United Kingdom

Report from the week of action for military-free education and research

The first ever international week of action for military-free education and research was held between 25-31 October 2014. This follows on from a day of action last year. Antimilitarists across the world took action to raise awareness, and challenge, the role the military has in education and research in educational institutions. This role gives them access to young people - to lay the groundwork for recruitment later in life, and to promote military values.

Demilitarize McGill students disrupt space militarisation eventDemilitarize McGill students disrupt space militarisation eventDifferent groups used the week of action in different ways. Some challenged military presence in schools through direct action, some publicly debated the presence of the military in education, others showed films, wrote articles, and campaigned on social media.

Britain Faces Legal Challenge to Army's Discriminatory Treatment of Minors

Child Soldiers' International are taking the Ministry of Defence to judicial review over its discriminatory terms of service for those who enlist into the army as minors. These terms currently require minors to serve until they are 22, which could be 6 years for a soldier who enlisted at 16 compared to the four years' service required of those who enlist as adults.

Sources:

The Independent

Reuters

Faslane Peace Camp: Trident Nuclear Weapons Base Blockaded in Post Referendum Protest

Trident Ploughshares Press Release
 
22 September 2014
 
This morning, four days after the historic referendum Trident Ploughshares [1] and Faslane Peace Camp [2] have partially blocked the north gate to Faslane Naval Base, homeport of the UK Trident nuclear weapons system, sending a strong message that the overwhelming desire of Scotland to be rid of nuclear weapons must be honoured.

La influencia de los militares en la educación del Reino Unido

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Emma Sangster

Cada vez es mayor el acceso que las fuerzas armadas tienen a los jóvenes dentro del sistema educativo del Reino Unido – principalmente en secundaria y niveles superiores, pero también en las universidades e incluso en los colegios de primaria. Además de las presentaciones de las fuerzas armadas y otras visitas a colegios e institutos que se han venido dando durante muchos años, ahora hay una nueva ofensiva para hacer de las “habilidades y valores militares” una parte de la vida escolar.

Crítica al reclutamiento militar y a la militarización desde una perspectiva queer y de género

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Andreas Speck

El ejército utiliza el tema de la igualdad en sus campañas de reclutamiento, a menudo dirigidas a los jóvenes. Dado que son más numerosos los jóvenes que se topan con estas campañas de reclutamiento que los que se alistan en las fuerzas armadas, el efecto de esta forma de presentar las cosas es amplio. Escribo esto desde el punto de vista de un hombre gay que, a pesar de no estar muy involucrado en el movimiento queer, me identifico más con los conceptos queer que con la identidad gay. Esto se debe, en parte, a mi propia experiencia con la comunidad gay, en la que el deseo de ser “normal” y “aceptado” es común: esto implica aceptar nuestra sociedad militarista tal y como es. Como antimilitarista, anarquista y feminista, a menudo me siento incómodo con esto.

Sin embargo, a veces tengo la sensación de que el movimiento antimilitarista no acoge muy bien a las personas queer, y a pesar de que no he experimentado una homofobia abierta, creo que existe una suposición –al menos por parte de los hombres– de que uno es hétero. La sexualidad no se considera un aspecto importante en la lucha contra el militarismo, pero yo sí creo que lo es.

Seven-mile scarf unfurled between nukes factories as thousands oppose Trident

A seven-mile pink scarf knitted by over 5,000 people from around Britain and beyond has been unfurled between the Atomic Weapons Establishments (AWE) at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire. The knitters are calling on Parliament not to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system when the decision comes up in 2016.

WRI sign letter on British 'Armed Forces Day'

Letter to The Times (see all signatories below)

On this day 100 years ago, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo in an action that led to the First World War. Unchecked militarism in Europe was also a major factor. 

Today is also Armed Forces Day, one of the clearest indications of the re-militarisation of British society. Established in 2009 to increase public support for the forces, there are over 200 public events, many billed as 'family fun days'. This week also saw Uniform to Work Day promoting the reserve forces and 'Camo Day' in schools. 

Behind this PR offensive is a raft of policy that is embedding 'public support' for the military within our civilian institutions - from the promotion of 'military ethos' in schools, to the Armed Forces Community Covenant and Corporate Covenant that aim to enlist every local authority and major business to support the armed forces and aid recruitment. 

Over 453 UK service personnel have died in Afghanistan; 34 were just 18 or 19 years old. Thousands more have to cope with long-term physical and mental problems. With so many military casualties - not to mention uncounted numbers of civilians deaths - and new security threats that waging war has created, surely it is time to reflect on the longer-term impact of our military culture and to ask what steps we might take to prevent war itself. 

Mujeres pintan la oficina de reclutamiento en Glasgow en nombre de la paz

Related peace activists: 

Ayer, 1.° de marzo, tres mujeres pintaron los vidrios de la oficina de reclutamiento del Ejército en Glasgow en protesta contra la propaganda deshonesta que se usa para convencer a los jóvenes de unirse a él.

A las 8 de la mañana, Barbara Dowling y Leonna O’Neill pintaron en letras grandes y coloridas “NO SE UNAN. NO CREAN LOS FALSOS ANUNCIOS”, ¿ARMAS, BOMBAS, TANQUES? NO, GRACIAS” y “NO A LA GUERRA” en los vidrios de la oficina de Queen Street. Mary Millington repartió folletos donde se c

ontaba la historia de un joven que se unió al ejército para enorgullecer a su mamá y que terminó seriamente herido en Afganistán.

Video: Reporting Trident War Crimes to Thames Valley Police by Action AWE in the UK

Film made on 8 February 2014 during the ‘Reporting a Crime’ event at Reading Police Station. Part of the Action AWE campaign.

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