Booting the Camp

Activist Workshop: Organize to Counter Military Recruitment and Demilitarize our Schools

You think a banner reading, "Bong Hits 4 Jesus!" pushes the limits? Stand awhile in the shoes of volunteers from the OC Recruitment Awareness Project—veterans, teachers, Quakers, moms and dads—who gather early mornings outside local high schools to talk to kids about war. Sure, they can exercise their Constitutionally protected (for the moment) freedoms to assemble and distribute fliers all they want, but compare their face time with students to the carte blanche access military recruiters get.

The odious Solomon Amendment and No Child Left Behind require administrators to deliver kids to military recruiters, who show up with promises about college, donuts, video games, shiny toys, key chains, Hummers and helicopter rides. The anti-recruitment folks hand out brochures and stand carefully, politely and legally on the sidewalk with homemade signs—at the same low-income, ethnic-minority campuses targeted by the military. Or so they say.

Since they're not invited to the recruitment dog-and-pony show, school assemblies or other state-sponsored proselytizing, parents and kids seldom hear their side. This day-long workshop, sponsored by OC-RAP (a local project of the National Lawyers Guild), introduces parents, teachers, and high school and college students to strategies and resources for expanding its local resistance network, all toward challenging an outfit whose success you and your kid can read about daily in the weirdly titled "Other Deaths" column of the LA Times (3,500 troops killed, 25,000 wounded).

OC Recruitment Awareness Project (OC-RAP) and Activist Workshop: Organize to Counter Military Recruitment and Demilitarize Our Schools at El Centro Cultural de Mexico, 310 W. Fifth St., Santa Ana, (714) 649-0501; www.nlg-la.org/militaryinfo.htm. Sat., 4 p.m. Free, but lunch reservations required.

 
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