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.
Following the concerns of various groups critical of the military presence in educational and recreational spaces for children and youth, during the celebration of the Catalan Social Forum 2008 was established Desmilitaritzem l’Educació campaign.
It involves more than 40 entities linked to the promotion of Peace and critical and transformative education in order to prevent the presence of military institutions and values in educational spaces.
Under the slogan “Guns do not Educate, Guns Kill“, various activities were organized to expose and raise awareness of conflicting values involving the concepts of Education and Militarism.
Some actions taken so far:
- Presence of activist groups in the Education Fair (various editions)
- Actions online to request the withdrawal of the army invitation Education Fair and Children’s Festival
- Creating Guns Free Educational Centers Network
- Denunciation of the military presence, weapons maneuvering in the Collserola Park
- Reporting of financial resources allocated for propaganda (including festivals, parades and celebrations) and recruitment, especially in times of cuts social investment (health, education)
- Dissemination of similar campaigns Spanish state
From Desmilitaritzem l’Educació campaign we adhere to the international movement of action for For Military-Free Education and Research to share and learn more and better ways to advance the demilitarization of our societies.
#Antimilitarist #LesArmesNoEduquen #14J