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Announcement :: Education : Organizing : Social Welfare
Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
17 Nov 2005
(Boston, MA October 31, 2005) Boston Direct Action Project has recently published a booklet entitled “Guide To Alternatives to the Military,” with information about education, jobs, and opportunities for youth in the greater Boston area.

"We created this "Military Alternatives" booklet because we understand its not enough to simply explain the reasons not to join the military. We believe it is equally important to suggest realistic alternatives," said Jonathan McIntosh, a designer of the booklet.
booklet.jpg
“Military recruiters invade our schools, ambush our youth at Wal-Mart, and make coercive phone calls to our children's homes. Recruiters target youth of color, low-income youth and have started to target young people who are doing poorly academically." explains Chris Williams, one of the editors of the booklet. People of Color make up 37% of military recruits, which is an over-representation in relation to their proportion of the general population (realchangenews.org). Recruits are promised money for school, but only approximately 35% of recruits actually get the promised money (www.objector.org).

The booklet is 24 pages and contains information about the following:

. Getting into College
. Getting Computer Skills
. Money for College
. Four-Year Colleges
. Online Schools
. Two -Year Colleges
. Volunteer Corps
. Religious Volunteer Corps
. Apprenticeships
. Trade Schools
. Taking the G.E.D.
. Anti-War Resources
. Community Resources

The booklet is primarily meant for organizations to use as a tool to begin conversations about military recruitment and alternatives. It can be downloaded and printed by individuals (with some assembly) and can also be viewed as a PDF. Both the printable PDF and the viewable PDF can be found online at: http://bostondirectactionproject.blogspot.com

“It’s essential that we raise a generation not focused on militarism but focused on real human needs,” said Caroline Arpe, a researcher for the booklet. “The future of all of us depends on it.”
See also:
http://bostondirectactionproject.blogspot.com

This work is in the public domain.
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Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
16 Nov 2005
It's a very well done booklet, we've been working with it and passing them out for a while (in the Radical Youth Alliance). solidarity and thanks!
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
17 Nov 2005
Great stuff! What a bunch of propaganda!
To Radical Youth
17 Nov 2005
Why do you care about alternatives to the military, rich kids from Wellesley don't join the service. Or their mommies and daddies won't let them.
BTW
18 Nov 2005
How's Hali doing these days??
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
18 Nov 2005
Rich kids do join the military. Actually, quite a few of them opt for the combat arms. But I'm sure you knew that.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
18 Nov 2005
The Military *does* target the poor 'cause there truly are less opportunities for those folks who are unlucky enough to have been born middle- or lower-class:

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/nation/3440252
http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,635159104,00.html
http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,79770,00.html

To quote the Houston Chronicle article:

""A lot of the high recruitment rates are in areas where there is not as much economic opportunity for young people," said Anita Dancs, research director for the NPP, based in Northampton, Mass." and "nationwide, data point above all to places such as Martinsville, where rural roads lined with pine and poplar trees snake through lonely, desolate towns, as the wellspring for the youth fighting America's wars."
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
18 Nov 2005
Actually, the majority ofenlisted military members are middle class, and most officers are from upper middle class. So Riotgrrl, you have no idea what you are talking about.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
18 Nov 2005
I knew quite a few officers who were from the lower middle class. The y went to a state or community college and then went into the Marine Corps as officers. I also knew a few officers who were former enlisted personnel.

Instead of "alternatives to military service", we ought to be supporting the people in the military and working to end the war in Iraq. This is one of the reasons that the current antiwar movement is not gettin huge numbers. Most middle of the road, the average person, can see right thu Cindy Sheehan and others on the far left. They (the far left) hold people in the military with contempt. That's a fact. A second reason why the movement will not get numbers is at every demonstration (O-29 the most recent), every other cause is being thrown about along with antiwar message. At O-29, I noticed families and religious types who seemed almost offended by, at the very least wanted nothing to do with, the gay rights demonstration in front of the church on the march route. Durring the Viet Nam war, these same families and religious groups were part of the anti-war movement, but like it or not, they DO NOT support gay marriage.

A third reason why our movement isn't drawing huge numbers, and it refers back to the second, is that, despite the rhetoric, there simply is no draft. Until the middle class is directly affected in huge numbers,we are not going to get a massive (3,000 is not massive) turnout at demonstrations. If we want to appeal to ( get our message out ) a larger percentage of the population, we to focus on the ant-war movement, not attacking the military, and not including every other cause ( free Mumia, Justice for Native-American Lesbians for Christ) under the sun. If we don't we are doomed to fail.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
18 Nov 2005
I had friends that came from huge families in Texas that owned 30 oil wells, friends that came from political families here in the NE and friends that came from the corn fields of the mid west. None joined due to financial or society pay scales All volunteered to serve their country for a variety of reasons and not one did it becuase they were rich, poor or middle class. That complaint carries no weight.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
18 Nov 2005
This looks like a great effort... the one thing I kind of wonder about is the use of Eric Drooker's caricatured images of black youth...
Re: caricatures
18 Nov 2005
Its because leftists are trying to affiliate with hip hop to make themselves seem cool and more edgy. Protest equivalent of gospel rap.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
18 Nov 2005
Great local resource material for anyone in anti-recruitment counseling. Far from the hundreds of millions spent by the military on TV ads.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
18 Nov 2005
Couldn't the time and resources put into this be better used on something more positive and helpful to a community? Maybe assist with a park clean up or help feed the homeless? All this ranting for much ado about nothing.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
19 Nov 2005
Symbolic...

It is all one struggle, only by connecting all social justice issues can we hope to bring peace and justice in the future and build strong movements. This is not about just the war; the war is a very small but important part of the whole.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
19 Nov 2005
Veteran, how do you explain the disproportionate number of low income and minority persons in the military? A sense of civic responsibility? Gimme a break. These kids take the only opportunity they can get, which is great until they are sent to war for an ideology rather than a real threat. Nobody should get his legs blown off for a more secure market share. Also, I would liek to ask, what do you think of the way we treat veterans once they do come home, maimed or social dysfunctional. I mean that depleted uranium isn't exactly what any of these enlisted guys signed up for.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
19 Nov 2005
When you served was everyone from low income homes? Thought not. The great group of people that make up America's military come from every background that you could imagine. Your way of thinking dates back to the 70's.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
19 Nov 2005
Yeah, you're probably right, but we should focus on one thing at a time.. I personally don't care about gay marriage or abortion rights, But I do have friends in Iraq. The Iraq war is what has gotten me "socilally aware." But, I guess you have to start somewhere.
Ah F*ck...
19 Nov 2005
I meant "socially aware". Anyone know someone who gives typing lessons?
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
21 Nov 2005
Becoming "socially aware" mean that you were socially ignorant prior to this revelation? Just curiuos.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
21 Nov 2005
Juice, where do you get your numbers? Your statement that there is a disproportionale number of low income people in the military is simply false. The vast majority of military members are middle to upper middle class.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
21 Nov 2005
It would seem that Juice has had no time in the military AFTER 1976 or so. As stated on earlier posts, the military is made up of people from every walk of life. EVERY being the key word. As you stated most are middle to upper middle class. I had many friends who came from well-to-do families and they joined to get away from them! They had the same mentally that some here have.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
21 Nov 2005
Officers may be mainly middle to upper middle class and white, but the infantry that is used as cannon fogger in Iraq are lower class and disproportionately people of color.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
21 Nov 2005
There are more white people in the military than minorities, however there are higher percentages of minorities in the military than in general society. Furthermore, the moajority of enlistees are of low income.

Here's a few links for more info:
http://www.dod.mil/prhome/poprep98/html/2-race_ethnicity.html

http://www.discriminations.us/storage/001836.html

http://www.rcnv.org/rcnv/archives/2003/militarydemographics.htm

Some other interesting info that I ran across while googling for this is that African Americans do NOT tend to die in combat in a proportion higher than whites. It seems they steer clear of combat jobs in higher proportion than their Anglo-saxon counterparts. Perhaps, they are smarter; or maybe they have such a large percentage of their communities in the military, they've started to share tips on how to stay alive.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
21 Nov 2005
You are only partially correct jonny. Officers come primarily from the middle class because they must have a Bachelor's degree. However, your statement that they are mostly white is highly inaccurate. Many officers from the below middle class economic status earned their degrees and were commissioned in the Army through the "green to gold" program where the government pays for their college education at major universities and colleges and then grants them commissions as 2nd lieutenants. Lower economic class officers like General Colin Powell earn their degrees and commissions through Army ROTC and work their way out of the lower economic class. So do some home work before you make statements.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
22 Nov 2005
You have not been there yet you claim to have an idea about what you are saying. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
22 Nov 2005
I had Platoon Leaders that we grads of the USMA, grads of ROTC and prior service guys who went to OCS. On top of that they were black, white, rich, poor, Asian, tall, stocky, skinny, funny but most of all they were good people! Doesn't matter what your background is and everyone in the miltiary comes from different backgrounds!
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
23 Nov 2005
Sure some people on the left blame the soldiers. In fact some soldiers should be blamed for the crimes they commit, or for following orders that are clearly illegal.

That said, most people who are against the war are against it as much because of their concern for our young Americans as their concern for the larger number of innocent victims on the "other side". Now I've been at this gig for a few years, and it's really common for people to obfuscate the real issues by throwing around accusations, stereotypes, dogma, etc. It happens on all sides, and is equally crummy regardless.

I've know military folk all my life and of course most of them are generally good people. Unfortunately, the most well-intentioned and dedicated people can be tricked into doing horrible things, like this war on the people of Iraq to replace the last dictator we installed there for them with another bunch of crooks.

The "support the troops" crowd has, since 9-11, been a product of the Democrats, Republicans, and mass media's complicity in using 9-11 to break the curse of Vietnam. In other words to flip on its head the caution that the American people have had with regard to questionable military operations.

Because so many Vietnam vets were shunned on their return (by society itslef, not by any one part of it) it was made clear to Americans that to criticize this war was equivalent to once again shunning the individuals fighting for their country, and should not be tolerated.

This was an extremely cynical strategy--since everyone knew the case for the war was bogus, and pretended not to, they needed to be ëxtra-supportive" to compensate.

Decent people from all walks of the political spectrum can see what has been done. the real debate is not about the troops themselves. Some of them are heroes, some of them are criminals, most of them are just young and misinformed by people whom they naturally trusted.

The real issue has to do with the criminals and con men at the top, the Bushes, Cheneys, Rumsfelds, Feiths, Wolfowitzs, Chalabis, etc. who perpetrated a fraud of incredible proportions that people are slowly waking up to. It is an immense disservice to our men and women in uniform to pretend that this war is just or ever had a real noble purpose. It is a lie that some tell out of necessity and others out of compassion for those whose lives, or whose loved ones' lives, have been needlessly and tragically cut short.

They died in the process of destroying another country, leaving them worse off than under their dictator. All that is left is to mourn, to pity, and to prosecute the architects of this sad sad crime against humanity so that it is never repeated.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
23 Nov 2005
well said Betteran!
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
23 Nov 2005
you GO GRRL!!
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
23 Nov 2005
That is an interesting take on it.
Everyone knows that the war was a last resort that NO ONE wanted. Unfortunately, things like this have to be done to save lives and free a country. Iraq is better off than it ever has been thanks to the coalition and its allies. Iraq can now rise and shine as a world power as it should.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
23 Nov 2005
"Everyone knows that the war was a last resort that NO ONE wanted."

This must be some strange use of the word "Everyone" that I'm not aware of..The war was the first resort, Bush wanted that war from day one.
pretty ba
23 Nov 2005
Wow. Veteran--do you or the PR firm you seem to be working for really think anyone--even W's own base--are buying this bit anymore? My God--if no one wanted this war why was the Rendon Group hired to market it? And if no one in the Pentagon wanted America to be attacked then who actually suppressed the findings of military intelligence's Able Danger operation that Atta et al. were known to be in America plotting an attack over a year before 9-11? And why is there no mention of this in the commission's report? That they knew is not in dispute anymore. Where's the support for the victims of 9-11 here? The support that you tricked people into thinking meant not questioning the president in his march to war? You wanna talk revisionism? You know why Cheney brought that up? To pre-empt calls for a whole lot of necessary clarifications that will be trickling out about what exactly he was did during the attacks of 9-11.

The whole issue of American troops is only one aspect of this war... Iraq is now also home to tens of thousands of private mercenaries these securtity guards with AK47s and RPG's (that's rocket-propelled grenade, not role playing game, mind you boys) operate in lawless parts of the globe (international law? how quaint!) and guess where all the dough comes from to pay them? well some of it came from your taxes friends... and not really actually because your taxes are busy paying the interest on the deficit from 5 years ago)

C'mon "Veteran" --you're not talking to kids here. Tell us what you really think. :)
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
23 Nov 2005
If you have not been on the ground, shut it! You have no idea what you are saying.

Quite frankly, it does sound like an unruly bunch of kids who believe anything their X-Box portrays.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
24 Nov 2005
Be safe and no bitching today! :) Be thankful for the things in your life!
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Thanksgiving changed to Blamesgiving
24 Nov 2005
I have a lot to be thankful for, but it's hard to give thanks to our brave leaders like Salvador Allende because they have been assassinated.

So I celebrate Blamesgiving instead. This year, I'm Giving Blame to the Democrats for not running on an anti-war platform in 2004, which really has made 2005 a dog of a year for a lot of families.

Also giving lots of blame to anyone who did not stop Brownie from incompetently leaving a lot of poor people stranded in a city about to be flooded.

HAPPY BLAMESGIVING!!!

Because the good Lord appreciates a good suggestion now and then...
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
24 Nov 2005
So much for not bitching.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
24 Nov 2005
Not my post.

Hope all enjoyed their meal and could put aside the bitterness and anger to enjoy some time with family and friends.
Re: Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
28 Nov 2005
Spent the morning talking about my time in the service with a high school class. Attending with me was a United States Marine who is heading over to Iraq. The kids were great and asked some great questions. They'd put alot of you "adults" to shame.