteps?
By the way. Veteran has to be a narc.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
02 Dec 2005
Most Vietnam Veterans that I have discussed the war with and are opposed to it speak with a little more sense than what you just posted. So I'll disregard that last post as NOT being from a Veteran of any war.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
07 Dec 2005
I had the opportunity to attend a lecture by an Army Recruiter at a local college. The sergeant was very well spoken and intelligent. Lots of info was put forth that some seem to ignore. Info that is listed above as being untrue was spoken out loud to an entire room full of students, staff and parents. Alot of the young adults in the room thanked him for attending and took his business card. Nothing wrong with the military visiting schools. It's just another avenue for motivated people to go to better themselves. I support recruiters visiting the schools.
Re: Resistance to military recruiters grows
07 Dec 2005
As do I.
No harm done by talking and listening, also known as communication. Words cannot hurt and the truth is spoken by 99.9 % of the recruiters nation wide. The rumors about stop-loss and no combat service are quickly dispelled. recruiters are kept under close supervision so they cannot bend the truth just to make their mission.
beach
30 May 2006
Excellent site, added to favorites!!