Debra Sweet / The World Can’t Wait – 2013-09-24 00:51:22
ACTION ALERT: Students Need to Hear the Truth About these Wars
Debra Sweet / The World Can’t Wait
Schools have now reopened around the country and it seems like almost all of them are struggling with fewer teachers and reduced resources to try to meet the critical needs of their students.
But one thing is not in short supply, and that’s the military recruiters who stalk the hallways of far too many urban and rural public high schools and community colleges.
We Are Not Your Soldiers is an initiative of World Can’t Wait that brings anti-war veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars together with activists to talk about the reality of these wars in classrooms and to counter the dangerous deceptions served up by recruiters.
This is truly a life-changing experience for many young people, who are encouraged to ask their most difficult questions of young women and men who just a few years ago were students like them, considering what to do with their lives, and are now committed to ending the wars they saw first hand.
Last year, we visited schools in New York City, Connecticut, Chicago, the Bay Area and Olympia, Washington. You can read a brief report on those visits here.
We hope to expand the We Are Not Your Soldiers project this year and reach out to more schools and more students and young people. The need is just as great as ever; the wars have not ended and now the US is threatening yet another country.
We will only be able to do this with YOUR help, though. Maybe you are a teacher or know someone who is, or you lead a youth group or know someone who does — please get in touch, forward this email widely, and support this initiative. Funds are also needed to send vets wherever they are invited to speak.
We will work with teachers and youth leaders to tailor the presentation to their needs. Please contact us and we’ll put your school on the calendar.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-973-4463.
Debra Sweet is the director of The World Can’t Wait, 305 W. Broadway #185, New York, NY 10013
Some of the Stories Students Need to Hear
Report on We Are Not Your Soldiers 2012-13 School Year
In the 2012-13 school year, the We Are Not Your Soldiers (WANYS) project of World Can’t Wait made a number of visits around the country. We brought Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans to classes to tell the truth about the wars and why the military is really recruiting. The vets talked about their on-the-ground experiences in […]
The Most Important #Muckreads on Rape in the Military
By Christie Thompson: This post has been updated to include the number of men in the military who reported suffering from military sexual trauma. The Pentagon announced this week that a sergeant working in the military’s sexual assault prevention office had been charged with — you guessed it — sexual assault. This news […]
Former US Drone Pilot On The Effects Of Killing By Remote Control
Brandon Bryant speaks with NPR’s, Kelly McEvers, about the psychological effects of firing missiles into Afghanistan from a Las Vegas control room. Now, homeless and suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder at just 27 years old, Bryant delves into the far-reaching effects of executing people with the push of a button. “The missile hits, and after […]
Pentagon Study Finds 26,000 Military Sexual Assaults Last Year, Over 70 Sex Crimes Per Day
A shocking new report by the Pentagon has found that 70 sexual assaults may be taking place within the US military every day. The report estimates there were 26,000 sex crimes committed in 2012, a jump of 37 percent since 2010. Most of the incidents were never reported. The findings were released two days after […]
Least Among Saints
Go check out this page for a new movie about a recent vet. The film is being released today for digital download and is on demand. Visit the page and the website! Least Among Saints Writer, director and actor Martin Papazian’s debut film LEAST AMONG SAINTS movingly illustrates a man’s hard-fought road towards reconciling with […]
Iraq War Resister Kimberly Rivera sentenced to 14 months in military prison
After moving to Canada rather than return to Iraq in 2006, Kimberly Rivera was deported back to the US in September 2012. Her lawyer stated she was singled out for this punishment, even though she’s a pregnant mother of four, to “send a messageâ€ to other war resisters, precisely because she spoke out against […]
Boris Vian “Le DÃ©serteurâ€
This is from a 1960â€²s French artist, Boris Vian, written after World War II and became popular for French resistors against the war in Algeria. It is called “Le DÃ©serteur”.
The Dark Side of “Comprehensive Soldier Fitnessâ€
By Roy Eidelson, Marc Pilisuk and Stephen Soldz, Why is the world’s largest organization of psychologists so aggressively promoting a new, massive, and untested military program? The APA’s enthusiasm for mandatory “resilience trainingâ€ for all US soldiers is troubling on many counts. The January 2011 issue of the American Psychologist, the […]
Women Now Officially Authorized to Bust Down Doors as Part of Illegitimate Occupations
Robynn Murray, female vet profiled in the film Poster Girl The news that the US military plans to officially allow women to serve in many combat positions, pending some more review, is infuriating, but not unexpected. When “don’t ask, don’t tellâ€ was suspended so that LGBT people were to be tolerated in the military, and not […]
Brandon Bryant: Drone Operator Followed Orders to Shoot a Child… and Decided He Had to Quit
â€˜Did we just kill a kid?’: The moment drone operator who assassinated Afghans with the push of a button on a computer in the US realized he had vaporized a childâ€¦ and could not go on. By Helen Pow | From MailOnline A former U.S. drone operator has opened up about the toll of killing […]
Pain Continues After War for American Drone Pilots
“Dreams in Infrared: The Woes of an American Drone Pilot,” by Nicola AbÃ© from Spiegel Online International Gilles Mingasson/ DER SPIEGEL A soldier sets out to graduate at the top of his class. He succeeds, and he becomes a drone pilot working with a special unit of the United States […]
Suicide Numbers Likely to Top 2011, Army says
From ArmyTimes As many as 12 active-duty soldiers committed suicide in November, pushing the Army above last year’s record number of suicides with one month left to go in the year, officials said today. With the deaths in November, of which one has been confirmed as suicide, the Army has now had […]
Report on We Are Not Your Soldiers 2012-13 School Year
In the 2012-13 school year, the We Are Not Your Soldiers (WANYS) project of World Can’t Wait made a number of visits around the country. We brought Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans to classes to tell the truth about the wars and why the military is really recruiting. The vets talked about their on-the-ground experiences in occupying countries, where civilians pay the price, and how it affected them as well.
In New York City:
â€¢ at an inner-city Brooklyn high school, We Are Not Your Soldiers showed a dvd of “Collateral Murderâ€ and then Mathis and the WANYS representative engaged in discussion with the students.
â€¢ Mathis and WANYS spent half a day at a Bronx high school serving newly-arrived students in formal meetings with two classes and an informal gathering with students who wanted to follow the discussion further.
â€¢ John, from IVAW, visited a third high school in Manhattan with a very diverse student body, where we showed “Collateral Murderâ€ to two classes and then engaged in an extended discussion.
â€¢ We Are Not Your Soldiers also presented once again at the NY Collective of Radical Educators conference held every spring.
We went to Connecticut:
â€¢ where WANYS and John, from IVAW, visted an after-school program that develops teen-agers’ critical thinking strategies. We showed “Collateral Murderâ€ and John answered many questions about the wars and his own experiences.
â€¢ We Are Not Your Soldiers tabled at the annual Social Justice Curriculum Fair organized by Teachers for Social Justice.
â€¢ A WANYS activist spoke together with Ray, a vet from IVAW, with students from a Chicago high school where students express themselves through the visual arts.
â€¢ A WANYS volunteer and Michael, from IVAW, visited a large urban high school where students are predominantly Hispanic with over 90% qualifying for free lunch. A teacher had reserved the school auditorium for their presentations to several class periods and four other teachers brought their classes.
In the first session, they showed a few video clips from the IVAW “Winter Soldier 2” hearings and spent most of the time with students asking questions and sharing their views. The discussion was lively and heartfelt, with debate about 9/11 and the causes of wars — and many questions about the purpose of the military and what it’s like to be in it. Clearly, many myths were being challenged!
The school has a large Junior ROTC program and apparently this was too much for the JROTC teachers because they came to the second session and repeatedly interrupted the WANYS/IVAW presenters and the students.
The presenters persevered through a third class period and were able to convey quite a bit of information, although the JROTC teachers’ outbursts put a damper on discussion. Finally, the principal, a former JROTC teacher herself, decided to ban their visit and two subsequent class periods were canceled.
“We Are Not Your Soldiers” was on the West Coast as well:
â€¢ In the Bay Area of Northern California, WANYS and Aaron, from IVAW, presented to a high school class using a specially prepared slide show and educational materials.
â€¢ In Olympia WA, a WANYS volunteer and Hart, from IVAW, were the invited guests at a special session called by a student organization at a community college where a number of students are veterans and there is active recruitment going on in the area to convince other students to sign up. The attendees were students mainly in their twenties and thirties who engaged in a deep discussion of the issues.