Countering the Militarisation of Youth Report to E-Council 2016

In this session, we are hoping to have a discussion on our network’s youth demilitarisation work, and the links we can build up via our Countering the Militarisation of Youth (CMoY) programme.

Below you can find a brief report on a number of CMoY programme activities that I would like to be in touch with you about.

This session is also considered to be a space where we can share from our organisations and about our ongoing -or future- work on youth demilitarisation. This is both to update each other on our work and to build up further links as a network of activists working against the militarisation of youth. It would allow myself to see how CMoY would be relevant in supporting your work. So when first commenting, please introduce yourself and let us know if you’re currently running any project, and/or in what ways you’d like to be engaged in CMoY’s work.

Webinar on the Countering the Militarisation of Youth

As part of this e-forum, we are also organising a webinar which will take place tomorrow (21st October) at 16:00 UTC. In the webinar we will have activists from Germany and Israel - Michael Schulze von Glaßer from DFG-VK (Germany), and Elisheva Gavra and Gilad Ben David from New Profile (Israel). They will be telling us about their campaigns in their countries. I am hoping to expand this conversation to other contexts as well with your comments and contributions in this e-forum. You can find more information on the webinar, and register to it, here: http://antimili-youth.net/events/2016/10/webinar-countering-militarisation-youth-examples-resistance

Strengthening our network: Activities that you can get involved in

 3rd International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth

I would like to start with a recent thing that’s coming up next month. WRI is organising the 3rd International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth this year. As part of the week we are making a call for action to groups and individuals from across the world to organise their own autonomous nonviolent events and actions. The week, (following last year) is going to take place between 14 and 20 November. Its aim is to raise awareness of, and challenge, the ways young people are militarised, and to give voice to alternatives.

Each year we are focusing on a particular theme, which is the “recruitment of minds and bodies” this year. Please see our call out here: http://antimili-youth.net/articles/2016/06/call-action-international-week-action-against-militarisation-youth (What we understand by the recruitment of minds and bodies is pretty wide, but setting the theme as such, it’s of course not to exclude any actions or events related to youth militarisation but not specifically on the question of recruitment).

I’d like to be in touch with you in case you’d be interested in getting involved in the week of action via an action, event (film screening, workshops, talks, seminars etc), and/or social media campaigning. Please see a short report from last year’s actions and events here (which would be useful in giving ideas): http://antimili-youth.net/articles/2015/11/report-international-week-action-against-militarisation-youth

This year our call out also includes a call for articles. Please contact me if you’d like to write for our website to be published on the week of action. See out call for articles here:  http://antimili-youth.net/articles/2016/08/call-articles-examples-youth-militarisation-different-countriesregions

So far we have been in touch with groups and individuals from a number of countries including New Zealand, the UK, Germany, Catalonia, Israel, the USA, Israel, India, and Czech Republic, and we keep getting in touch with more groups. The list of events/actions will be published very soon on our website.

Website

Our website www.antimili-youth.net includes stories and updates on the militarisation of youth from different countries. Aside from functioning as an online resource centre, with antimili-youth.net we are also aiming to help the network active on the issues around youth militarisation to share ideas and tactics, as well as to communicate with the general public. So I’d encourage anyone in this conversation to get in touch with me via cmoy@wri-irg.org or semih@wri-irg.org if you’d like to write or share a piece to be published on the website.  

More specifically, I would like to get in touch with you with your resources on peace education and/or counter-recruitment. We are currently working on creating a new section on the website where you’d be able to reach a pool of resources from our network in different countries and languages. I would be very glad if you’d like to share your resources with me to added on the website.

Social Media

Countering the Militarisation of Youth Programme has a page on Facebook sharing content from antimili-youth.net and other sources. This year we have also initiated a Facebook group “War is not a Game”, where you’re able to share content from your work and updates from countries. So, if you’re on social media, please follow us and share your updates.

You can follow our page here: https://www.facebook.com/antimiliyouth/ ,

You can join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/766740093497828/

Expanding our network in 2017

For the coming year, we’d like to expand our network with the participation of more youth groups. I think one way of doing this is developing links with University societies as well as other youth organisations. Access to University societies would also open us a space to speak more on military research and education-military-industrial complex. This would very much depend on our fundraising for the coming year, but I would like to share this with you in this session, in case you’d recommend me contacts for youth groups in your own networks.

Gender and Youth Militarisation

Currently we are also working on a new project that focuses on the gender dynamics of youth militarisation. The project, convening meeting(s) (including trainings) and developing an online resource, will explore how gender is used to militarise young people across different countries, and how different approaches to gender could be utilised to tackle this. Our initial focus will be on the Eastern Mediterranean region, and Western and Northern Europe as pilot. Our fundraising work for it continues and if we succeed we are hoping to start it in summer 2017.

Please get in touch with me via cmoy@wri-irg.org or semih@wri-irg.org if you’d be interested in this work; would like to learn more, and consider involving.