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International Day of Action For Military-Free Education and Research: 14 June 2013

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Today, 14 June 2013, groups and organisations in at least eleven different countries – Germany, India, Israel, Nigeria, state of Spain, Chile, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the UK, South Africa, Sweden, and the USA – are taking action to highlight and oppose the militarisation of education and research.

In many parts of the world, the military has a significant presence and influence in the education system. This presence and influence ranges from armed forces visits to schools to give presentations, take lessons, and run adventure activities, to the provision of teaching resources, and from cadet forces to the prioritisation of military research.

The two main aims of the military's involvement in education are to recruit young people into the armed forces, and the normalisation of war and preparation for war as an instrument of policy. There is a lack of balanced debate because alternative views on conflict resolution are not given the same privileged access as the military.

Military research accounts for a large proportion of research in the science, engineering and technology departments of many public universities. This is at the expense of more socially-useful research.

War Resisters' International calls for military-free education systems and public research. Today's creative actions and events include street theatre, a seminar on nonviolent education, placard holding, and a film screening, which we hope will stimulate debate.

Teachers, academics, pupils, their families – all of us - can oppose the status quo by taking action, whether it's circulating information, holding public discussions, arranging meetings with headteachers, refusing to attend military activities, and other nonviolent direct action.

War Resisters' International, 17 June 2013.

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The actions:

  • In Germany, activists from a network of 70 organisations will be holding events in four cities, in addition to the many that they did yesterday and the many more they will do tomorrow - from leafletting and public meetings to vigils and rallies
    • In Israel, New Profile will be performing some street theatre!
    • In India, in Patna (Bihar province) there will be a seminar on 'Anti-War Education: A Gandhian Concept'
    • In Nigeria, members of The World Youth Peace Organisation will be holding placards lamenting military recruitment in education institutions, and visiting schools to talk about the education grants used by militaries in various countries to entice young people to join the military
    • In the UK, ForcesWatch will be publishing the summary of their upcoming report on the presence and influence of the military in UK universities
    • In Catalonia, campanya Desmilitaritzem l’Educació will be disseminating information and resources on Twitter and Facebook
    • In Chile, Ni Casco Ni Uniforme will also be doing lots of online campaigning
    • In DRC, APDI hope to organise a day of reflection in which groups and organisation from civil society, government, the military and armed groups will discuss disarmament, with an education focus
    • In South Africa, Ceasefire are holding a Youth Day commemorates the youth uprising in June 1976 that coincides with the International Day of Action . This will kick off with a screening of the Last king of Scotland. More information here: http://ceasefire.org.za/site/invitation-the-international-day-of-action-...
    • In the USA, in Seattle (Washington), members of Madrona-Leschi Citizens against War are going to be outside a secondary school holding placards linking war to the presence of military recruiters in state schools, and distributing information
    • In Sweden, members of the Gothenburg branch of Svenska Freds will be distributing information online