Countering the Militarisation of Youth - newsletter no 1

International seminar, Darmstadt, Germany, 8-10 June 2012

Organised by War Resisters' International, in co-operation with Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft – Vereinigte Kriegsdienstgegner/innen (DFG-VK) and Bertha-von-Suttner Foundation

You are receiving this email because you have previously shown an interest either in attending or supporting the Countering the Militarisation of Youth Conference. With this email, we are sending you some news and updates.

Conference updates

Over the last few months we've had a regular influx of 'Registration of Interest' forms from people interested in attending the conference that have come in from all over the world including, Germany, Sweden, Israel, Geneva, England, Morocco, Turkey and Venezuela.

If you haven’t already registered your interest please consider doing so as soon as possible so we know who is coming and allocate places.

Register online: http://wri-irg.org/militarisationofyouth/registration-of-interest

Survey

Last week we launched our 'Countering the Militarisation of Youth' international survey. The aim of the survey is to help us build a 'snap shot' of the wheres, whys, and hows of militarisation the world over. The results of the survey will be used to finalise content for the conference and will also be published in our post conference publication.

If you would like to contribute material relevant to you local area please do so here: http://wri-irg.org/programmes/militarisationofyouth/survey

German Teachers Union (GEW)

WRI have been in contact with the GEW (German Teachers Union) who are supportive of an anti-militarist stance to Armed Forces engagement with schools and school age children. In 2010, the National Executive board of the GEW passed a resolution stating clearly that the "GEW strongly opposes the increasing influence of the Bundeswehr on the contents of teaching and teacher training and education". The GEW is engaged in campaigns against military in schools on the local, state, and national level. They will be sending a number of delegates to the conference and have assisted us with funding the conference.

We are also in the process of engaging with a number of schools in Germany who have declared themselves 'Military free' and hope to invite a teacher from one of these schools to speak at the conference in June.

Conference Schedule

This programme is not final. But it gives an overview of the topics that will be discussed at the conference from 8-10 June 2012. Please contact us on militarisationofyouth@wri-irg.org with any comments or suggestions.

Friday, 8 June 2012

6:00pm: Dinner
7:00pm: Begin of the study conference.
Welcome and introductions, followed by three inspiring presentations from different parts of the world on experiences in countering the militarisation of youth.
The presentations will be followed by small group discussions, mapping the militarisation of youth in their region(s).

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Morning: Analysing militarisation
The morning will start with three panel presentations, analysing militarisation from different perspectives:

  1. A queer/gender perspective on militarisation
  2. Public spaces and military culture, including 'militainment'
  3. Education and recruitment

The presentations will be followed by workshops on:

  • Military and public spaces
  • Militainment
  • Military and education
  • Queer/gender and militarism
  • Recruitment of immigrants and low income youth
  • ...

Afternoon: Resisting the militarisation of youth
In the afternoon, we make the switch from analyising militarisation to sharing experiences of resistance. We will again start with three panel presentations on:

  1. Resistance within educational settings
  2. Conscientious objection and veterans
  3. Resistance of queer people against recruitment

The panel will be followed by workshops on:

  • Queer resistance
  • Resistance in educational settings
  • Veterans
  • Direct action against the militarisation of youth
  • Children's rights
  • ...

In the evening, there will be time for networking, or more workshops, if there is interest.

Sunday

Bringing it all together: networking against the militarisation of youth

On Sunday, the discussions of the days before will hopefully lead to some concrete ideas and proposals for follow-up. It is therefore presently left very open how it will be structured. Open Space is one of the methods suggested.

Languages

German, English, and Spanish are the three conference languages. Translation will be available from and into all three languages.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Darmstadt in June. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please get in touch with us at militarisationofyouth@wri-irg.org. You can find more information on the militarisation of youth at http://wri-irg.org/programmes/militarisationofyouth.

Max & Andreas
Countering the Militarisation of Youth